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Border City Transit

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  1. Yes, second that. VTA... is the only place that I've seen it so far. But with Gillig's total, hegemonic dominance of fleets from coast to coast to coast to coast, it's likely to show up elsewhere. I agree, it looks odd. The Gillig "BRT" package was a so-so attempt. I do -not- like Gilligs (looooong list of reasons...), but I will confess that the front end -- from the outside -- looks halfway decent with the BRT-style cap. If the "BRT" styling is perfume on the pig... this mash-up is more like cheap, off-brand salad dressing on the pig.
  2. @Buzz2kb strikes again! Haha. Great pics and follow-up. I dig RTD -- a big variety of routes and service types. Pretty much any type of transit service you'd find anywhere in the US, you'll find at RTD. Despite their Gillig-heavy fleet, it's still a fun system to watch. Must have been twice as fun when they had Gillig Phantoms, Neoplans, Flxibles and Canadian New Looks! That is consistent with my observations/understanding. Definitely, the artics all run out of RTD's directly operated Platte and East Metro facilities. Interesting that the MetroRide artics have t
  3. Dang, I miss those Neoplans. Spacious interiors, untinted windows, subtly stylish exteriors. Glad that so many of them made it into California Poppy Orange paint before sailing off to retirement...
  4. LOL! Look at that New Flyer peeking out from behind, as if it's rolling its eyes and saying "you're really taking a picture of that thing?! Heh -- whatever floats your boat!"
  5. Thank you for sharing! CATA is a really good system... the best in Michigan, in many ways. MSU campus service definitely figures into their strength. What's always impressed me, though, is their regular/off-campus service. Not many mid-sized US cities have 8-10 minute service on a long, non-shuttle route (Route 1). I also appreciate their clean, ad-free New Flyer buses and their professional employees. The overhead picture of 554 / 6009 / 571... is that your pic? I've seen that picture before (a less cropped version of it). It's hands-down one of the BEST transit pics I have ever seen.
  6. Here's a pair of DDOT's new New Flyers -- back windows and all -- hanging out near Eastern Market on a recent Saturday morning. By the looks of it, the rear signs were not properly programmed for the "Fresh Wagon" routes serving the market. The rear signs work just fine on other routes. Throw a new paint scheme on those babies and we'll have some truly first-rate buses! As of now, 1700-1719 are on the prowl regularly. Nine more units of identical spec are slated to arrive in early 2018. Not sure if they'll continue the 1700 numbers or if they'll crack the 1800 series.
  7. Hmm, you're in Pittsburgh? Aren't Port Authority's 3100-series Neoplan artics still running? I was there in October (2017!) and, without hunting for them, came across quite a few Downtown. Those are ~2005 units, probably some of the last Neoplans produced. They are just reaching retirement age, and I believe Port Authority has New Flyer XD60s on order -- presumably to replace the remaining Neos. I'm not sure how Port Authority disposes of retired buses. But keep your eyes open, I suppose. I can't think of too many other Neos still on the road (San Francisco Muni? Anyone else?) I always
  8. Yep. And leave it to the Detroit News to completely exclude the positive new features of these buses. They are indeed New Flyer XD40s (good!) with the same outdated, 1977-era paint scheme (bad!)... but they have some noteworthy new features: * Rear route number sign (a first for Detroit) * "Skylight" roof hatches at the front and back * All yellow stanchions on the interior for better visibility * drum roll please... BACK WINDOW! There's only 20 on the road so far (1700-1719) but they're getting around. They are MUCH nicer to ride than any other DDOT bus. Like a million times brighte
  9. Wow -- great pics! They look like an exact cross of a NABI and a Nova. Pretty striking. Big ups to METRO for going with the back window! That is such a nice feature that's slowly making a comeback in various places... Totally dig the all-yellow stanchions on the interior. These look like great buses and I don't have much to complain about. But hey, the joy of transitfanning is in the nitpicks, so here goes: Time to give rear route number displays another try? I know they had back luck with 'em on older units, but the Luminator hardware has matured -- and the back looks empty without
  10. Great info. Thanks. I like that METRO's fleet is fairly diverse. Probably still a few years before replacement of Orion VIIs begins -- so we can get accustomed to a fleet of Nova, New Flyer, NABI and Orion into the next decade. Not to mention the MCI commuter buses! I've lost track of the original New Flyer D40LFs. The Xcelsiors... will they completely wipe out the rest of the "Old" Flyers? Once the new deliveries are complete, it will be interesting to see how the fleet-to-BOF distribution shakes down. Like, something tells me the whole fleet of diesel NABIs will eventually find their w
  11. Good catch. A brand new type of bus... yet any New Flyer always looks at home in Houston. Can't quite tell... is that a back window I see? I know METRO's Novas have a back window and it's an option on the Xcelsior. Did METRO carry this customer-friendly feature through to the NFI order? Or is it just nighttime reflections and glare getting my hopes up?
  12. @Buzz2kb as usual, awesome pics of an under-appreciated system. Thanks. Man, I never know how to react to those Flxibles. And whenever I'm in Omaha, I always manage to -just- miss them for a picture. Flxs were/are awesome buses that I miss dearly (I used to drive 'em)... but those O-Metro units are so heavily "rebuilt", it's kind of bittersweet. Like coming across an old friend who had a bad facelift or something. The New Flyers look nice; the unusual paint scheme fits XD40s and D40LFRs quite well. Are they still switching orders between Gillig and New Flyer? Seems like every ot
  13. 4. In the 1996 Gilligs, the purchase included 774-784 as well as 785-795. Don't know whether they had the same specifications. Re 1996 Gillig Phantoms 774-784 and 785-795... the notable difference was the engine. One set had Cummins, the other set had Detroit Diesel. Not sure which was which; also not sure if they had different transmissions. I don't believe there were any other major differences.
  14. Wow, thanks for the report @Buzz2kb ! Can't wait to see the pictures. VIA has an interesting and photogenic fleet. I am not super-familiar with VIA itself. But, I can attest that interlining is traditionally quite popular in Texas. Not sure why, but most large systems in the Lone Star State practice (or have practiced) extensive interlining. In VIA's instance, each half of the interlining pair maintains its own number and name. 14 Perrin Beitel and 79 Ruiz are, at a quick glance, different routes. Yet they consistently operate as one. (I wonder how that looks in Trapeze...) Over in Houst
  15. Great pictures! Also, I spent a solid hour browsing your Flickr. Interesting to see pics/true-to-life snapshots of less-covered transit systems. Thanks for sharing! If only we had mid 90s era variety of buses to go along with the wide coverage of systems. RTS in OKC, Flxibles in Tulsa, Neoplans in Little Rock... now it's pretty much Gillig, Gillig, Gillig, Gillig, Gillig, Gillig and more Gillig -- with the occasional appearance of a New Flyer if you're lucky!
  16. 1. Ha. How about that. I couldn't have been more wrong -- between the 40-footers and artics, Novas are everywhere -except- Kashmere. Kind of surprised any went to Northwest... 2. Right. In many instances, a base contract includes options. So, with the proper funding, a transit operator could buy more from an existing vendor without going back out to bid. I've seen options last for up to 5 years from the initial RFP. I don't know if the Nova contract included options; if it did, that's why I'm curious why METRO went back to New Flyer. 3. Any chance that Fallbrook's suburban artics would end
  17. Woo! A welcome survey. If nothing else, it could at least result in better/clearer designations for Route 85... which is really two separate routes. The two "branches" have almost nothing to do with each other... TheBus isn't shy about using letter suffixes (even when those are scantly related to each other -- 88 and the phantom 88A are distant relatives at best!)... wonder why "the 85s" escaped separate designation. Never seen anything quite like that...
  18. I am a scheduling/blocking/runcutting geek and am curious about TTC runs. Run numbers, to start. On the vehicles, only a two-digit run number is visible. 1. With such a large operation, I suspect that each route (at least most of them) has its own set of run numbers. Is that the case? 2. Do runs actually have longer/more meaningful numbers? Or is it just "Finch East, Run 1... Neilson, Run 1" etc? 3. In casual convo, how do operators/staff refer to specific runs? Like, imagine two operators chatting about runs: "I want ________ because it pays great." "Umm hmm. I'm eyeing that ________
  19. They do nothing to increase it? After the economy bottomed out and started humming again, TriMet has increased frequency at every possible opportunity. When TriMet had to cut service in 2011/2012, they were very up-front on the hit it would take to frequency. Even then, they stated a goal to achieve frequent service when resources allowed. As finances stabilized -- and resources did allow -- they (re)built frequency. Route by route, day by day, time period by time period. To me (and many others here) this is obvious -- but I guess it's worth stating: providing service is the most expen
  20. Kudos to TriMet for understanding (and actively promoting!) the importance of service levels. Portland gets a lot of attention -- maybe even too much attention -- for the planning and real estate aspects of high-quality transit. It's led other transit systems to try and replicate Portland -- minus the service levels. Needless to say, a streetcar or LRT or BRT at 20-30 minute headways isn't very useful. No matter how much the real estate developers froth at the idea of "TOD". It's encouraging that TriMet itself isn't so imbued with "the Portland effect" that they disregard service levels. M
  21. Beautiful units! Thanks! Of course, a few questions: 1. At which BOFs are the 40-foot Novas ending up? They seem very Kashmere for some reason... 2. Is METRO somehow unhappy with Nova? They jumped right back to New Flyer before the Nova order was even complete... Hard to imagine that the contract with Nova didn't include any options... 3. Do any of the original Nova artics have suburban seating? I was surprised to see that the new ones do. Which longer-distances routes will use these artics? And maaaan, you're not kidding about the New Flyer D40LFs. They will be sorely missed. They a
  22. Excellent info. Thank you! Is the 2240-2485 batch the only set where the rebuilt number related to the original number? If I am following the suspected pattern, 2240-2485 were 8740-8985? (of course, minus 8821 which you pointed out) Then, the others were assorted New Looks from various pre-8740 batches?
  23. Forgive me if this has already been addressed... But is there a final batch roster of rebuilt TTC New Looks? I'm not looking for a one-to-one conversion table of each original 8xxx unit to its new 2xxx number (though that'd be cool too!) Rather, after the last one was rebuilt -- and the rebuilds were running at full strength -- what was the roster? The rebuild program started in the 2000 series -- which "jumped up" to 2150 at some point. And of course, there were the 20 Montréal units in the 2600 series. As I recall, most of them ended up with 2200-2300 and 2700-2800 series numbers.
  24. Miami-Dade's willingness to invest in "test fleets" is interesting. It even goes back to the Flxible days... when their 1993 order consisted of three different variations of Flx Metros. Different engine/fuel combos... CNG, LNG, Cummins, Detroit, etc. What's up with Miami-Dade and Gillig? They've purchased more than one small orders of Gilligs -- and now they have a quantity order with New Flyer. Can I (please!) accept this as evidence that they're not exactly enamored with Gillig?
  25. Hmm... artics at South Bay? Any actual indication that it will happen? It would mark the first time (I think...) that San Diego artics would be operated by a contractor and not directly by MTS/SDTC. They're busy routes in South Bay territory, but they do a lot of turnover... so the buses aren't usually overcrowded for long periods of time. Which South Bay routes would benefit from artics? For that matter, any thoughts on which "city" routes (operated by IAD and/or KMD) could perhaps use additional artic capacity? It's kind of hard to imagine them on 201/202 for some reason...
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