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Border City Transit

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  1. Definitely can see that on the 47; I am less familiar with the 101. Generally speaking, KC has some of the fastest scheduled running times in the biz. Most schedules are built for 3-4 minutes per mile, which is lightning speed for transit bus service. It may make sense in suburban areas or on some of KC's vast, wide and uncongested streets where ridership is low. For routes that serve busier, more urban areas, I'm really surprised they don't allot more time. It's great to aspire to fast times -- but if you can't keep the schedule, it's not worth much! What kind of layovers/recov
  2. Here's some pics from a very quick visit to St Louis in 2014. My 90 minutes proved quite productive for transit photos! Even then, the Phantoms were rapidly dwindling -- though I didn't have to look too hard for 'em at 14th & Market. Surprised to hear that any are still around... Can't leave the Lou without a pic like this: Reference shot, where typical early 2000s Phantom body features are on display: Here's 2056, looking toward Downtown as she prepares for an afternoon outbound trip: Couldn't quite get two Phantoms in the same place; had to settle fo
  3. Thanks! Wow. Quite the set-up. So this likely affects all PT-operated Sound Transit routes that end up in Seattle. I wonder how it affects pay for the operators... I kind of expected mid-day storage... in the same way that peak-hour Metro buses from North Base may spend the mid-day at Central. I was also wondering if any PT buses "reside" away from Lakewood specifically for the 540 -- and operators report remotely. Or maybe they just bite and swallow the 60+ minute deadhead. Long deadheads aren't that uncommon -- it's just striking since it's so much longer than the previous
  4. Picking up again on Sound Transit Route 540 -- and Pierce Transit's involvement with ST routes in general. What is PT's secret for operating far-from-home routes efficiently? That's gotta be a 50 mile deadhead from PT's base to Kirkland -- and the bus doesn't even stay in service all day! Does PT have some elaborate satellite/out-lot operation to cut deadheads? And/or some kind of agreement with their union to ease high costs that usually come with such vast non-revenue distances? Don't get me wrong: I'm all for Pierce Transit taking a role in Sound Transit operations. It just s
  5. Thanks. MCT's green-and-black is a cool, unusual paint scheme -- one of the few that actually makes a Gillig look decent. Though I still miss their New Flyers!
  6. Plenty of old "PATransit" logos still out there on various bus stop signs. I took an up-close photo of one and vector-traced it (by hand!) -- which soon led to this:
  7. There are only 5 artics for 2019 (1960-1964), but they are out in force! At this point, it looks like they're all at Shoemaker -- they make frequent appearances on 4 Woodward, 6 Gratiot and sometimes 17 Eight Mile (which is split with Gilbert). I'm actually not sure if any artics are currently assigned to Gilbert -- though they badly need them for 3 Grand River. In any case, here are some recent field captures: 1960 on the home stretch of its southbound trip. Notice the flock of other Xcelsiors approaching in the offing: 1960 again, after finishing the layover on Third and
  8. I gotta say, those cutaways looks pretty nice in that paint scheme! Imagine it on a real bus -- eek, even a Gillig. To your knowledge, has Cheyenne ever had any heavy-duty buses? It's been a fully cutaway operation as long as I can recall...
  9. I think so. As recently as this summer, quite a few were hanging out in a city-owned lot on S Industrial Hwy, about a half-mile north of TheRide HQ. They still had decals, numbers and fareboxes -- so maybe they were in ready-reserve. At last check, only two or three were still there and they were totally stripped down. Unless there's a straggler or two under the roof at 2700, the end has likely arrived for the 411-429 batch. Won't miss 'em.
  10. Dang! Great find! Very glad to see the back window option exercised. That... plus the new driver window and the 1/3+2/3 front door... seem to be the emerging "Michigan spec". Hmm, the designs aren't quite as bad as I was fearing... but they all look straight out of 1989. I appreciate history -- but why the imperative to dress model year 2020 (!) vehicles in a scheme that looks several decades backward? 'Retro' has its practical limits -- and is AATA's early 80s "Coast Guard" scheme really worthy of such veneration? I think the historical nod will be totally lost on most people. The latest
  11. Thanks for the info! Hmm... it's a big departure from Gillig, that's for sure. But I don't know if it's fair to call Nova an oddball manufacturer. That might be applicable to El Dorado or BYD or Proterra... whereas Nova is an "alpha" supplier to major systems such as CTA, MTA New York City Transit, Houston METRO, MTA Maryland, plus dozens more in Canada (and not just Qu├ębec anymore!) Eek. I'm anxious ("bad anxious") to learn what that looks like. CATA has exactly -no- paint scheme on their new Novas, allegedly as they await a new brand palette. We'll see. I l
  12. Thanks! I always wondered about Route 11. Pearl City makes a logical home for it, since revenue service begins earlier on the outer end of the line. Throughout the biz (not necessarily at TheBus/OTS...) there's many instances of "portable" routes like this. If one division is suddenly stretched thin, a route can bounce to another division without too much preparation. On the other side of the world, look to Toronto for one example... where TTC's 6 - Bay bus route isn't squarely in any one division's territory -- and it tends to pick up and move divisions several times a year. In
  13. CATA's new Novas are out in force. They don't feel quite right without any colors, but that's (relatively) easy to amend. Fingers crossed for a bold new paint scheme that embraces these sharp vehicles. I rode 713 on Route 1 on Saturday morning. Extremely customer-friendly from the first step aboard: smooth and quiet ride, wide-open interior, tons of natural light, great visibility in all directions, low-shag seat fabric that feels clean without being cold or institutional. I can nitpick a few things I may have spec'ed differently, but on the whole, it's safe to say that CATA nailed it wit
  14. For such info, I recommend the excellent forum http://www.chicagobus.org -- you'll find lively, informed discussion... right down to the individual bus. As far as I know, the last of the "original" Nova LFS 6400-series are still hanging on at Forest Glen. They've been gone from the other six garages for at least two years now.
  15. More Neoplan from the 'Burgh! I caught up with 3110, taking care of business on the 71A on a pleasant afternoon in 2014. By @EQReport 's report, this unit never did make it to "semi-retirement" at Ross -- and has likely been off the roster for a few years now: Here she is a couple hours later -- and just look at all those happy customers, pleased to see a solid, spacious Neoplan pull up for their homeward commute! Finally, who could forget these blimps? Here's 1932 -- holding her head high on Liberty Av as Gilligs close in on all sides:
  16. OK, reaching a bit further into the archives... a Class of '98 Neoplan artic taxiing into Downtown after landing from the East Busway: The late 90s Port Authority Gold theme was widely derided by fans and critics alike. Somehow, though, that paint scheme recalls simpler times. I believe these 'tics were suburban spec -- meant for longer-distance express routes. For a few years, it was somewhat common to see them in regular city service (this photo dates to 2011). As for 3073 shown here, I don't remember which route she was working. Y'all are likely aware, but there are due
  17. Whaaa?? Would love to see more info on this development. Minus those weird Chance Opus minibuses circa 2003, AAATA has been head over heals for Gillig since ~1998. Gilligs, Gilligs, Gilligs, Gilligs, Gilligs and more Gilligs. It's been a 100% Gillig fleet for several years and they seem to be very proud of that. I will emphatically welcome Novabuses to Washtenaw County -- but must say I'm still having trouble wrapping my head around it. How many? Diesel or hybrid? Any idea what, internally, triggered this change? Or maybe it was just a low-bid thing -- and staff at AAATA is grum
  18. Oh, and @MountainWizard ... great backdated roster, but how could you forget these recent retirees?? And this oddball (forgive the mediocre pic)... 9101, which kept its original paint scheme, but picked up weird, silver-aluminum window sashes. Glad they didn't apply that more widely -- it lent the bus a tough, grimy, 'cities in decline' kind of look... like it was a prop vehicle from a 1975 prison movie.
  19. The New Flyers are nice, but I'll miss the no-frills solidness of the 436 artics. They were beautiful in their utilitarianism, as captured in this close-up headshot circa 2015. I vividly remember snapping that photo and declaring aloud, "ugly fab".
  20. Wow -- thanks! Outstanding pics! Interesting to see Proterra buses in a "regular" paint scheme. Thus far, nearly all Proterra units -- regardless of transit system -- have worn a special scheme to herald their electric status. I think this is the first I've seen where they're meant to look more-or-less like a regular bus. And they look pretty good! I lament the loss of the rear window -- and I really wish Proterra didn't use the "Gillig design" of high-height windows on a low-floor bus. Still, sharp-looking vehicles. Won't mind seeing more of them make a splash in daily transit servi
  21. Great stuff - thank you for sharing! And you're not kidding about those Ansair/Scania buses... unique beasts, they are. About 10 years ago, I was particularly drawn to Sydney-area transit as it has/had a lot in common with North America. The maps, timetables and service structure all looked similar to what you'd find in the US or Canada. It was easy to get to know the system -- even if it's three-quarters of the way around the world. In my humble opinion, Transport for NSW made their maps and timetables much harder to read -- and I kind of lost interest. Map-wise, I always appre
  22. Whoa -- what's the story with the 540? Wasn't it only March that it jumped from KC Metro to First Transit (by way of Community Transit)?
  23. In a post-ETI world... it felt nostalgic to stumble on this money shot while organizing my collections:
  24. Thanks. Wow, that sure is a lot of Gilligs... Do you happen to know which routes run from Boulder Division? They have a lock on many regional routes, and I believe they run the SKIP local route. Can't figure out if they have much presence on other non-regional routes in & around Boulder...
  25. Yep, on a very quick visit to DC last month, I saw more D40LFRs in the District than ever before -- even rode 6108 on the 96. They're a good fit on busy urban routes! Yes, the closure of Northern caused quite a ripple effect. A lot more DC service now comes from Montgomery and Four Mile Run. I don't know of any District routes that run entirely out of Four Mile Run, but you're likely to see pieces here and there. At least in the morning, rush hour in the City is slightly later than the 'burbs due to shorter distances. So if a Four Mile Run bus ends up in DC after finishing a 16Y, the
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