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About orionbuslover

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  1. Federal funds generally cover 80% of the cost of a new bus. The lacking 20% local/state match has led CTA to 'creative' solutions like leasebacks and bus overhauls.
  2. That's exactly the reason they're still around. Their budget is stable, but the state of Illinois went without a capital budget for over 10 years. It was 2019 when Illinois finally passed a new a capital spending plan, then the pandemic. They currently have over ~1300 buses that are over 12 years old. Majority of them had midlife rehabs and will be around for many more years.
  3. Syracuse, in general, hasn't figured out how to evolve as a city. And it affects all facets of life there. The pros you listed clearly outweigh having a timed transfer downtown. But, Centro's leaders have always maintained they can't improve the system without more funding. That's simply not true. CDTA in Albany did just that 10 years ago with their restructure and they now have many routes that offer 10min service all day long(a few even got down to 7/8mins before COVID). RTS in Rochester will launch their budget neutral restructure with 15min routes later this month. Many other American
  4. My point is Centro could operate more service, without more funding, if it tightened up its schedules. I would agree the James St-E. Syr schedule, which is longer and has heavy ridership, isn't padded and might need more time. But, that's the downside of a pure "pulse/line-up" system. The routes with the longest cycles (due to heavy ridership or distance) lock the other routes to have matching long cycles. All so buses meet downtown at the same time. You can see this with the long layover of buses at Valley Plaza/Nedrow, Shop City, Western Lights, Dewitt etc. The padding in those schedules cam
  5. Syracuse.com is reporting that Rep. Katko is pushing for $15M federal funding for the James St-South Ave brt lite route. I'm all for this expansion and hope the funding comes through. The article ambigously mentions travels times would improve from 40mins to 16-18mins. I'm assuming they're referring to the the travel time from Eastwood/E. Syr or OCC to the Hub. The sad part is, if Centro stopped heavily padding their schedules so that buses "line up" downtown, they can get those better travel times tomorrow and for free.
  6. Every city will have a unique path forward, but overall I think ridership will return to pre-pandemic levels across all service types. Ridership declined solely because people were staying home during the pandemic. Not because of permanent service cuts and the ensuing downward spiral or stagnation in ridership those cuts bring. Students no doubt want to be in school full time. Office workers are over being isolated from colleagues, bouncing to multiple Zoom meetings per day/week. And the service industry is desperately seeking more workers as restrictions loosen. Public transit will always be
  7. The 2018 study was very in depth about how to restructure the network. Even though this new study is taking into consideration the pandemic, it seems wasteful. The impacts of the pandemic seem to be overstated because at some point in the near future things will be back to how they were before the pandemic. At that point I would think the 2018 findings would suffice.
  8. I noticed that as well when I looked again. Not being part of an on demand zone, even furthers my suspicion that ridership just didn't justify the expense.
  9. I imagine some riders will have to walk longer distances. That's where RTS On Demand and the new connection hubs comes into play. I'm not aware of other systems that have offered that type of service when they cut routes. It's always unfortunate to see routes go away. But, the improvements had to be budget neutral. Without more funding, which the Upstate transit agencies have joined forces to lobby the state for, options are limited. Local governments are strapped for cash as well. Having consistent 15 min headways (which just begins to scratch the surface of what frequent transit is) on the h
  10. Good catch! I've followed the redesign for years through the local press. Locals definitely questioned the coverage area shrinking in size, but I don't remember any focus on the loss of airport service. I'm guessing current ridership to the airport wasn't much and a trade off had to be made. Looking at the new system map, future route 18 could easily be extended to the airport if riders demand service.
  11. The launch of the new system takes place 5/17. The official system map and schedules have been posted. I really like what they did with the redesign. The current routes operate at odd times and intervals throughout the day. For the most part, the new routes stick to clock-face times leaving downtown at 15/30/60 minute intervals. The new schedules themselves are clear and concise, easier to understand than the old schedules. That helps to remove a barrier of entry for new riders. The leaders were bold enough to evolve their system from one that was stretched too thin maximizing the coverag
  12. Hopefully, they are paying the full cost since it'll be free rides atleast through Labor Day. Even though the news release quoted the Executive Director of the downtown committee, nothing about funding was mentioned. Usually, those types of partnerships are explicitly stated.
  13. Centro announced its new downtown Syrculator and a vaccine shuttle to the Fairgrounds will be begin 3/15. I'm all for expanding transit, but I really don't see the need for the downtown shuttle. Smaller transit agencies tend to spend alot of time and effort ($$$) chasing 'choice' riders who have access to various means of transportation. All the while, their most loyal customers - those living in poverty - are forced to wait 40 or 80 mins for the next bus.
  14. Service changes coming 3/1/21. Minor routing and timepoint changes on James St, W Onondaga, Fayetteville and Drumlins routes. The big change is the addition of another James St branch to the Molloy Rd/Hancock area, the new 220. These trips are not conversion of existing trips, but additional trips. If I had my way, the route would travel express on 690 to Midler, saving riders connecting to it at the Hub about 20 mins. Any riders who board along James St could transfer at Midler.
  15. The initial report I read is that the driver was speeding around a turn and lost control. In that regard, luckily, there wasn't a building on that corner. EDIT: Now the operator has spoken out. Saying he made that turn hundreds of times before and the bus accelerated on its own. The MTA already stated the bus had no mechanical issues. NYC alone has thousands of New Flyer buses and I'm not aware of any reported instances of spontaneous acceleration with any New Flyer. Basically, it sucks to be this operator.
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