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Border City Transit

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  1. I enjoy your thoughtful and informed posts and I hope you feel better! Interesting. I am involved with a system that, until very recently, followed the old STS method almost to a tee -- right down to not using route numbers. Only difference was, runs were numbered in order of time in rather than time out. It was a holdover from streetcar-era yard cycling and car storage practices. The old system became increasingly meaningless (and operationally problematic) with interlining, two-piece runs that covered multiple routes, etc. Just last month, after many, many decades, we sw
  2. Haha all good! I meant to add to your observations -- not contest them! Before the Gilligs plowed onto this thread, I asked a few other Metro questions. Perhaps you or someone else could address? 1. Are there any "100% artic" bases? East? 2. Why is the 120 assigned to Atlantic rather than Central? Which is part of a larger question: does Atlantic have its own fleet of non-trolley buses? Thanks!
  3. Wow -- that looks almost like a New Flyer! Amen. That is a huge problem with the Gillig design. In the transit biz, we're fighting to stay relevant in a field that's popping with "mobility innovation". If we're going to play in the same league as Uber and Lyft and Bird and Lime and Elon Musk... we're going to need to do a lot better than spartan, institutional boxes-on-wheels. The Gillig exterior is problematic enough -- the interior is even worse. At least KC Metro uses nice colors. That's shiny, happy paint on an ugly, dreary bus! Agree that hea
  4. Thanks for the info! After browsing it, a few questions: Is any base "100% artic"? Looks like East is pretty close -- and that would make sense, especially if Bellevue is "artic-free"... I confess, I can't quite figure out the Atlantic vs Central distinction. Seeing 120 listed as an Atlantic route really threw me. Does Atlantic have its own set of diesel/hybrid buses? I thought (perhaps wrongly) that Atlantic drew its non-trolley fleet from Central -- particularly on weekends. If that's the case, why isn't 120 simply a Central route? Any clarification appreciated -- feel free to
  5. Yesssss! That is the best news I've heard in a while! CATA is a New Flyer stronghold. I've always liked their New Flyer fleet -- I had the pleasure of driving D60LF #6003 on a demo run -- but this will bring some intriguing change. I was nervous that CATA -- as a mid-sized system -- would fall to Gillig. After all, except DDOT/Detroit Transit, every other system in Michigan is Gillig, Gillig, Gillig, Gillig, Gillig and more Gillig (plenty of other states where that's true, too...) The only other New Flyer system -- Flint MTA -- has settled for Gillig on recent orders. Gross.
  6. Great stuff! Wow -- that's gotta make Mountain Line/NAIPTA one of the smallest agencies to operate artics. They look really nice! Incidentally, good on them for using the name Mountain Line rather than their clunky official name, NAIPTA.
  7. Hm. Good pic, but kinda disappointed to see a tacky wrap rather than a thoughtful paint scheme. In any case, glad that transit in La Salle is taking off. Will be curious to see how it evolves...
  8. To my knowledge, both MAN artic models were 102" wide (SG-220 and SG-310). Some early SG-220 models (CTA, Charlotte, maybe WMATA?) were 55' in length... rather than the eventual North American artic standard of 60'. In Seattle's case, I'm not sure exactly what set the SG-220 units apart from the SG-310 units... other than ~2 years of age and wheelchair lifts on the 310s. Both batches were 60' long. Maybe there were some mechanical/structural updates not visible to the streetside onlooker. Anyone? As for 96" wide artics, the only quantity order of those in North America was at SE
  9. Hmm... I'm 90% sure that's just a 'standard' Luminator Horizon. The numbers are using the three-pixel font. It's pretty easy to program that using the software. It's a good look and easier to see -- I'm not sure why so few Luminator customers ever use that font.
  10. Yeah, I appreciate the history -- but I won't miss the old logo. It was super 70s -- in a sad outdated way, not in a cool retro way. I could have lived with the standard "dt" glyph. But the "revised" version (ca 2007, see image) with the Microsoft Word "Detroit" dome over the "dt"... was a crime against graphic design. I'll be perfectly happy if I never see that atrocity again. I wish they had changed the name too... something like Detroit Transit. Part of the reason the old suite needed to go... was DDOT's undeserved horrible reputation. Yeah fine, the system had a lot of issue
  11. Behold, the graphical components of the campaign:
  12. "My" Gilligs ranged... from model years 2000 to 2010. Our 2004 batch was noticeably smoother and better built than all the rest. One unit from that order, I actually enjoyed driving. But that was it: I probably took the wheel of 50 individual Gilligs... and I only 'bonded' with a single one. That may sound ridiculous, but other operators here will know what I mean. You learn the quirks of each bus; the better ones really do feel like your partner on the job. So, props to 3027... my "token Gillig friend". Yep. I didn't find the cockpit cramped per se, but just really awkward. When a
  13. I sure hope so. I mean, give Gillig credit for stepping into the big leagues. Gilligs aren't just for midsize cities anymore. And sure, their aftermarket/parts operation is, um, responsive. For the good of the transit industry, though, the Gillig design needs some serious updating. The bone-jarring, motion sickness-inducing experience of riding a Gillig is not acceptable. And their institutional exterior appearance does nothing to make transit more attractive. Our biz has enough challenges as it is -- you'd think we'd at least make the vehicles somewhat appealing. That's the most vis
  14. Nice. Las Vegas is a pretty fascinating place for transit. Despite a sprawling, suburban landscape laced with wide, high-speed roads, they've managed to create a heavily used bus system from almost nothing. As a robust transit corridor, Boulder Highway is especially unlikely (current BHX, former 107/407). As recently as, what, 1993... almost none of today's transit routes even existed! There are lessons here for other suburban-ish systems: invest in good coverage and decent frequency, and people will ride. In Las Vegas, neither coverage nor frequency is excellent... but both attributes a
  15. This comes up semi-regularly. Gillig's bread-and-butter is small and midsize transit agencies. Most of these agencies have little or no use for articulated buses. Considering the additional complexities of building artics -- and the fact that New Flyer and Nova already lead the market -- Gillig has little to gain by introducing an artic model. The sheer magnitude of an artic project at Gillig would distract from their daily business of selling two 35-foot buses at a time to Billings and Jefferson City and Muskegon. Larger systems that run Gillig and artics... aren't terribly set back by
  16. Uhhhh that pic of 721! I can hear the 6V92TA roaring through the JPG image! The 'regular' RTSs looked way more comfortable in Oahu, even though they were fewer in number than their flat-fronted cousins, the 200-series RTS-08s. I sure wish there had been more RTS-06s -- thankfully we have great photos like this to remember them by...
  17. Wow. The Nashville MTA brand was definitely due for an update. I can deal with the name "WeGo" -- but the whole package feels incomplete and generic. The logo and typography make it hard to take seriously. Then again, Nashville publicly uses the name "BRT lite" for their, um, BRT lite service. Here is a system that has a LOT of potential and very high pent-up demand (despite their loss at the polls). I hope this will evolve into something more professional, more conducive to attracting/educating new customers. I don't love the initial WeGo paint scheme, but it's at least an
  18. Aww, too bad As the sun sets for the 2300s, what is/was the "general" consensus on these buses? What did Metro operators, mechanics, customers and fans think of them? Speaking only for myself, I'll miss them. I know they got slow and rickety toward the end. Still, I actively enjoyed D60HFs every single time one pulled up. Riding at the back was a particular treat -- something about the combination of the seating arrangement and the back window. Those babies handled city and freeway routes adeptly -- and they were landmarks of the fleet. I saw ~three units sitting on the ready line at Ry
  19. Downtown Detroit during a weekday rush hour. Try Larned & Woodward... Griswold & Congress... and you can get good views of buses turning at Griswold & Michigan. Plenty of representation from both DDOT and SMART. And Transit Windsor, too! Grand Circus Park (top edge of Downtown) is another photogenic location. That also puts you part way to Midtown, where there's decent transit action on Woodward, Cass, Mack/MLK and Warren. By the time you're Downtown, you can just follow your instinct up/down the major streets served by buses. As @160 Downriver mentioned, you'll
  20. Truth. There's signs of cut corners everywhere at Circulator. Now that it's a "mature" system, I can't understand why it still gets 1,000x more love than Metrobus... when, in 95 percent of cases, WMATA delivers a superior experience: cleaner buses in -much- better condition... and the reliability of service isn't any better or worse than Circ. And if it ever is "worse", it's because Metrobus routes are much longer and serve far more varied environments, while Circulator routes are pretty boutique-y. Oh... and now WMATA is contracting out Operations & Maintenance at Cinder Bed Division?
  21. @The Neoplan Rider Studios ... this convo got me thinking back even further. The "original" Neoplans (3300-3714)... I always associate those with the Valleys (D8, D15... maybe with some occasional appearances at D9). Did they ever have any presence at D3? It's hard to picture RTSes holding down the 180-181 at -any- point in history... For that matter, I wonder where the 3300s ran their final runs. I recall them hanging on as late as ~2002 or so... but don't remember where the last ones were to be found...
  22. Wow, good find. Hard to tell from the article if their focus will be on intercity coaches or transit buses. Fair enough, the few Van Hools in North American transit fleets have been problematic. But, it seems that with a few adjustments, Van Hool could have a viable product for the US/Canada market. Hmm... AC Transit and DC Circulator haven't had a great experience with their Van Hool fleets. I don't know of any others in the US. What is the conclusion on Van Hools in York Region? Or does the newer fleet of Nova artics answer that question?
  23. RIP, refleX. A unique and effective service that will disappear into a footnote of history. If that.
  24. (drools) The 6700s... did those spend their entire life at Division 3? I don't care how many New Flyers & NABIs there are, the 180-181 will always be Neoplan turf... ¡Siempre! Oooooh, nice catch with the 1100s. Wow - what weird buses. Was there any functional advantage to the third axle? Seems excessive for a 40-foot vehicle that wasn't really much more than a standard transit bus. But I'm sure there's a backstory of which I am unaware... One of those bad boys made it up to Santa Barbara as a party bus -- painted in gaudy silver. At last check, she camps out in a small lot off Chapala
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