Jump to content


CPTDB Wiki Editor
  • Content Count

  • Joined

Posts posted by roamer

  1. On 1/14/2021 at 9:40 PM, Kennys bus drawings said:

    Also does gillig sell steering wheels by themselfs? Because on some of the 2008-2012 Low floor king county metro buses, I saw Gillig in the middle of the steering wheel. Or where they parted for some reason?

    Steering wheels are outsourced.  I'm fairly certain that Gillig themselves do not actually manufacture the steering wheel itself for the low floors.  The hub --horn button insert-- can be ordered with the bus, truck, or chassis manufacturer's name in the middle.  IMMI is one of the largest, if not the largest manufacturer of steering wheels used in buses, trucks, and motorhomes.

    For instance, I believe Metro's Gillig Phantoms used the IMMI Vector series steering wheel ...shown HERE on the IMMI website but most were the padded version.  Gillig ordered the hub insert emblem with their name on it.  

    Gillig gives the agency ordering the bus a choice of steering wheel they want to use (as they do for a lot of other parts) so a Gillig Phantom, for instance, used by another agency may or may not have the exact same steering wheel as a KCM Phantom, etc. 

    And I'm not sure which series of KCM Gillig low-floor you're referring to.  Weren't the first Gillig low floors the 7300-7400s that started service in 2018?



    (first image shows a steering wheel almost identical to what was used on a KCM Gillig Phantom but had "Gillig" on the emblem --second image shows horn button and emblem part)

    (eta:  third image shows the options when ordering the horn button emblem)

    IMMI Vecor Series.png

    Steering Wheels - IMMI.png

    Screenshot_2021-01-15 Vector Series - IMMI.png

    • Like 1
  2. 3 hours ago, Border City Transit said:

    Between the two of you (among others!), we gain tremendous amounts of knowledge.

    Please keep posting! There's no substitute for first-hand experience -- even if memories are sometimes foggy.

    Speaking at least for myself, I never expect perfection from anyone's posts. This board is an excellent resource to trade and learn. If we end up relying on each other to fill in holes/details, it's a net plus for everyone and our shared love of transit.


    Do you know if all the Phantoms sported the deflector?

    I definitely recall seeing them -- but to my memory, they were only on about half the Phantom fleet. And never at all on the trolleys.

    Could route speed have played a role? Maybe buses from "city" bases didn't need them -- they never picked up enough speed for the wind tunnel effect to obstruct visibility. Whereas they'd really make a difference on freeway routes from East, South, etc. Just a conjecture...


    Thank you for your nice --and encouraging-- words.  It's just when I go back and re-read what I've posted, it always sounds as if I'm being a declarative expert at what I'm writing when in actuality, I'm not.  Should I post again, I will make sure that each time I'm prefacing my comments with such a disclaimer.  I do appreciate your response ...it means a lot.  

    As to your deflector inquiry, I'm not sure now.  I really didn't pay that much attention to it at the time for as I commented previously, I really didn't notice the "spray problem" when the Phantoms were new as we all did when the Flyers were brand new.  

    I'm was not aware of the possibility of the deflectors being installed only on the Phantoms that were used where speeds were faster vs the ones used in the city.  Your suggestion does make sense for as you point out, I do see where the Phantom Trolleys didn't have deflectors.

    However, personally ...and again, it's only from my own recollection with the Flyers, the spray problem was actually worse when traveling on city streets rather than at freeway speeds.  Again, that may or may not be accurate in actuality.  To me, it was worse when traveling on city streets when the spray would gunk up the mirrors and side window to a point where you couldn't see anything in the mirror.  I never remember having to pull off the freeway to wipe the mirror down ...only on city streets where there was a lot of turning and pulling in and out of zones, etc.   

    So, now that I'm thinking more about it (and I really enjoy "thinking" back to see how much and what I can recollect), the deflectors may have been in the middle of being installed on the eastside Phantoms at the time I retired ...similar to the left-mirror-retrofit, that was just starting to take place when I left ...that 2004-2005 (?) time frame. 

  3. 11 hours ago, northwesterner said:

    They were installed after the Gilligs had been on property for 6-7 years...

    Man, as usual, you're always right!  After I had written that, I wondered about it as I started to question them being there when new but I also never remember having the same spray problem when new as the Flyers did either. 


    11 hours ago, MVTArider said:

    Thanks for the excellent explanation Roamer!

    Turns out to be "not so excellent" but I appreciate the thought.   I've been pretty good lately about not posting stuff as I do realize that most of what I remember from those days decades ago is so foggy and not really clear in my mind but my writing comes out sounding as if I'm an authority on the subject.  I attempt to post because I at least want to try to keep my mind as sharp as possible which is quite the task nowadays, but I end up embarrassing myself.  Please understand that if I do slip up again and post inaccurate stuff.  

    Most of the time I'll write to myself in a journal of sorts what I remember from my working days and exchange notes from several other retirees I correspond with.  However, they end up remembering even less than I do, hah!  So I do appreciate northwesterner always correcting my faulty recollections as his fount of knowledge about the details of our bus system in Seattle over the past several decades is simply unbelievable to me.  

    Again, I do appreciate the opportunity of being able to at least post here but it's best that I keep doing my best to refrain from doing so.  

    Thanks again, and I so enjoy your great flickr feed!

    • Thanks 1
  4. 4 hours ago, MVTArider said:

    Sorry, random question in regards to the Phantom, what exactly is the purpose or reason behind the huge deflector or shield on the front driver side corner? Is it something to do with the cutting angle of the DS pillar due to the slanted angle of the windshield? Tree branch deflector, wind effect on mirror adjustment? From what I recall that shield design is unique to KCM.

    Locally our Phantoms also had some sort of shield attached on the driver side, but a much smaller one made of plexiglass. I assume it was something to do with the mirror.

    37105802910_0307ff89e5_t.jpg Metro Transit 957 by J. Mc., on Flickr

    Hi MVTArider! I may have posted this before but I'll summarize again (from my hazy recollection, lol).  I believe it's for the same reason that they were installed on the D900 flyers under demand by drivers at the time to find a solution to a situation that was considered to be a safety issue.  

    When the D900 Flyers were first received back in 1979, we immediately noticed that there was a horrendous problem anytime the roadway was wet in that the spray kicked up by the front tires would somehow accumulate on the left side drivers window and also on the left mirror.  So much so that we could not see anything out of the mirror because of the thin layer of road spray that would accumulate.  

    It was concluded that it was because of the manner in which the left front of the coach was designed.  The square angle of the left front corner and how the A-pillar was integrated with the windshield that was inset and slightly angled, created this "vortex" of wind that propelled all the road spray against the left front side of the bus and the left mirror.

    Of course, in the Seattle area, the roadway is wet a good portion of the time so this problem occurred regularly.  Under certain conditions, it was impossible to see out of the left mirror because of the gunk that accumulated on the window and mirror.  

    It was a definite safety issue.  Yes, we could open the window and stick our hand out with a paper towel or rag to wipe the glass surfaces clean but within a few minutes, we could no longer see again.  If we needed to merge into traffic or change lanes quickly, it was obviously a safety issue if you couldn't see out of the left mirror!

    Some of us would drive with the front portion of the window open and it helped a bit but the spray would still accumulate on the mirror and we'd still have to keep wiping it clean.  Plus, keeping the window open, we'd get a bit of spray inside, plus things would get wet on the control bezel and sometimes it would be just plain too cold to leave the window wide open.  So that was not a solution to the problem but just facilitated easier cleaning.

    When we complained to management for a fix, their first solution was to pass out extra paper towels. I remember there being a big stack of paper towels near the door to the yard.

    Handing out extra paper towels was not a realistic solution to the problem.  We then got the union involved and they worked with management for quite awhile to see what could be done.  It wasn't a real diligent exercise for management to solve the problem and they dragged their feet.  It was finally determined --or so we heard-- that they, working with Flyer, were coming close to figuring it out and were in the process of designing some kind of device that  could be installed on the A-pillar to direct the air flow in a different way to prevent the spray from accumulating.  But it was just a rumor and management kept telling us that it was now Flyer's responsibility to come up with a fix as these buses were being delivered to agencies all over North America by that time.  So it went on and all we were told is "keep waiting, we're working on it."

    Finally, I remember that one morning, the chief shop steward announced that we weren't to take any of the Flyers out of the yard until management could fix the problem and that they had to stop dragging their feet installing what they and Flyer had come up with as a solution. I don't know if it was a wildcat action or if he had permission from Local 587 itself but from my recollection, management said that they did have some deflectors made and ready to go but promised that they'd install a few on the buses in the afternoon and start diligently installing the deflectors in the next few days.  Even though a lot of trips were cancelled that morning, service was fully restored later in the day as drivers did go back to work in the afternoon and behold, the shop did start installing the inventory they had that very day and over the next few days as promised.  They did have to make a few changes in design and adjust the way they were mounted over the months to come, however.   

    The Phantoms had a similar front design  ...i.e. similar strange A-pillar design because of the canted windshield, etc.-- so a similar deflector was installed at the factory  ...or so I believe as from my recollection, they either came from the factory with deflectors or Metro installed them as part of the procedure to ready them for service as I don't remember the Phantoms having that problem when they were brand new. 

    I've pointed out the similarities in the front cap between the Flyer D900 and the Gillig Phantoms we had.  You can also see the deflectors in both images.  I think later, Flyer did redesign the left windshield to a wrap-around design and perhaps rounded the body corner slightly(?) on the D900 (and re-designated it D901?) as you can see in this photo of a Toronto TTC coach HERE.

    A-pillar D900 Flyer.png

    A-pillar Phantom.png

    • Like 2
    • Thanks 1
  5. 16 hours ago, Kennys bus drawings said:

    hmm ok

    Point of history:  The predecessor coaches to 3198 and 3199 were 1850 and 1851.  1850-51 were 35' D900 Flyer coaches.  The 40' D900's were the first wheelchair-lift equipped coaches that Metro acquired and were the backbone of the fleet (1979 to about 1998) until replaced by the Gillig Phantoms.  

    Center Park is located at 2121 26th Ave S.  The residents of Center Park during the late 70s were instrumental not only in initiating the special bus service at Center Park but for a lot of input on how the wheelchair lifts could be improved on buses.  I remember serving on a committee at the time that brought drivers, mechanics, Metro management, and Center Park residents together to help get the new accessible service on Metro buses run more smoothly.  The Wikipedia page briefly mentions the "activism" by residents at the time --GO HERE

    Here is the interior photo of a retrofitted Center Park 35' D900 Flyer that shows multiple wheelchair tie-down areas that is posted on the CPTDB wiki also from Peter McLaughlin's collection:


    • Like 3
  6. I certainly agree with J. Mc.  The more he plays golf at this point, the better.  Again, I'm a believer in science and not conspiracy theories combined with a lot of nonsense (e.g. injecting disinfectant and powerful light into the body as a cure, etc.).  Therefore, trump should stay on the golf course as much as possible and leave the decisions pertaining to getting the virus under control to scientist and medical professionals.

    Again, I apologize for letting my political stance clearly known.  J. Mc 's post is extremely poignant and spot on using succinct wording and appropriateness.   

    I didn't realize there was actually a "politics" sub-forum here.  I know this is a Canadian forum so won't go ranting about U.S. politics there but, again, please excuse my inappropriate and off-topic remarks  ...it's just that I'm so stressed-out with not only how badly this virus is being treated by our U.S. administration but with a lot of things they have been and are currently doing. 

    • Like 1
  7. 5 hours ago, Loud-Invero said:

    It's certainly more nuanced. Since it seems you live in the US, you know that in comparison to let's say Canada, they're more of an indivdualist society as opposed to collective like Canada (generally speaking). I don't think republicans are denying the effectiveness or the science of mask, more so IMO their position is that you shouldn't be forced agianst your will to wear a mask, under the pretense that you're are an american and can choose as to what you want to wear and that politicans shouldn't be #ConstitutionalDistancing from peoples rights and freedoms. That's my perception..

    True, I agree with your specifying it being more nuanced and your perception is spot on.   Republicans generally see it as you described.  Most Democrats do not.  Again, I used to be a Republican voter and spent thousand of dollars through the decades supporting Republican campaigns but never again will give a dime to any GOP candidate because of the lack in believing in what is essentially "science" and their very shallow and short-sighted thinking.

    But anybody reading what you wrote should see the absurdity in the logic of those claiming that their rights are being violated.  Again, masks are not protecting YOU as much as it's protecting those around you.  To me, it is selfish to say "my Constitutional rights are being violated because I have a right not to wear a mask as the government can't tell me what to do."  Yes, if it is only protecting you, then it might be a valid argument.  

    I don't think a person has the right to spread the virus around to other people because once again, "science" is showing that the virus can be and in many cases is asymptomatic.  A person can be spreading it and infecting others hours before they show symptoms or may end up never showing symptoms and be infecting others.  Wearing a mask can help not to spread the virus under those conditions.

    If it's strictly based on "the government can't tell me what to do as I have the freedom to do what I want" then it truly is ABSURD!

    Why should I obey a law or any social mores?  That's taking away my freedom.  The government tells me I can't poop in the street in public but it's something I want to do.  That's taking away my freedom!  I should have the right to poop in the street if I want.  But there are rules governing pooping in the street to protect society from getting infected with those random people who may want to spread human feces in the streets.  But what if I'm one who wants very badly to do it? Are my rights being violated?  Shouldn't I have the freedom to do as I wish??  

    My apologies for using such an inappropriate analogy but I guess I find both "the government shouldn't require me to wear a mask, I have the right to spread a deadly virus to others" and "the government can't tell me that I can't poop in the street as that's taking away my freedom" equally ABSURD.

    • Like 4
  8. Pertaining to the efficacy of face masks, I tend to take as truth what "the scientists" (e.g. U.S. CDC) are advising.  The use of a non-medical face mask isn't to protect the wearer.  It seems many are not interpreting the efficacy in terms of who it's protecting.

    The wearing of a non-medical face mask is to protect those around you from YOU.  Since we know that Covid19 can be asymptomatic, many might have it and not know it.  Therefore, wearing a non-medical face mask is protecting those around you from your spittle just in case you are carrying the virus.  

    The U.S. CDC's exact wording is "...the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others."

    Even if we do not sneeze or cough, when a human talks there's a certain amount of saliva being sprayed into the air.  Very minute amounts, yes.  But if one of those minute specks of spittle land on your face or hand, and you touch your face with your hand that contains the very tiny amounts of spittle, you could become infected should that person who produced the spittle is positive for Covid19.  

    Remember, that person might not know if they have the virus since many cases are asymptomatic.

    And even if you've had a test in the morning and you tested negative, it doesn't mean that you're negative forever. You could very well test positive in the afternoon.   So why not wear a mask just in case?  ...it's to protect others from YOU.  

    It's selfish, IMO, not to wear a mask.  I hear so many saying "I don't have the virus so I'm not going to wear a mask" or "I'm young and have a good immune system so I'm not worried about getting Covid 19 so I'm not wearing a mask.

    Not wearing a mask in public (or covering your mouth with something  ...cloth, paper, or whatever other non-medical face covering), is inconsiderate  ...period.  It shows you only care about yourself and not others.  

    Sure, when I put on a mask, I don't believe it's doing too much to protect me from getting the virus but I would be devastated if I were to learn that I somehow transmitted it to someone else and they were to get severely sick or die from it.  So I want to do everything I can to not have that happen ...staying at home as much as possible, wearing mask in public, and keeping distance when around others. 

    I'll protect YOU by wearing a mask and I hope you'll do the same for me.


    (In the U.S., it's a politically divided issue.  Democrats understand "the scientific" reasoning behind wearing face-coverings.  Republicans do not think they really have to wear a mask.  I've been a life-long Republican voter but will never vote for another as I do believe in "science" and do not believe it should be a political issue.  Therefore, I will never associate myself with Republicans again --but I do not have much longer to go as I'm an old fart as many of you know.  Moderators, feel free to delete this post as I really don't want this to become a political discussion.  Thank you.)

    • Like 7
  9. 4 hours ago, A. Wong said:

    Thanks, A. Wong !

    The article didn't mention the left mirrors, however.  I may write to the reporter and have him view this thread.  And maybe to Bradshaw too.

    Although bus manufacturers have some responsibility in making the windshield A-pillar as thin as possible, Edmonton Transit, in my opinion, is derelict by using those mirrors.   Believe me, it makes a world of difference by not having the mirror housing blocking your vision being mounted at eye-level when making a left turn in a bus.  Being able to easily see over the left mirror housing is the difference between night and day  ...or it was for me. 

  10. 5 hours ago, northwesterner said:

    Particularly bad on an LFR, which has a larger corner pillar than older D40LFs, and newer X40s.

    Yes! Definitely.  I've always been angry at the LFR windshield design with its thick pillar.  The Xcelsior's pillar design was a definite improvement.  

    I initially thought that the Xcelsior's design was a result of the law suit that came about from the horrific 2010 TriMet accident that killed two and injured three others in a left-turn accident where the driver did not see the group legally crossing the street because her vision was blocked by the left mirror housing and A-pillar.  However, the Xcelsior was designed much before that accident happened.  

    BTW, as I said in my post of 21 February, I'm so angry at TriMet.  They still use a huge left mirror despite what happened in 2010.  Evidently, on their Xcelsiors, they use a mirror of the same dimensions and mounting position as Edmonton ...example HERE.

    "TriMet "has not gone anywhere near far enough to address the problems that this has exposed," Pope said.

    The transit agency still trains its drivers to make unsafe turns, he said. The driver's side mirror also creates a dangerous blind spot for bus operators and should be repositioned, he said."

    From article updated Jan 10, 2019:

    Despite $4 million settlement in fatal Portland bus crash, TriMet safety problems persist, lawyers say




    14 minutes ago, A. Wong said:


    This televised version of the story referenced 2 other previous incidents of buses striking pedestrians in October 2016 and November 2016.


    Very interesting!  Thank you. 


    “We’re not sure yet whether or not the blind spot issue was a factor in this tragedy."

    Gimme a break!  I'll bet my life on the fact that it was "the blind spot"  ...like I mentioned, a driver doesn't purposely run into a pedestrian legally crossing the street inside a crosswalk with a green light!!








    Comparison of the three NFI coaches, LF, LFR, and Xcelsior:





  11. 3 hours ago, M. Parsons said:

    Thanks for posting.  I can't tell you how much it hurts to see these accidents continue to happen especially when discovering that an agency continues to use the exact mirror and mounting position that just increases the chances of a driver not seeing a pedestrian crossing the street.

    The bus involved in this accident was Edmonton Transit System coach 4790, an NFI D40LFR.  Edmonton Transit continues to use one of the longer/ taller left mirrors and some are mounted where they can block the vision of a driver seeing a pedestrian crossing the street as the bus is making a left turn.    

    This is the classic example:  a lady innocently crossing the street with a green light inside a crosswalk.  The driver did not hit this pedestrian on purpose.  I'm certain that his/her report will state something similar to "I just didn't see the pedestrian in time to stop."  Transit agencies can help their bus drivers by using a smaller left mirror and mounting it in a lower position so it doesn't block vision while making a left turn but some just don't see the necessity for doing so. 😧

    Screenshot_2020-04-15 Woman killed after being struck by transit bus in northeast Edmonton.png

    2Screenshot_2020-04-15 Woman killed after being struck by transit bus in northeast Edmonton(1).png

    • Like 2
  12. Hah, interesting.  So the "era" continues.  I'm kind of chuckling to myself.  My fiddling with the wiki is futile and kind of stupid especially since it's so awkward and time consuming for me as an "elderly person" with no tech skills to struggle with the language.  

    I'll move both the 1100s and the 3600s back to the active section and leave it to others more "in the know" to adjust the wiki page going forward. 

  13. On 4/11/2020 at 12:29 PM, northwesterner said:

    Its been reported elsewhere... they're done.

    Thanks.  I'll adjust the wiki when I can get to it  ...unless somebody else wants to jump in to do it. 

    It is the end of an era but not anything groundbreaking as this was scheduled to be done way before this time.  Now, all the primary fleet is low-floor and hybrid, battery-electric, or ETB, correct?   Because of the Sound Transit overlay, however, I suppose there will be traditional buses --high-floors, straight diesel, etc.-- around the area for a long time to come. 


  14. 8 hours ago, EvergreenRailfan said:

    Have not seen 3660 and 3680 on the app in over a day.  Too early to make the call?

    Both were signed out yesterday.   I'm monitoring them but I think it's too early to call them officially retired.  Let's at least wait until service levels get back to normal and/or employees or others that know employees can give us information from the inside.

    eta:  ...sorry, not yesterday but on Wednesday

  15. Does anybody know if any of the remaining four 1100s (30' Phantoms) are parked in the Bellevue yard?  ...or if they are "officially" retired?

    They obviously are not in service because of not only having one door, but for the fact that the route 200 is suspended during the shutdown, so I'm wondering if they are actually retired or being stored in the yard for future use once the 200 is back in operation and the shutdown mandates are lifted.

    Last shakeup, one or two of them were being used on the 236/238 along with the 200.

    The 246 now is back to using 3700s so that might be where the 1100s could be used again once things are somewhat back to "normal."

    I'm going to take the liberty of showing the remaining four 1100s as "retired" on the wiki but will reinstate them as "active" if observing they are eventually back in service.

    On another note, since the start of this shakeup, there have been only four 3600s (D40LFs) being signed-out and they are all at North  ...3660, 3667, 3678, and 3680.  Are there any others there sitting idle but ready for use?  ...or are the rest of the 3600s "officially" retired besides the four mentioned?


  16. As of Sunday, March 1st, coach 7485 has been activated and the tracker shows it being in service for the first time.  It is the final coach to be activated in the 2nd-batch (7430 to 7494) of the 2018-2019 Gillig Low Floor Advantage series.  All coaches in both batches are now in service. 

    • Like 1
  17. On 1/24/2020 at 10:07 PM, roamer said:

    While the Swedish Issaquah terminal might make sense, it's still not a completely logical reason they're still hanging on to the 1100s.

    The reason I say this is that occasionally, we'll see 3700s on the 200 and 40-footers on the 236/238.  Therefore, if they were to completely retire the remaining four 1100s, they could use 3700s on the 200 and 7300s as needed on the 236/238.



    eta:  I just looked at the Swedish Hospital loop on Google SV and I don't see the reason it would prohibit using a 40-footer (I don't think they'd want to use a 40-footer on it regularly anyway, however).  Is that routing flagged somewhere as a hazard where they do not want a 40-footer in that loop? 


    I've only observed it a few times where a 40-footer has been assigned to the route-200 but today,  coach 7418 has been out on one of the runs since the beginning of service.

    Screenshot from tracker attached:  coach 7418 at 13:27 hrs. 25Feb20

    Screenshot route 200 02-25-2020.png

  18. On 2/22/2020 at 4:39 PM, northwesterner said:

    Livery changed in 1995, ahead of the delivery of the new Gilligs. 3120 was the first coach repainted. The uniforms changed shortly thereafter though I remember the browns into 1996 for sure.

    Yeah, now that I think about it, you're right.


    4 hours ago, David L said:

    The grey-bottom livery had an off-white base color that just ended up making the bus look a bit dirty.  The Bredas were the only coaches to be painted in that livery from the factory, but a fair number of AMG trolleys, the formerly methanol-powered Americanas, and a few random coaches of other types got repainted into it.

    Your anecdotes about a "drill sergeant" training atmosphere are interesting.  I went through Metro training in 2000 (induction) and 2002 (full-time) and the atmosphere was mostly very professional, although I still felt that some instructors had unconscious bias with respect to gender and occasionally race.

    I agree that the scheme with the grey lower portion was not attractive at all.  I guess that's why it didn't last long  ...or at least we should be glad it didn't last long.

    Yes, by 2000, things had changed dramatically, including how the instruction department was run.    The most substantive change, however, was that one in 1976-77 when Metro finally pulled away and made a distinct separation from the antiquated Seattle Transit System protocol and procedures.    And although the racial and gender issues have had their problems through the Metro days too --even up until the mid-2000s-- those of the STS days were truly cringe-worthy.  Man, those procedures and way-of-thinking had to go and I personally welcomed that 1976-77 transition and the improvements that followed.

  • Create New...