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Border City Transit

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  1. This talk of VTA artics makes me wonder about a fairly obvious question: Do they regularly run anywhere other than El Camino routes (22 + 522) and the 500? They were holding down the 181 before the BART extension -- then jumped over to the 500 once Berryessa opened. I can't picture them ever showing up anywhere else. Any reports of an artic occasionally slipping onto the 23 or 66 or something like that? Which leads to a related question: are all artics based at North? Or are there some at Chaboya, too? To my knowledge, Cerone has never had artics.
  2. Thanks for your response. I take another angle on some of the issues you've stated. Nonetheless, I appreciate your perspective and I'm glad we can engage in a productive, respectful difference of viewpoint! In the US, transit just isn't a high priority period. If it were, all entities involved -- private and public -- would be more motivated to get on board with electric buses and other innovations. There would be serious resources to "do it right". Thing is, in many cases, new/advanced/innovative projects get pushed on public transit systems as gimmicks -- quick ways for slick
  3. I would send that rep a hearty thank you. It's pretty rare to receive such detailed operational info directly from the transit system. I am curious about fleet numbers for future orders. The new electric buses crack into four digits, yes? My sense is, TheBus deliberately tries to stay "below 1000" for full-size vehicles. It may have to do with license plate numbers matching fleet numbers? Not sure. What's open now? Any reason the 400 series has been overlooked/underused for so long?
  4. I am shocked those Blue Birds lasted as long as they did. That was a weird model -- I can't think of a single other transit system that deployed them in any significant number.
  5. Wow! We are all entitled to our own opinion -- but I am surprised to hear this. I love, love, love the rear window. I worked for a transit system that was buying New Flyers and I lobbied successfully for rear windows. The feature has proven very popular among customers and operators. From the interior, the rear window makes the entire ride brighter and happier from the moment you step on. Natural light promotes a sense of safety and calm. While riding, it makes it feel like you're part of the city -- rather than just stuck on the bus. Minus the rear window, the interior can feel
  6. 4301 is literally the only artic in the fleet with the old (maroon & blue) paint scheme, is it not? And if I am not mistaken, it's the only (current) artic to ever wear that scheme. All the other 4300s sport the dark blue "Rapid" paint scheme. I'm nearly sure they were delivered that way (as in, not wrapped or repainted). I recall seeing ~a dozen of them parked at North Yard in January 2015 before entering service -- they were blue. Then, the 8300s were delivered in the current Solutions That Move You paint scheme. It makes me want to see 4301 without the wrap!
  7. I'm straying off the specific topic of King County Metro, here... but you hit on something I've wondered about for a while: Tiny, Go-Kart Size Steering Wheels on Gillig LFs You seen 'em? It appears to be an option. I wanna say maybe Port of Seattle's Gilligs at SeaTac are so equipped? Not sure about other Gilligs in the area. The steering wheel looks no bigger than a typical automobile... it's anchored to the dashboard by a weird cassette sort of thing. I drove early 90s Flxibles with big, 20- or 22-inch steering wheels and felt firmly in control. I found smaller steer
  8. Thanks for posting these! I was once a daily Metrobus customer -- particularly on the S1, which often used Neoplan artics nearing retirement. Even those were nice to ride at their advanced age. These pics remind me how pleasant of an experience WMATA offers. Among large systems, they spec their buses quite nicely and they keep them very clean! Glad to see that they're committing to customer-friendly features: High-visibility destination signs Rear window Comfortable seats Effective cleaning regimen despite very heavy usage I'm in a minority with this o
  9. Ah yes. As with so many things in transit, it all comes down to scheduling. I am a professional transit scheduler in North America. I am curious how we can improve our craft? In most cases, it's less a question of incentives and more a question of constraints. Facilities (both operating bases and on-street), vehicle counts, staffing availability, traffic, etc. To keep in on topic, TheBus/OTS uses HASTUS for scheduling - which has specific functionality for electric buses. I'm sure they'll use the feature at some point.
  10. 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 o
  11. Maybe? But unlikely. The highest ridership bus routes in NoVA all cross jurisdictional boundaries. I'm thinking the 7, 10, 16, 23, 28 lines mostly. To some extent the 1 and 2 also. Those are long, frequent, complex, resource-intensive lines. Operationally and geographically, they're not a good fit for the smaller local providers. They're also (generally) growing routes that will require more service in coming years. Also, pre-Covid, most of the growth in NoVA came from bus routes that went directly into DC (3Y, 7Y, 11Y, 16Y, 38B, etc). Crossing into DC adds a dimension that I do
  12. That already happened! The "old" 3 line (3A-3B-3E) was cut to the current Metrobus 3A... operating only between East Falls Church M/Seven Corners and Annandale. Then, the inner part in Arlington became the ART 55. The current 3A barely serves Arlington at all -- it doesn't come close to Rosslyn. This happened some time in the last five years or so. I didn't understand the change at first: why break one continuous route into two segments? It forces a transfer to continue. Then I realized, the Lee Hwy segment in Arlington is much busier than the Annandale Rd segment. So,
  13. Hmm, I can't speak for ICT or Coralville's Gillig low floors. Frankly, I stopped taking pictures because all the Gillig LFs were depressing me. I also find Iowa City Transit's buses exceedingly ugly -- where I love the Cambus paint scheme (and I'm not even a Hawkeye!) At least ICT and Coralville's Phantoms had the T-window configuration (gotta look close to see it -- my pics are so-so) : Pics of 70 & 74... circa October 2006. I believe the Cambus fleet was 100% Phantom at the time, maybe minus a few odd smaller buses.
  14. Great pics! Omaha and ORBT are on my shortlist for travel once things improve. My last time there, they were still running older Gilligs: At the time, they were practically alternating between Gillig and New Flyer with each order of new buses. The Xcelsiors look sharp -- I went hunting for a 40-footer but came up dry, so snapped this XD35 cruising Downtown: And I did manage to catch a FrankenFlx. Those made me sad. I miss Flxibles, but I don't miss those zombies. I saw one on my first visit to Omaha in 2006; pretty amazing that the, um, rehab nearly doubled the
  15. Ask and ye shall receive! Look close at the windows on 104. Notice the top third spans the whole window frame ("transom" window). Then, the bottom two-thirds is formed of sliding panels: Iowa City Transit and Coralville Transit use the same configuration. It dates to the Gillig Phantom era (look even closer!): That window arrangement is somewhat common on New Flyers and Novas. On Gilligs, it's nearly always transom, sliding or nothing. Transom only examples: Sliding only examples: Ther
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