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Silly Tilley

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Everything posted by Silly Tilley

  1. I made a trip up to Simcoe County to observe the new LINX routes, after already riding route 1 in November. It really is impressive the scale at which Simcoe County is launching the LINX service and it will be a great improvement for mobility in the region. I started by riding route 2 and 4 from Barrie to Collingwood. Route 2 was a 30' 6006 and route 4 was a 35', 7003. Route 2 and route 4 are supposed to connect in Wasaga Beach but it does not always work out. Most people I observed were transferring between the 2 routes and it should really be a thorough service from Barrie-Collingwood via Wasaga or at least interline routes 2 or 4 when they both run so people don't get stuck waiting a hour for a connection (or miss the last bus of the day!) I rode 30' 6007 and 35' 7002 on route 3 to Orillia. The route is very tightly timed with a odd 50 minute frequency and both buses were running 10-15 minutes behind schedule. Unfortunately 6007 broke down and was replaced by a Vicinity for its last trip. It was my first ride on a Enviro 200 and I did like that they have Aries seats with padding which are comftorable for the long distances and the AC worked very well. I found the 35' version rode a lot better than the 30' and in talking to 2 drivers, they both preferred the Vicinity over the Enviro 200 due to the better handling and suspension. For the VIN collectors: 6007 SFEY14127KNN37329 03/2019 7002 SFEY24124KNN37396 05/2019
  2. Charlottetown has two separate tenders out for purchasing buses. The first tender is for 6 35 or 40' diesel buses in which the city is requesting pricing for the following options. 6 35' buses 6 40' buses 4 35' buses and 2 40' buses Replacement parts for the purchased buses Provide optional pricing for electric buses The original tender document had some specs that were written practically to NFI specs (specifically axles and suspension) however a updated spreadsheet of specifications has those requirements removed. Of note, a preference for stainless steel frame is noted in the specifications. Delivery is requested before February 2021 for the first 3 buses and April 2021 for the next 3. This tender reminds me of the tender Medicine Hat put out last year requesting a combination of 35' or 40' buses, which ended up purchasing all 35' buses from Grande West as the pricing was significantly cheaper than a Xcelsior. The same dynamic could play out here especially if Grande West or ADL decide to bid with their 35' buses. The second tender is for 2 Cutaway buses with delivery requested by February 2020. From https://www.charlottetown.ca/business___development/developers/tendering_and_rfp
  3. The actual projected increase for Presto Commissiom is $1.6 million (0.3%) and for the Provincial Gas Tax impact it is $1.5 million decrease. See screenshot below from next week's budget presentation, I'm not sure how you came up with the $6 million figure for both categories.
  4. Century Transportation has been awarded a new 3 year contract to operate both Cobourg Transit and the WHEELS paratransit service. The contract will begin January 1, 2020. Century was the lowest bidder, the other 2 bidders were Tokmakjian and 947465 Ontario Limited (Voyago). While Century currently operates Cobourg Transit, the WHEELS service has been operated by BTS Network. Tender Award for the Town of Cobourg Public Transit and Wheels Services (CO-19-08 ENG)
  5. There will be some changes to Malton routes effective July 1. Route 11 will have it's branch variants (11A, 11B) eliminated and will use Dundas in both directions to/from Islington. Route 30 will have peak service added so service will run all day Monday-Saturday. The route will also be extended east to Rexdale/Islington. With this change, route 12 will be eliminated.
  6. Grande West announced a manufacturing agreement with Spartan Motors, a leading specialty vehicle manufacturer in the US. Spartan manufactures bus and truck chassis, delivery vans, motorhomes, and emergency vehicles among other things. Spartan will fully manufacture the Grande West Vicinity for the US market, including the bus frame. Grande West did have a existing agreement with Alliance Bus Group (ABG) to perform final assembly of US market Vicinity buses at their facility in Atlanta, with the frame shipped from China and all other components assembled/installed in Atlanta to meet Buy America. Grande West determined that the capacity of this facility would likely not meet their needs within the next 2 years as sales ramp up in the US. Heaving the full bus manufactured in the US allows for a better production process and reduces exposure to potential tariffs. ABG will continue to be the exclusive US distributor of the Vicinity and Grande West has hired additional sales staff to assist ABG's sales efforts in the US. There is a lot more bid activity in 2019 and there should be additional US orders in the near future. The agreement with Weichai in China will remain in place and can be used to manufacture Canadian orders as well as US Private sector orders that don't need to meet Buy America. However it does seem like the goal is to eventually have all manufacturing done by Spartan. Even though Grande West is established in the Canadian market they do see potential for future orders especially in Quebec. Grande West is close to launching a electric powered Vicinity bus, it will be developed with a 'turnkey' partner that will provide the entire electric propulsion system. Spartan Motors Secures Vehicle Assembly Contract With Grande West Transportation Group
  7. I think the evolution of ridesharing (Uber, Lyft) and the TTC Subway extension to Vaughan really put the final nails in the coffin for any service to Canada's Wonderland by transit systems outside of York Region. Even GO Transit's route 60 Wonderland bus has been discontinued as of this year. Therefore the best option transit wise seems to be GO's Highway 407 east or west bus to Highway 407 Station and transferring to YRT route 20. As for the MiWay 88, it did have a high cost of operation and aside from that, the infrequent schedule and premium fare didn't help. You almost had to plan your day around the bus schedule and even at the $10 individual, $30 family rate for a group of 4 it was a steep price, plus regular fare if they had to take MiWay to City Centre to catch the 88. Meanwhile a Uber or Lyft from most areas of Mississauga to Wonderland is in the $40-50 range and if split between 3 or 4 people works out to almost the same cost per person as taking transit did. There's no need to plan around a bus schedule, you can go when you want and it's much faster. For families with kids it also takes out the hassle of using transit completely. The TTC subway extension to Vaughan makes the transfer to YRT route 20 a lot more convenient and there's also YRT route 760 from Finch. I have always felt that having GO buses serve all transitway stations would greatly improve accessibility to GO services without riders having to go to Square One and in some cases backtracking to get there.
  8. Levis and Trois Rivieres also have Vicinity buses on order in Quebec.
  9. To correct what was posted above, the overnight service is only available on Sunday-Thursday overnights. Because of the way the driver crewing is done the overnight crews report for work beginning at 1AM Monday-Friday thus the service day actually starts at 1AM on each weekday. To the general public it is Sunday-Thursday overnight service. There is no 24 hour weekend service on any of routes 1, 3, 7, 19 so I am not sure how Transit Toronto came to that conclusion. Perhaps confusion on what the service days actually are. It is true that the schedules could be better communicated to reflect how overnight service actually runs. It may appear like a cautious foray but another way of looking at it is they took routes that already had long service spans and simply filled the small gap between with additional trips to get 24 hour service. For example, route 1 only required 4.5 hours of additional service time (1.5 hours for each of the 3 buses). If there's one thing that I would offer an opinion on, it's that they should have picked the 26 rather than the 3 given the proximity to Dundas, and the fact that the 26 would serve City Centre as well as the South Common area. As for expansion, I think route 13 would probably be a logical route to add to overnight service (north/south route connecting Clarkson, Erin Mills, Meadowvale) as well as route 23 (serves 3 GO Stations and Port Credit) and 42 (Malton, service to the industrial areas). The city is currently out to tender for a consultant to help develop the next 5 year plan 2021-2025. It is being called 'MiWay Five 2.0' The city's budget documents over the last several years have never specifically mentioned what service changes would be implemented. It's up to staff to determine how best to use the service hours that are allocated in the budget each year. Between 1999 and 2006, Mississauga Transit did report to general committee each year with a detailed plan of what service changes would be implemented in a given year, these were called 'Transplans'. In 2007 there was the Ridership Growth Strategy proposal which outlined service improvements over a 5 year plan and now we have the MiWay Five which does the same (even if they keep changing their mind as to what will actually happen!) There is no financial support being provided by outside parties. Of course, there is the possibility both riders and businesses were requesting overnight service and MiWay decided to implement some overnight service.
  10. What a unnecessarily complicated policy. The current transfers already have the ability to be issued for a 6am expiry time so there is no need to issue fully uncut transfers if they're going to be viewed as expiring at 6am. Giving out uncut transfers means people will be able to modify them easily for a free ride home afterwards as well. As another poster mentioned, the potential for conflict between drivers/passengers with these uncut transfers is another issue. I know of at least 4 others that were still around as of a few months ago: 0738 Tedwyn/Cliff (4) 0733 Tedwyn/Felina (4) 0711 Cliff/Pathfinder (4) 0202 - Indian/Kane (14) There may be others still lurking in Homelands/Credit Woodlands (old route 1 routing in the early 70s) and around Malton as some of the streets have had service since the early 70s as well. It is interesting how even today, 40+ years later there is so much inconsistency in how bus stops are replaced that newer signs are being replaced before these old wooden ones.
  11. It took more than a few months but this RFP was finally awarded to Nova Bus about 2 weeks ago, a new 3 year contract for conventional buses. Also Brampton is holding their usual annual info sessions regarding 2019 service initiatives: http://www.brampton.ca/EN/residents/transit/service-alerts/Pages/Transit-Updates.aspx#342
  12. There is also a 813 'Charter' that operates to Mississauga doing dropoffs at the business park near Hurontario and the 401. It does at least 2 trips per day and almost always uses a Van Hool artic.
  13. Sault Ste Marie's 2019 budget includes the purchase of 5 replacement buses - 3 40' buses and 2 35' buses. There is also $4 million budgeted in 2020 for bus replacement so they look to be catching up on fleet replacement. Para-Transit buses are to start being replaced with low floor cutaways starting this year. On the operating side there is funding to restore 30 minute frequency through the day during the summer months. Currently midday service during the summer runs on a hourly frequency as part of the service changes made last year and this move was unpopular with riders with many complaints.
  14. Some service rationalization measures are proposed by YRT in their 2019 budget to take place in 2019 and 2020. With the exception of VIVA, all the adjustments are to routes and service periods with very low cost recovery ratios of 7-21%. These adjustments will help reduce the budget outlay by approximately $1.5 million in each of 2019 and 2020. All VIVA routes - late night frequency reductions 520/521 Newmarket Community bus - discontinue Sunday service 522 Markham Community bus - discontinue Saturday service, provide on-demand service 589/590 Richmond Hill Community bus - discontinue Saturday and Sunday service, provide on-demand service 22 King City - discontinue Saturday service 44 Bristol - discontinue Saturday service 56 Gorham - discontinue Sunday service 51 Keswick Local - discontinue, provide on-demand service 223/223A Newmarket GO Shuttle - discontinue 242 North Richvale GO Shuttle - discontinue 320 Beaver Creek - discontinue 15 Stouffville - discontinue 28 Huntington - discontinue https://yorkpublishing.escribemeetings.com/filestream.ashx?DocumentId=2723
  15. Those 2 blocks haven't tracked since the start of this board period at the beginning of January, could be due to incorrect GTFS data. A bus won't have any equipment removed if it is still active and the 2006 buses are not close to retirement. The change to 8:30 is effective with the May 1 fare changes. This was part of a motion put forward by Carolyn Parrish and passed by council. Some councillors wanted to make the $1 senior fare valid at all times of the day but there weren't enough votes to do that due to the budget impact. The original plan for the transitway called for a station at Ridgeway but this was one of the many elements that were eliminated from the final design to cut costs. However there are currently proposals by Metrolinx to build a ramp directly from Winston Churchill Station connecting to the westbound 407. Delivery is currently scheduled for September but it will probably take some time to enter service. Even though they will have BAE HybriDrive like the Orions do all the additional electric accessories and updated components will require additional training and testing. The hydrogen bus trial is conditional on MiWay securing additional funding to offset the city's portion of capital costs in the trial. Originally MiWay was going to apply to the Ontario Municipal GHG challenge fund for funding but that program was cancelled when the provincial government cancelled cap and trade. As of right now it is uncertain if the trial will still go ahead.
  16. The 57A was on previous versions of MiWay Five proposed maps as a rush hour branch deviating into the Airport Infield. It isn't on the recent version so it may be a mistake, or plans have changed which wouldn't be surprising. While MiWay doesn't have a rebuild or refurbishing program where buses are refurbished at a determined timepoint similar to TTC, Brampton, Oakville, etc. major work such as engine/transmission and body/structural work is done on a as needed basis regardless of the age of the bus. A lot of the 03 and 05 D40LFs have received body and structural work over the last few years for example. This work requires major money and resources just like a scheduled rebuild or refurbishment would. It's true that MiWay buses don't have fire suppression, this includes the Novas. I agree that there's benefits to having the system and maybe the recent string of fires will make MiWay consider them, kind of like how the TTC decided to install them on their fleet after a string of fires. As for the Novas specification wise, I think you're cherrypicking a bit. What about the options they still have that are additional cost, such as a rear window, USSC Gemini seats (not the cheapest on the market), and stuff like adjustable transfer cutter, arm rest, etc for the driver that are consistent with previous bus orders? I'm not sure what you mean by the shades for drivers, other than the fact there's a pull cord to release the shades they appear consistent with everything that has been installed on the existing fleet? As for the rear doors, I assume what you meant was not opting for wide rear doors because MiWay's Novas have the standard rear doors. MiWay has never opted for wider rear doors on the 40' buses until the 2017 XD40s and who knows if that will continue on future express bus orders. If the Novas had the wide rear door it would reduce the seating capacity even further (only 30 seats on the 18s as is) and in the case of the LFS artic, would a wider rear door affect the capacity of the fuel tank? Just a thought, not sure. Others have bought up the lack of frameless windows on the Novas and frameless windows are expensive, weigh a lot more and can be time consuming and expensive to repair. Speaking strictly from a passenger perspective, traditional glazed windows also rattle a lot less and with black paint around the windows it accomplishes almost the same visual effect. What may be seen as 'cheap' may actually be the more practical decision and/or a effort to specify the buses as close as possible to the existing fleet. -- In other news, starting next month all 2006-2009 D40LFR buses will begin undergoing modifications to the seating layout on the driver side in the low floor section. The existing layout of 2 sideways fold up seats and 3 rows of 2 forward facing seats will be modified to 4 sideways fold up seats and 2 rows of single forward facing seats. The change will allow more room for mobility devices to maneuver into the wheelchair position on the driver side and the added benefit of more standing capacity.
  17. Copy of "Rapid Transit Series Buses - General Motors and Beyond" book (The RTS Book). $15 Can meet in person if in GTA area (Mississauga), or buyer can pay for shipping in Canada via Canada Post which is approximately $15 depending on location. CTHF Streetside Guides 1993, 1995, 1998, 2000, 2009. $25 for all 5 Can meet in person if in GTA area (Mississauga), or buyer can pay for shipping in Canada via Canada Post which is approximately $15 depending on location for all 5 shipped together. Send PM if interested.
  18. The original RFP for 40' and 60' Zum buses was awarded in late 2008 as a 3 year contract expiring at the end of 2011. At the time New Flyer's bid for a 60' bus was 961K, while Nova's was 980K. When the first order for artics was placed in 2011 New Flyer's price for a 60' Zum bus was reduced further to 927K due to the strong dollar at the time. The original 3 year contract awarded in 2008 was extended for 5 years (to the end of 2016) and everything up to 1775-1785 was purchased under this contract. Note that the order for 1775-1785 would have been placed in 2016. http://www.brampton.ca/en/City-Hall/meetings-agendas/Committee of Council 2010/20110907cw_J1.pdf When the previous contract expired a new RFP was issued in March 2017 for 14 60' Zum buses, with options for additional buses. New Flyer had a lower bid ($16,007,688) than Nova Bus ($16,695,209). 1875-1885 were purchased under this contract and the 3 60' Zum buses for the 505 extension to Viscount LINK will come off this contract as well. So yeah, the reason the Zum fleet has been all New Flyer up until now is that contracts for conventional and Zum buses are tendered separately, and both times a RFP for Zum buses was issued New Flyer submitted a lower bid than Nova while meeting the requirements of the RFP. Speaking of conventional buses, there was a RFP for a new 3 year contract for conventional buses that closed in August but it has still not been awarded.
  19. The tender for the 11 buses was awarded to Grande West for 35' Vicinity buses, 5 will be diesel and 6 will be CNG. The 7 specialized transit buses was awarded to Overland Custom Coach and by the looks of it will be a Glaval product such as the Titan II LF. https://docs.medicinehat.ca/OnBaseAgendaOnline/Documents/ViewDocument/REGULAR_MEDICINE_HAT_CITY_COUNCIL_3568_Agenda_Packet_2018-11-05_6_30_00_PM.pdf?meetingId=3568&documentType=AgendaPacket&itemId=0&publishId=0&isSection=false&fbclid=IwAR1izwuajw7tYdelUGeQNwIwCmYTQTwVjshJTUarvmQ7G3TTtnw92y3Fu-w
  20. Thinking about it again and you're right, the visibility could have also been a factor in swapping the mirrors. I just recall there were also issues raised when the 17s first showed up a year ago with not being able to adjust the original convex mirror from the driver seat. I was surprised to see the 18s delivered with the older style mirror as well, guess the specs weren't changed but drivers seem to like the newer style mirror that has been retrofitted.
  21. The driver side mirrors on the 18's have to be retrofitted as they came from the factory with the usual mirrors MiWay has used for years which does not have a powered convex. Because of the way the LFS is designed the driver cannot reach out to adjust the mirror manually so the new mirrors have a powered convex. So yeah....some of the 18s are still waiting for new mirrors before entering service. All the 17xx Novas were also retrofitted with new driver side mirrors after the issue was realized.
  22. By the way, if by 'they' you mean MiWay, you're misinformed if you think that MiWay themselves will make that decision especially if it isn't deemed to be a warrantable repair as smallspy stated. MiWay is a city department and the city is self insured, so the risk management department will play a big role in determining what happens. One major factor that will be looked at is the value of the bus. Given that the bus is less than a year old and has a replacement value of $920,000 ($76,000 annually) which means the bus is still worth well over $800,000 even after factoring in any other deprecation methods, simply saying they won't fix it is inaccurate. I will also point out that *if* the bus ends up getting repaired or a new trailer, it won't be cheaping out as you put it, rather the city's risk management department has determined that it is the most cost effective action in the interest of the city. As for the cost of the Nova LFS artic, the cost per unit when purchased in late 2016 was approximately $920,000 (HST included)
  23. The above posters may want to consider where they're getting their information considering 0336 has been in service the past 2 days, meaning the claims of retirement are inaccurate. https://transit55.ca/mississauga/bus/336 It is important to note that a bus being MIA for a extended period of time doesn't really indicate anything, it could just be waiting it's turn in the body shop or for parts that require a long lead time. For example 0312 hasn't tracked since August 24 yet is on hold for body work. Unless the bus has actually had plates, farebox, etc. removed it cannot be assumed it is retired. That said, the following 2003 D40LF buses have been retired (plates and other equipment removed): 0308, 0314, 0321, 0333, 0335, 0337, 0343 Expect around 5 more 2003 D40LF buses to be retired this year. Another 10 will retire next year when the 10 hybrid buses are delivered. The remaining 20 or so should hang on until 2020.
  24. The tender for the 10 40' hybrids closed today and Nova Bus was the only supplier who submitted a bid, at $8,931,830 or $893,183 per bus. Route 100 begins service on October 29, between Winston Churchill and Pearson Airport Terminal 1, serving all stations along the Mississauga Transitway from Winston Churchill to Renforth. Service will operate from 4am-7pm on weekdays with 15-16 minute frequency all day. 6 buses are required for the route. Route 21 will be cancelled and replaced with a modified route 74 running out of Dixie Station serving the same routing the 21 did east of Dixie. Frequency will be every 15 minutes, rush hour only.
  25. In other MiWay news a tender has been posted for the disposal of 22 2008 D60LFR buses. These are the remaining D60LFR buses that were stored at Malton for months and it's finally time to clear them out. The tender is structured so each unit is bid on individually, not a lot of 22 so multiple companies could bid on specific units if they wanted. For those keeping track, this means all 35 2008 D60LFRs will be accounted for, with 7 currently still in active service out of Malton garage. The first 5 to retire were tendered for disposal a few months ago which was awarded to Beeton Auto and Truck. 0879 was sold to City View after the axle failure last year and with the remaining 22 being tendered for disposal that accounts for all 35. REQUEST FOR QUOTE FOR DISPOSAL OF TWENTY TWO (22) 60’NEW FLYER LOW FLOOR TRANSIT BUSES The tender for 10 hybrid buses closes on October 2 for delivery in summer 2019. These buses will be used to test the newest generation of hybrid technology and will replace 10 2003 D40LFs. As others have noted, the 2018 Nova LFS have begun to arrive. There are 12 in this order (1801-1812) and there were plans to replace 8-10 2003 D40LFs with this order but we will see if that happens due to service requirements.
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