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Border City Transit

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  1. That's a great-looking bus! I must say, the solid black door panels look sharp. Intuitively, I'd think that feature might be ugly -- yet it somehow makes the bus appear like an exotic European import. Remind us, how many on order? Any projection for assignments between the two samTrans bases and the contractor?
  2. Cool cool. Any word on the 'general' status of the 6100-6200s? How many left? Retirement date set? Current assignments by garage? I always liked those buses and wish they had spent more time in the District. I know they've always had some presence on routes that blur the Maryland border. I used to daydream about seeing long, major City routes (90-92, S2-S4, etc) dominated by D40LFRs... which I don't believe ever was the case. Check this out. 6114 on the H8 circa 2007. Assignments like that didn't last for long... Incidentally, this photo captures a special time and place in DC. That was like the year that DC decisively pivoted from the unloved inner-city of the 1990s into the expensive, yuppie-dominated place that it's become. Not an entirely bad or good transformation -- just a significant moment in the history of a quirky, misunderstood city. This photo was taken near the current "Tivoli Square", which was barely under construction on the chilly early spring morning when 6114 was holding court.
  3. What is the status of the 3200-3500 series New Flyer D40LFs in Houston? They've been retiring piecemeal for a while... but it was such a big order that it's taking a few whacks to finish 'em off completely. Any updates? I'm hoping it's more than just unloved 3400s at Northwest...
  4. Wow -- of all the great photos on this thread, I return to this one again and again. Everything about that photo is such a rich, unglamourized, true-to-life snapshot of Ottawa in 1990. It shows just how much specific bus types from specific eras colour the whole feel. Can't say I miss the Orion III artics, but this picture conjures "reasonably" fond memories. In any case, here is another installment from 2004... Side-by-side Orion Vs from OC's first two orders of that model. At this angle, it's hard to see that these two orders did have significantly different specs. Visible here is a variation in the front-door glass frames: rounded on 9143, square on 9238. Here is 9862 really flaunting its KFC. Of particular interest here isn't the bus, but rather the intersection. This is Waller & Laurier? Unrecognizable compared to how it looks today. An oddly cropped shot of 8544, inviting Downtown customers aboard at the end of the workday. I wasn't expecting to see any STO Fishbowls on this trip, but 8311 showed up out of nowhere and I caught the photo just in time. This bus seemed ununsual -- the right-aligned route number, the four-leaf rear doors with lower-half glass. Was 8311 original to STO? Here she is, depositing inbound customers on Wellington as the rainy morning rush hour winds down. As always, enjoy!
  5. Nice. CATA has posted some photo/video footage of the Novas (40-footers and artics) on their FB page. I am really glad to see Novas in the Great Lakes State. It's hard to warm up to 'em in absence of a paint scheme. Is CATA transitioning to a new scheme or something? The classic blue-and-green looks fine, but it probably is due for retirement. Any hints about how these new buses will eventually look? I hope the plan isn't to leave them blank permanently...
  6. Awful. Awful. The "circle" logo violates multiple fundamentals of graphic design. The "full letters" logo on the website... looks like the title card for a low-budget, made-for-TV sci-fi mini-series from the Fall 1987 season. Cancelled due to low ratings after two episodes. And the name? Yikes. After decades of a crusty reputation, SEPTA is only starting to become a positive, credible brand name in transit. It's not nearly strong enough to serve as the model for another transit system. Of all the derisive nicknames for SEPTA, inept-a comes up every so often (...though schlep-ta is my personal favorite 😁) At least "inept-a" requires someone to really stretch the name. Here... NEPTA... you're practically saying "inept-a" without even trying. How did no one realize that? And does "NEPTA" sound like a modern, appealing organization even if it wasn't five-sixths of the way to "inept-a"? Stuff like this... makes it pretty obvious why our industry is losing ridership and struggling to compete. We really gotta raise the bar -- making transit succeed will require us to appeal to customers, not just bureaucrats. </rant>
  7. Totally understand! "Regular" New Flyers in Milwaukee were just like RTSes in New York, Flxibles in DC, even Neoplans in Philadelphia: they became rolling landmarks of the city. You see a certain type of bus every day just like you'd see a monument or a historical building every day. When they go away, you miss them -- and the city doesn't feel quite the same without.
  8. OK, really reaching into the archives here... Which STO Classic temporarily wore the fleet number 7196? It was STO's 25th anniversaire, and apparently that was one way of marking the occasion (1971-1996). I vaguely recall that bus had the same specs as 9603. Was it one of the other 9600s -- or perhaps 9603 itself?
  9. Thanks for the video. Meh. I don't like that bus as much as I want to. What's with the doors? LACMTA demo'ed similar back doors on a NABI artic. I excused those for looking weird because they were a retrofit. Here, we have something freshly delivered from a reputable manufacturer like New Flyer... and the doors still look like an afterthought. I'd hope for something better designed... And the number... 19500? Sure, it's easy to "decode". I don't know. This is strange, but I somehow have trouble connecting with vehicles once they get into five-digit territory. On a positive note, the two NABI 45-BRTs trailing it look great for heavily used 15-year old buses!
  10. Not sure yet -- as there's some minor service expansion going on. The fleet is growing slowly but steadily. I'd guess about 40-45 D40LFs will remain after this order. They are scattered 4100-4200 units; the 3900 units are all gone by now. I'll snag a few pics. The "old" New Flyers in DDOT's fleet are plenty tired, but they're pretty reliable and I rather like riding them. They're spacious, solid and still sound good. It was DDOT's first major order with Cummins engines. I'll actually miss them when they finally retire.
  11. Per the friendly request of another user, here are some more finds from my 2004 Ottawa adventure: Plenty of Fishbowls going strong during early PM rush hour: ...and there was something particularly special about seeing the oldest buses in the newest paint scheme. On this trip, I spotted more than a few Fishbowls (mostly 8100-8200s) holding down all-day blocks. I vividly remember riding 8103 on the 85 at about 1:30pm. Here's 8107, taking care of business Downtown: I also visited Ottawa in 1997, when the 9800-series Orion Vs were about to roll in. I kind of resented them, since they significantly cut into the Fishbowl fleet (oddly enough at the same time in the US capital city, the exact same thing was happening at WMATA: new Orion Vs to replace many [but not all!] Fishbowls). I grew to appreciate the later Orion Vs for their enormous rear windows, giddy Series 50 engines and general solidness: And these. I loved how ugly and utilitarian the 9000-series New Flyers were. Those silver window sashes looked awful but in a cool, endearing way. Even these were largely relegated to rush-hour service by 2004. For some reason, I have trouble ever picturing them in base/all-day service -- let alone weekends. Here's 9042, working its way out of Downtown on a peak-hour trip: Enjoy! I have a few more pics from this trip, plus some from 2013. But is that vintage?! 😁
  12. OK! Pleased to report that the brand new 1900-series New Flyer XD40 buses are now hitting the streets. At press time, about 6 units are on the prowl -- all currently out of Shoemaker division (Eastside routes). 25 total 40-foot units are due this year, plus 5 artics. These sport a totally different paint scheme: much less gaudy than the "starburst" wrap seen on many other Xcelsiors, yet much more up-to-date than DDOT's old olive-and-yellow. Reliable sources tell me that New Flyer missed a few little details. For example, the DDOT "paper clip" logo and the fleet number are supposed to be DARK green... not the medium green that almost disappears in the background. Hopefully they fix that. Nothing that $200 of decal work won't take care of. There's a few other minor things I'd adjust. On the front: the three-section panel immediately below the windshield... it'd be cleaner if ALL THREE sections were white. Looks kind of out-of-sync how the wiper ports are white but the middle is green. On the whole, though, these are the sharpest buses DDOT has deployed in recent times. Enjoy!
  13. Fantastic topic! I was not aware of such a thread -- it really deserves higher prominence on the Board. I still need to browse these many excellent submissions (will listen to these sweet sounds while at work tomorrow!) In the meantime, I can refer y'all to this juicy recording of a 6V92TA. All credit to whoever captured it -- I am simply pointing it out. 6V92TA is getting adequate love in this thread... but this recording is magical from the first note. Early/mid 90s engines -- whether Cummins or Detroit -- had endlessly more character than anything today. This particular recording from VTA makes me wistful. Nothing will ever match the urgency, the eagerness and the sheer confidence of a 6V92TA in an RTS.
  14. Great info -- thanks! Does Collier run the 28X? Do artics still appear on that route during busy travel times? I recently rode 28X from the airport on a Saturday at about 2:00pm and it was packed. Could have definitely used an artic...
  15. Similar. New DDOT buses use Freedman Aries seats... same as the ones in @alisonc 's picture, only with neutral gray plastic rather than blue. Years ago, DDOT (along with many other systems) had a problem with bed bugs infesting seat fabric. Though they've cleaned up dramatically, the public still perceives the fabric seats as "dirty". The shift to plastic seats actually came from overwhelming public request. Personally, I don't feel strong one way or the other. I was hoping for padded vinyl seats -- a good middle ground. The plastic seats are a little harsh but they're bearable. I preferred the fabric -- I didn't find it dirty, it was slightly more comfortable and generally "warmer" -- but I acknowledge that the plastic seats "feel" cleaner.
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