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Border City Transit

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  1. Border City Transit

    WMATA Washington

    Aw man, those AN-440-A pics are fire! These are far-and-away the best pics I've ever seen of them. 😎 Those must be the most forgotten, under-documented alums of WMATA's bus fleet. Right up there with the tiny fleet of 30-foot Gillig Phantoms (5080-5099) that also served Anacostia and environs. I know those Neoplans had a troubled, abbreviated career -- but they sure looked good in the "Class of '83" Metrobus paint scheme. Perfect precursor to the hundreds of Flxible Metros that would start arriving a couple years later... Thanks for the link!
  2. Border City Transit

    Sound Transit

    Because it requires 40-foot Sound Transit buses... the only route at EB that does! 😎 Interesting! Help me pencil in some details, here. Does that mean at CT Kasch Park Base, First Transit only supplies the operators... and Community Transit employees perform vehicle maintenance?
  3. Border City Transit

    Sound Transit

    This is just conjecture (as in... anyone with better info, feel free to correct it!)... but for what it may be worth: Cost. Community Transit contracts our their share of Sound Transit service to First Transit. I'd have to imagine 540 will fall in to that package -- I don't see Community Transit operating it from Merrill Creek with their own employees. This is kind of a weird, underhanded way of outsourcing -- not sure if it's "intentional or accidental"... Equipment Consolidation. I'm a little rusty on 540 -- it was using 40-foot buses last I checked. If that's still the case, this could be an effort to consolidate Sound Transit 40-footers. They may be the only 40-foot buses used for any service out of East Base. That way, East Base can become an all-artic operation... and First Transit will have a slightly larger pool of 40-foot Sound Transit buses, which I believe are also in use on the 532-535. I reiterate -- nothing more than educated guesses! I'm not even certain that 540 runs from East anymore, and I may also be out-of-date on 532-535 vehicle assignments. I encourage corrections, additional discussion and more information. My real question is which agency initiated the switch? Did Sound Transit independently "go shopping" for operators? And/or did Metro perhaps nudge them in an effort to oust a "misfit route" from East?
  4. Border City Transit

    Los Angeles MTA

    Wow. Well, Metro/MTA sure did a good job hiding those problems to the riding public. Metro/MTA's various generations of Neoplans always appeared rock-solid to me, the unsuspecting rider. Even the original 3300s... while a bit dreary and faded toward the end, never felt like they were falling apart. The newer Neoplans... they bought hundreds in a mad frenzy during the Consent Decree period of the mid/late 90s. I was not aware they were so troublesome behind the scenes. In a time when other parts of the system were faltering, the newer Neoplans seemed like the "face of improvement". They were clean, spacious and bright -- and felt reliable. To echo the slogan of the era, It's Getting Better on the Bus. Is it just me, or did the 6700s enjoy a much longer lifespan than other Neos? They were the newest by only year, yet I remember them prowling D3 lines long after 4500-4700/6300-6600 batches retired completely. 6700s received new CNG engines at some point, did they not? In any case, I surely miss riding them on the 81 and 251...
  5. Border City Transit

    Transit Windsor

    The same bus (or at least a similar one) made an appearance just "north" of the border ~2 years ago. Here she is, inside and out: DDOT had just put 10 New Flyer artics into service, so not sure if there was serious interest in Nova products. It's definitely SEPTA spec -- this same unit is likely the one now in Windsor. I know ridership on the 5 Dominion has surged, but I have trouble picturing an artic on that route. 1C Transway and 2 Crosstown, definitely -- especially if/when they simplify the western end of those routes. Keep us posted! Has Transit Windsor demo'ed artics before?
  6. Border City Transit

    Portland TriMet

    Haha, understood! I'm not saying "is that a joke" to you -- I'm saying it to TriMet! They've been doing some cheeky things lately -- have you seen their officially produced "homage" rail maps? They've done the TriMet rail map in the style of other great rail systems. Like, imagine the TriMet rail system shown with the fonts, line weights, colors and styles of WMATA and BART. Pretty cool. Perhaps this weird bus paint scheme is part of that campaign??
  7. Border City Transit

    Portland TriMet

    I'm sorry... is that a joke? April Fools isn't for another few weeks... Thanks for the pic, but I am shocked at TriMet. By the standards of any organization, TriMet normally deals in outstanding graphic design -- web, print, signage, vehicles, decals. Their materials are crisp, informative, useful and professional -- and they're consistent across different mediums. It's a huge part of why TriMet is so successful. This paint scheme... I just don't get it. The colors are fine, even if the diagonal stripes are straight outta 1987. Mostly, though, this is wildly inconsistent with the TriMet aesthetic. It's like they asked the receptionist at Gillig to pick an off-the-shelf template and then just do whatever. I was thrilled when TriMet retired the old "brown beaver" scheme (though it's still visible on older New Flyers...) The "buttery circles" scheme introduced ca 2005 is attractive and versatile -- and it lends itself to other uses, such as the semi-circle bus stop blades, infographics, marketing items. This 'new' 1980s NASCAR scheme... I'd expect from a smaller, outdated system trying desperately to rescue its image. For a system of TriMet's calibre, this is a bizarre step backwards. Do you have any more insight into this unexpected change?
  8. OK, I just organized some files from a trip in 2004 -- which now counts as vintage! Here are four Fishbowls holding down PM rush hour on Albert St. There wasn't much time left to see that many Fishbowls together in one place. It's not a great pic, but it gives a good "true-to-life" feel for Ottawa rush hour while the Confederation Line was a distant dream. Then, this would seem like an unremarkable pic of 4201 -- but it was the only Invero in service at the time. As I recall, there was a gap of several months between this launch unit and mass deployment. I caught it laying up on the eastern edge of Downtown; the operator saw me taking the pic and said something like, "it can be yours for only a dollar!" Not sure if that was a jab at the vehicle's quality, or if he was just being cheeky-friendly. Enjoy! I have several more pics from this era if anyone is interested.
  9. Border City Transit

    Community Transit

    Bravo, bravo. 👏 Excellent documentation of a rare occurrence! The pic of 9171 is especially nice. That New Flyer exudes a quiet confidence in the snow. Don't worry, I got this. (Of course, a skilled operator always helps, too...) For some reason I can't see a Gillig projecting the same reassuring presence. Plus, Community Transit's colors look really nice to a winter backdrop! How many D40LFs is Community Transit still running? I know they're fast disappearing; these photos remind me that I'll miss 'em.
  10. Border City Transit

    2019 Nova LFS Order

    (OC Transpo Nova LFS paint scheme)... It doesn't look bad... but I hope it evolves to become cleaner. The front is spot-on. On the sides, they're cramming waaay too many elements into a small space. Look! A big red swoosh at the front! Two leaping lines... like the LRVs! The oversize Maple Leaf! An off-kilter "unboxed" OC Transpo logo -and- a new (?) LRT-inspired "O" logo, too! An O-bus! The bottom "leaping LRV line" is maybe the worst offender. It's like someone's marker slipped when they were applying the gray skirt. Now imagine if OC mounts ads. It will look even choppier. The back... the abrupt transition from white to red actually looks sharp. But it's inconsistent with the rest of the design and other models in the fleet. Put that side-by-side with a New Flyer artic and they look like they're from different transit systems. Pick a few anchors of the design and don't get too fancy. I've generally liked all of OC Transpo's paint schemes -- the classic red-and-white slant/sash, KFC and Maple Leaf. This... is lapse of detail and may have some issues future-proofing. Otherwise... it's always disappointing to see a Nova sans back window. Hmph. What font is OC mostly using these days? Frutiger? Matter of personal opinion, but I find it sterile and ugly. Helvetica is above reproach, and the Akzidenz Grotesk used for fleet numbers on early Inveros and some older buses was very classy. Nice move on the Novas, OC. But tighten up the details, eh? 😐
  11. Border City Transit

    Grand Cayman RTSs (George Town)

    Just a guess... that looks like an ex-Long Beach Transit unit. Clues: It sports the first-generation wide front door design. LBT was one of a handful of systems to order that model (CTA and SMART are the only others I can think of...) TMC launched the wide front door option circa 1989-1990; it was revised in 1993 and again by Novabus around 1996. Hard to tell, but it appears to be 96" wide rather than 102". Until the early/mid 90s, that's how LBT spec'ed their buses. The rear end "pork chop window" and distinctive AC fin are strongly reminiscent of cruising 1st Street Transit Mall in a pre-New Flyer Long Beach. Many RTSes in California had those types of AC vents on the side; not sure if it had something to do with a stronger AC plant and/or Cali-specific emissions controls. Gotta admit, the left-side door retrofit doesn't even look that bad. Testament to the brilliant modular design of the RTS. Wow, they weren't perfect, but I sure do miss those babies...
  12. Border City Transit

    What TTC routes are your favorite and why?

    Ooh, 14 Glencairn is one of my faves, too! The part on Chaplin Crescent always jumped out at me. I went out of my way to ride the whole route circa 1998, back when it was peak-only and I was always afraid it would be axed. I vividly remember that ride: it was a Fishbowl and it was very busy throughout the trip. It was almost "two trips for the price of one": heading eastbound/southbound in the morning, the bus picked up a good crowd until Glencairn subway and unloaded almost completely. Then, it started filling up again around Bathurst, and we had a second full load by the time we made it to Davisville. Glad that TTC invested in the route (rather than cutting it!) and it seems to perform pretty well these days!
  13. Border City Transit

    Chicago Transit Authority

    Nice. Is it safe to say that CTA straight-up likes Nova products? Among among maintenance/operators, what is the general attitude? "these are great buses!" or "eh, we're stuck with 'em" From a rider's standpoint, I am quite fond of Nova buses. But I have never driven one or maintained one. In talking with people who have hands-on experience, I've heard reviews that are all over the map. Is there a consensus at CTA?
  14. Border City Transit

    King County Metro - Seattle, Washington

    Any reviews so far from operators or customers? I'll hold back my usual anti-Gillig tirade and see what reactions have been -- for now 🤐
  15. Border City Transit

    Metro Transit

    Good intel -- thanks. Wow -- 60044 on a Metro Transit route? I'm not super-familiar with the contract fleet... but that comes as a surprise to me. I thought the "five-digit fleet" was reserved exclusively for contractors and/or suburban systems... Is there a comprehensive roster of the contract fleet anywhere? Especially the full-size buses?