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About RapidRideTy

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    Current King County Metro Operator

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    Seattle, Washington

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  1. Yeah... Teal is still very much a color we use. Not sure where that info came from... Only the RapidRides and Trolleys are color specific.
  2. No route deletions. The only significant changes for routes that go through South Bellevue Park and Ride and the 3 and 4 being rerouted to serve Seattle Pacific University.
  3. We've had a few theories too, ranging from the spring tension was less, to the computer system was attempting to correct the poles by making sure they aren't too far off to either side. Our vehicle maintenance even came up with a fix but was told to put them back to the factory settings. They have put out a few memos stating that New Flyer, Vossloh Kiepe, and Metro are trying to figure it out.
  4. One thing I had read was that it was the computer system attempting to reset the poles, particularly when starting from a location where the wire was significantly off to the side of the coach.I know from driving the 7, making stops south of Graham along Rainier got interesting since the wire is in the left lane.
  5. Question for you MUNI guys, especially if there are any trolley bus drivers on here: I drive for King County Metro and we've recently started getting our XT60's in service. I was wondering if your trolley coaches have been having an issue with dewiring in spots where you know there's no reason to dewire?
  6. Kinda nice getting a new coach. Yes. And shake up means when we change up our work, i.e. drivers pick new routes. Sometimes routes go to different bases like the 214 going from East to Central. Life of a bus driver... answering the same questions over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over... I lost track...
  7. When I first started with Metro in 2012, we were taught the feathering method to braking. You are also right that some instructors are better at stressing a smooth ride than others. Thankfully, on a recent check ride I had doing a route 3, my braking was spot on... I do think that one reason why smooth driving isn't as emphasized as it should is they're trying to pump out as many new drivers as they can and they're cutting actual time in training. When I went full time, my training was cut from three weeks to two. I'm certain there are a number of other factors as well. As for equipment, the Orions are the only coach I've really had an issue with braking. The new trolleys, even the XT60's brake smoothly and handle like rock stars. They do have a few quirks, but what new bus doesn't? Extremely touchy. They were in the process of fixing them when I started, and for the most part, they're okay now. Still, not a fan of 'em. I'd much rather roll a D40LF when the trolley routes are diesel on the weekends.
  8. It was shock to a lot of drivers, too. When I got qualified, we were told that it would be March-April until they hit the streets, but I do know there's a handful of them down at South so they could show up at any time.
  9. I gotta say, SPD really screwed up 3rd Ave. I was doing an inbound 40 and by the time I got to my terminal, I should have already started my next trip departing from Northgate. They also pinched off places on 3rd down to one lane... it made no logical sense.
  10. I'd rather buy the trainer some coffee than see their scornful look in the rear view mirror. Other than that, road conditions also factor into the blowing out of airbags. I'm sure I can come up with at least a dozen main arterials that have pot holes the size of lakes and trying to avoid them puts you either into a parked car or oncoming traffic. While during non-peak hours, not that big a deal, but try doing that in South Lake Union at 4:30? It's a no go. As for hitting curbs, yes they are far easier to turn and if conditions permit there really is no reason to nail the curb. Having said that, driving a rush hour trip through downtown, especially anything where Amazon has a remote presence, the sheer amount of traffic, coupled with construction and reroutes... oh man. But once you're outside of the middle of the city (Capitol Hill, Wallingford, and Fremont are no picnic) hitting a curb makes no sense at all. I do wish it was possible to make the rear wheels turnable like the old MAN's.
  11. Yep. I took the pictures as I was heading in for 8 "fun filled" hours driving the E Line. I can safely confirm that 9653 is running the 522. It was my ride home. 9652 is also in service, running as a 550 today. Not sure of the route and run, though. It mistakenly made a couple of all calls over the radio trying to contact Link Control.
  12. I was out qualifying on routes this afternoon and I swore I heard them calling out for coach 9652. I believe it was running a 545 but I didn't hear the run number.
  13. Not much difference performance wise, they just haven't had a chance to really be worn in like the 2600's. And I am a HUGE fan of the 2300's. Now with the Gilligs on the way out, their the last coaches that actually have that honest to God bus feel. Sadly, they lost the new bus smell long before I started with Metro in 2012. I am interested to know more about some of the older stuff like the MAN's and the Breda's before they underwent their "conversion." I drove a "FrankenBreda" during trolley training and it wasn't that bad... but I'll be glad when they're sent packing. There isn't a whole lot you can do other than play the PA announcement. Yeah, you can be a Bus Nazi and demand they close the windows, but you run the risk of that snowballing into a much bigger situation like getting verbally assaulted, physically assaulted, or much worse. If someone wants to open the window, go for it. And even with windows that don't open, some people (typically middle schoolers) pull the red emergency hatches on the larger windows... The way I see it is like this, my job is to get you from Point A to B in one piece. Yes, I want everyone to have a comfortable ride, but sometimes, it just doesn't work out. And the drivers area has its own separate air vent that is pretty effective... It's all about my comfort, right?
  14. As far as the window issue, I think it's only the 68's and 69's. I haven't qualified on the Xcelsiors, but I'm pretty sure their windows open. Why they would make a tunnel bus with windows that don't open is beyond me. (For those who don't know, when our buses go into the Downtown Transit Tunnel, the climate control shuts off and with a crush load of passengers, it gets pretty stale on board.) Now, for why I like the 68's and 69's? I'm not entirely sure... they still kinda have that new bus scent. (Well, at least the ones that aren't at Ryerson)
  15. I'd just like them to make sure they order buses with windows that open. The 68- and 6900's, while my favorite coaches to drive, tend to get extremely stuffy, particularly in the tunnel.
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