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Border City Transit

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  1. Great pics! Very glad to see the rear window in its rightful place -- I was shocked and disappointed when the 7300s omitted it. Also, is the block number dash box missing? Or simply blank in your photos? I was looking for "LG02" or something similar to ascertain that 4455 lives at Landover -- but nothing! Keep us posted -- I hope these make it to the District.
  2. Greetings. In Pittsburgh, Port Authority has run hundreds of Neoplans -- of various models and configs -- continuously since 1982. The last ~3 units (2005/2006 AN-460-A artics) are living on borrowed time out of Ross Division. If I'm not mistaken, these are also the very last Neoplan USA buses ever built. I crossed paths with 3122 this past Monday, September 23, 2019. I managed to set up a good pic of 3122, after she cleared Downtown and stretched her legs on the I-279 HOV lane. Immediately after 3122 cruised by, I felt an odd sense of closure: after 20+ years of photographing N
  3. 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?
  4. 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 pl
  5. 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...
  6. 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...
  7. 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
  8. 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.
  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
  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. 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
  12. 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...
  13. 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.
  14. Nice -- and look at that carpet on the w/c partition left over from the old fabric package! Gray plastic seats on the new 1900-series buses are much nicer-looking. I'm glad they didn't go with blue for the large-scale roll-out. There's only ~five 1900 units in service right now, all on Eastside routes from Shoemaker. Expect them soon on your favorite Westside/Gilbert route, too!
  15. As I often say with pics of new Gilligs... great picture, terrible bus. Pretty tragic to think how Golden Gate's fleet has devolved: GM New Look... RTS... Flxible... Orion... Gillig. If that bus had a quote bubble to speak for Golden Gate Transit, it'd say something like this: "We were once something classy, something unique, something special. Now we're just another struggling, mediocre bus system with institutional vehicles and sagging ridership." Even that paint scheme... takes the least interesting elements of all their previous schemes. It's almost freakin' 2020... and the best
  16. Ha! That's like the best "bad" replica I've ever seen! It got just enough right to look kinda accurate... yet just enough wrong where the trained eye can readily spot the "errors". I could see where a non-bus-geek Philadelphian would think it's authentic SEPTA... while anyone from this board could nitpick all the details they missed. Even with the odd paint scheme, what strikes me as the most un-SEPTA feature is lack of roof-mounted a/c. Obviously, they weren't going for such extreme detail -- and I'd never expect a casual observer to notice that. Still, when I think SEPTA, I in
  17. Thanks -- great pics! Kudos to The Rapid for making Gilligs look halfway decent -- although they're still mighty uninspiring to ride. Very encouraging to see New Flyer artics. Sure signs that The Rapid continues its evolution into a major transit player -- as opposed to the backwater, forgotten-about system of yesteryear. Imagine the possibilities if they shift to New Flyer for 40-foot buses. I'm also cautiously optimistic that a strong showing for artics on the Laker Line will lead to their eventual use on the Silver Line. Frankly, I believe that the Silver Line has fallen
  18. Yep. The "bathtub effect". I have plenty of, um, opinions on Gilligs... but I'll refrain while you get used to 'em in Milwaukee. Surely it's exciting to see something different. Follow up frequently to report if it's an improvement. Elsewhere in the Midwest... COTA in Columbus recently did the opposite: after 100% Gillig for many years, their newest order is New Flyer. Early reports are positive. Thanks for the extensive info/update.
  19. Question about artics in Pittsburgh. Port Authority was an early adopter of artics. From the beginning until about 2010, the artic fleet never got much larger than ~50 units -- and was mostly confined to East Liberty and Harmar (RIP) routes. At least to my knowledge... Port Authority's fleet is "generally" smaller today -- but artics have a much larger presence, both in real numbers and proportion of the fleet. Now, by casual observation, artics appear to be running from all four garages. The question: Garage-by-garage, in what order did the artic expansion progress? O
  20. Absolute end of an era. I don't know. It seems like, without anyone ever expecting it, Gillig Phantoms earned status as some of the best, most iconic buses that Metro ever had. At least to me, they were the face of "Seattle transit rising". Like, "hey everyone else, we have great transit here in the Emerald City -- largely bus-based -- and it looks like this." I recall when Metro ordered them in ~1996. It seemed unlikely -- how could these ever live up to the mighty Flyers? Read through my posts -- I am not a Gillig fan. But those Phantoms were phenomenal and I will miss them sorely.
  21. It just depends. Not every fleet will necessarily need repowering. The mid/late '80s diesel RTS orders (2000-2266, 2300-2402) had rock-solid 6V92TA engines -- no surprise that they made it 'til the end. By the time they retired, the 1992-1993 units were all over the map, engine-wise. I believe some of them did receive DD Series 50 diesel engines. Some may have gone Cummins (weird for an RTS, I know). Anyone have more insight on late-life engine configs of 1200-1502 RTSes? Last ~50 units were running through late 2011, maybe even crept into early 2012. By the end, you'd
  22. Here, all this talk of RTSes in LA is making me nostalgic (especially with the recent sunset of their cousins in NYC). Two pics of RTSes on the Westside, circa 2007. 1421 in the uninspired yellowjacket scheme, 1397 looking very sharp in the current Metro Local scheme: Both had been converted to diesel at that point; their engines sounded sumptuous and out-of-place in SoCal even 12 years ago. RTS in peace, boys.
  23. Orion V... no idea. Novabus RTS... I can't say for sure, but I'd guess 'no'. LACMTA and Novabus had bad blood regarding an older batch of RTS buses -- specifically, a 1992-1993 order manufactured by TMC. Unproven alternative fuels (and engines unfit for those fuels) hobbled those buses from Day One. Problems only worsened as the fleet aged (though, in true RTS fashion, plenty of 'em did rack up 18-19 years on the road... after being converted to diesel.) I don't recall all the details, but it went something like this: after TMC had gone out of business, MTA attempted some s
  24. Whoa! More on this, please! Which divisions will be absorbing Northern's service? I always thought Northern was the most underrated Metrobus division... just minding its own business, tucked in an easily overlooked corner of the District, serving two of the biggest routes in the system while not making much noise. My theory: the S2-S4 and 52-54 run fairly well because Northern isn't "overextended", either in route line-up or service area size. They can really concentrate on running their big routes properly. Something tells me the S2-S4 just won't feel the same when lumped in wi
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