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MCW Metrobus

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  1. I cannot speculate as to why this is the case, but... There is not a single artic on the R4 this morning (confirming initial reports from some very unimpressed drivers), and the R1 also appears to be all 40 footers save for 15010 - oddly, a non-RapidBus artic.
  2. A dashcam video of this incident surfaced online, taken from a vehicle that was travelling in the same direction as the trolley bus, a short distance behind it. For clarity's sake I feel it should be pointed out that both the eastbound trolley and the car in the lane next to it were innocent bystanders, as they were both fully stopped at the red light at the time of impact. An white pickup travelling westbound on 41st ran the red light and got T-boned by the Nova bus travelling southbound on Rupert, and both those vehicles ended up plowing into the vehicles stopped at the light.
  3. The driver who was hit downtown the other day has passed. With that in mind I ask that we refrain from further speculation about what specifically led to this situation unfolding until official information is available.
  4. ...and the fact that it still shows up on T-Comm means that someone went NIS without going all the way to the last stop. Although, now I come to think of it, that might have been the day that all the buses were horrendously late anyway, so perhaps it was short-turned and the adjustment wasn't made in the TMAC.
  5. I'm not sure why or how this came about, but 18473 was on the 430 yesterday morning. It doesn't show up on the T-Comm assignment history, so I assume someone coming off a highway tripper was asked to cover. It looked like there were some standees on board, but I couldn't see much beyond the seats directly behind the wheel well.
  6. That reminds me of the White Star Line's RMS Olympic war colours.
  7. Technically, "the older buses don't allow us to do that" is also incorrect. The flipdot signs might not be able to display stacked text, but in Toronto, the old TTC buses (GM fishbowls and Flyer D901s, for instance) used scrolling to display two-part destinations. Where the problem arose, in my opinion, was with PR messages, because that would result in a scrolling cycle like "129 MCCOWAN NORTH / TO MAJOR MACKENZIE DRIVE / EXTRA FARE REQUIRED / NORTH OF STEELES", which might leave riders waiting at a stop served by multiple routes not knowing if the approaching bus is the one they want, until it has already passed them by and they see the rear sign displaying "129". On a modern sign like a Luminator Horizon with stacked text, that same front message could be displayed in two exposures - and this was 15 years ago, which is the last time I was in Toronto. And let's not forget, revisiting your Richmond example, that the sign "401 ONE ROAD / TO STEVESTON" already exists, and has existed for a long time. I have a picture of it being used on a 7100 series D40LF many years ago, and I've used it a few times myself because it appears on the sign code sheet. A couple of employees have actually suggested this. I'm not sure whether the suggestion will be heeded or not; probably not.
  8. I agree with this, wholeheartedly. Mostly because it's been done before. Before the old artics were retired, five of them had luggage racks installed opposite the centre doors, and it certainly made things easier on the 620, not just because it cut down drastically on the amount of luggage blocking the aisles, but also because it gave people a place to safely stow oversized items. Case in point: one guy once boarded my rack-equipped, crowded 620 at Ladner Exchange with a full-length surfboard. With standees in the aisle, I might have had to tell him I didn't have room to accommodate both him and his board... if not for the fact that the surfboard fit perfectly on the luggage rack atop the many suitcases that were already stowed there. Poof, problem solved. The six seats that were sacrificed to make room for the luggage rack were probably more than offset by the extra standee space created by removing all that luggage from the aisles, vestibules and gangway. Logistics wise, keeping the rack-equipped buses on the 620 didn't seem to be a problem during the week. Usually at least three of four (or four of five, depending on the season) all-day runs on the 620 that came out of RTC in the morning were assigned a rack-equipped bus. The only weekday run that would consistently not be assigned a rack bus was the overload that only ran on Friday afternoons. The bigger problem arose on the weekends; for some reason, the artics would just get thrown everywhere, the Xcelsiors would be put on the 620 and the luggage rack buses would end up on the 49 until past midnight. I always attributed this to different personnel assigning buses on the weekend. It was clearly possible to keep the rack-equipped buses on the 620 without too much difficulty - it was done consistently for more than a year, at least on weekdays. Sadly, when the D60LFs were withdrawn from service, the luggage racks went with them. When the TransLink deckers were first delivered, someone from the training department told me that some discussions had taken place about the possibility of installing luggage racks in the space behind the curbside front wheel well, but the sticking point was that this would result in the loss of one of the two accessible positions, which would be a non-starter. In sum, I think you're right that we likely won't see luggage racks again for a while, despite how well they worked in the past.
  9. The first few 311s out of Scottsdale in the morning are pretty much always deckers.
  10. I'm hearing from a reliable source that the 340 is set to begin double decker operation in September of this year, and as such, the route will run out of RTC. No other information at this point, but that explains why the Height Clearance Test Bus has been seen at 22nd Street Station a few times in recent months.
  11. Good as new! Well, the dimmer switch for the left side interior lights is faulty, and the cashbox alarm was triggered by going over a bump on 72nd and the op couldn't reach in behind to unplug it because his hands are too big, so it was beeping non-stop all the way from Scottsdale to Brighouse... But other than that, it's fine.
  12. I'm pretty sure the 555 frequency has also been reduced from every 10 minutes to every 12 minutes during peak hours. This reduces the total number of buses from 6 to 5.
  13. This is most likely what happened. When road changes are done involving garage-bound buses, typically T-Comm will just try to find whatever bus will be closest to the BO bus at the right time, no matter the type - as long as the bus is suitable for the run needing the bus change. A long time ago, when doing the 50 at about 1 am, I was asked to NIS from Keefer and Taylor (my final terminus before going NIS to VTC) to Pender and Seymour, to change with a #19 that had broken down. The trolley that had been on that run was not drivable, so the supervisor had to give me a ride back to the garage from downtown. More recently, I had major transmission problems on an Orion going through Ladner while doing the 601. I knew that there was a 620 going out of service from Bridgeport at almost the same time that I was due to arrive there, but T-Comm instead had a mechanic meet me there with a fresh Orion from the yard, rather than let me do my final 351 trip with an artic. UNRELATED: A few days ago, 9558 was on the 301 in the morning. What I thought was odd was that it didn't appear to be a replacement for one of the scheduled runs. The run number display showed 99, and both times I saw the bus, it was running in tandem with a double decker. Looked like it might have been an overload.
  14. @Stormscapeis pretty much correct on this one. The same applies for regular service blocks that get short-turns for which no destination sign exists, although in this case it could be easier just to display the regular sign and then make an announcement a few stops before the short turn that the bus will go out of service at that location. One pertinent example of this: there is no destination sign code for "301 TO SCOTTSDALE", although this is the obvious location to short-turn 301s running late out of Richmond - or even out of Surrey, because there isn't really anywhere convenient to turn around at the Richmond end. A Surrey-bound 301 short-turning at Scottsdale can save up to half an hour (10 minutes each way between Scottsdale and Newton Exchange, plus the allotted recovery at Newton which is usually between 6 and 10 minutes, at least on weekdays). I've done it before, but with the absence of a sign code I would have to use the Newton sign and just hope that I could get a little ways ahead of a 319 on Scott Road to give the passengers enough time to catch it when I arrived at Scottsdale. (Easier said than done, those 319s do NOT waste any time...) I also remember once running late on a 106 bound for New West Station, and being asked by T-Comm to short turn at 6th and 6th, by turning right onto 8th Ave, left on 8th St, left on 6th Ave and then left again on 6th St to head back towards Metrotown. (This was before the route was split at Edmonds.) I thought that there was a sign code that involved 6th and 6th, but I couldn't find anything other than "155 TO 8TH ST". I don't remember what I ended up doing, probably just told people I wasn't going down the hill and waited for the panicked reactions when I made the right on 8th Ave.
  15. The easiest way to think of it is how New Flyer brands the ADL Enviro 200 as a "New Flyer MiDi" in North America. Mind you, that was before NFI acquired ADL, so it's probably only a matter of time before the Enviro 500 starts being branded as a "New Flyer DD45LF"... It was a Yaxing JS6830GHP, to be exact. I think the badging even appeared on the rear of the bus. Unfortunately I don't have any photos to confirm, I would have taken photos of 7130 from every angle when I saw it at the Squamish garage during the 2010 Olympics, but those photos were lost in a hard drive crash several years ago. Perhaps the folks who were with me that day have photos; most of them are active on this board. Out of interest, the literal translation of "Yaxing" from Chinese results in "Asian Star" in English. I have never seen Yaxing buses in Xi Jinping's country branded that way, but I have seen King Long buses branded using the direct English translation "Golden Dragon".
  16. There are at least a couple of dozen new Yaxings for BCT parked at Cullen in Port Kells. Numbers are in the low 4200s. I confirmed 4225, 4226 and 4230. Also, this morning three other Yaxings were spotted driving on Highway 17 near 104th Avenue eastbound. I didn't catch the number on the first one, but the other two were 4456 and 4457. Not sure where they were coming from or where they were headed.
  17. Run box said 13. I don't know offhand if it was a tripper though.
  18. I had a chance to try out the new bus simulator at CMBC Training last week. ...it essentially felt like a life-sized, 180-degree surround version of Midtown Madness. Complete with the physics realism. Even the map, "Safety City", bore some similarities to both Chicago and San Francisco! The only thing missing was the "Sleep with the fishes!" message that pops up when you end up in the water. (Don't ask...)
  19. T-Comm announced just after 11 am that a bus bridge was being set up between Columbia and 22nd Street Station. They didn't say why at the time. I don't know how long it was running for though.
  20. Those are known internally as the "Bingo Specials". If I remember right, they're blocks 97, 98 and 99 on the 022 line group.
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