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About orionbuslover

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. The Blue Line BRT is up and running, has anyone had any experience riding it? The amount of service CDTA provides the Capital Region is really impressive. There's several frequent (15, 10, and even 8/7.5 [pre-Covid] min headway) routes that run all day, frequent service seven days a week. The other, larger Upstate cities don't come close to offering that level of service. I had to dig to learn about their system reorganization that was done almost ten years ago. They got rid of their spaghetti routes, improved frequency, and increased ridership years before larger cities embraced the concept.
  4. I didn't know this; it fits right into what I meant about them knowing their market. I think the long term durability of the bus is what it comes down to. As you pointed out, many agencies replace their buses right around 12 years. And Gillig has engineered a more affordable product that will last atleast that long. But the largest agencies (MTA, CTA, LA Metro) stretch their buses 15 or even 20 years and have stuck with other manufacturers for a reason. Thinking this through, they don't need to really go toe to toe with the other manufacturers because their is a need for them in the market.
  5. I'm not definitively saying Gillig is a lesser product, but the price difference and their inability to crack the largest markets kind of implies that. Cold temp cities all have pretty rough streets. Higher passenger loads and harsher traffic conditions at all times of day also factor into how hard a bus is worked. Some agencies have vehicle blocks that are longer than 24 hours and Centro isn't working any of its buses for 24 hours straight. Overall, Centro has specific needs that Gillig can meet.
  6. Watched the Board presentation and the chairman brought up how Gillig is the furthest away and still has the best price. Gillig serves their market very well. The lower cost appeals to small agencies that have tight budgets. I can understand how smaller systems would be interested in the 'cheap' bus because they don't work their buses nearly as hard the largest agencies that have yet to purchase Gilligs.
  7. I think Gillig is the only bus manufacturer that offers trolley replicas. Centro doesn't operate any, but there is a private company that uses trolley replicas for a SU shuttle around the main campus. Gillig's BRT styling is just a sleeker front end cap. It's more rounded/curved, compared to the squared/flat traditional cap. Those sleeker style elements would be lost on a trolley replica because the front end cap (and side skirts) needs to replicate the trolley look.
  8. Never thought of it like that. That does make things like maintenence easier. If Gillig would just get rid of its older styling and only offer the BRT styling they would finally be cooking with gas.
  9. It's a little disappointing that Centro is slowly becoming an Gillig outfit. I know smaller systems seem to have an affinity for Gillig, but the styling of their buses is just so plain Jane. When the Orion VII's come up for replacement, hopefully New Flyer of Nova can find a way in.
  10. Recently, The Post Standard/Syracuse.com editorial board expressed their opinion about the retirement of CEO Rick Lee and how the Centro board handled the hiring of the former board chairman as his replacement without a replacement search. Centro board members who approved the hire feel the pandemic necessitated the rather hasty hire. I agree with the board on the point that a formal search for candidates would've been worthwhile. This set off a letter to the editor by one of the city's common councilors calling for Centro to redesign the system to better serve CNY. It's encouraging to kn
  11. With the start of Syracuse University's academic year, Centro is back to full operations in Syracuse (minus city school trips that won't be operating due to remote learning) and I took the opportunity to check out the tracker map to get a glimpse at operations. I was able to confirm my previous suspicion that routes #123/#530 are interlined during the day at Walmart. The benefit appears to be a longer layover for operators as they switch back and forth from routes throughout the day. Usually routes are interlined to reduce the number of buses needed to operate the combined route vs. the number
  12. I'm sure it's been noted on this forum before, but Centro has always rotated random 40 footers from Syracuse to operate in Auburn, Oswego and even Utica when needed. Centro has announced it will resume it's long distance routes to Auburn and Oswego. They tweaked the service for both routes. There will now be an express version of the Oswego route and a weekend only version of the Auburn route that connects to Camillus Commons and Township 5 where transfers can be made to connect to Syracuse.
  13. I was last in Syracuse about two years ago. It was apparent then that CNG Gilligs have become the workhorses of the fleet. With SU and school trippers cancelled, I would imagine the Orions have been resting nicely during this pandemic. There's still 2-4 years left to go for them to reach 12 years old. With the effects the pandemic might have on future budgets, I can see the Orions sticking around atleast another five years.
  14. With the 123 and 530 both ending at Walmart, it looks like that interline remains intact. 168 and 176 trips serve Home Depot but I'm going to assume the trips end at Marshall's Plaza. Based off the schedules, 168/176 trips don't actually end at Marshall's Plaza because they are "live-looped" back downtown. The last two time points of outbound trips are the first two time points of inbound trips and they arrive/depart at the same times. Like most Centro routes, the schedules for routes 168/176 are heavily padded with extra time to ensure they arrive back downtown at the same time as all of the
  15. Operationally, Shoppingtown was an excellent terminal. It was no longer a destination, but still offered ample layover space and easy access to restrooms for operators. Centro loves to interline their routes. I can't wait to look over the new schedules and see the news service patterns. EDIT: The new schedules are posted. I didn't catch it before but service is being expanded with midday Manlius trips serving downtown again. I think those trips were cut to begin/end at Shoppingtown about 10 years ago.
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