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  1. Reactions to Transit Enthusiasts

    This document is a valuable source of information regarding your rights as a photographer on public property: http://www.krages.com/ThePhotographersRight.pdf The key paragraph: Transit centers are more like private property than a public sidewalk is so there may be specific rules of conduct that can prohibit photography on the premises. Even if there is no such rule, most places will have rules against loitering and police or security guards may be within their rights to ask you to leave if you are hanging out for a while with no clear immediate intention on boarding a vehicle. Always be civil and if you are asked to leave it's best to do so - if you believe you have the right to take pictures and want to return, follow up with the transit agency and obtain the proper permission.
  2. Reactions to Transit Enthusiasts

    I thought about it but I didn't. I was satisfied with standing my ground - frankly, I think he was full of crap and his remark was intended to get me to react. I wasn't about to give him the satisfaction.
  3. Reactions to Transit Enthusiasts

    I had a nasty run-in with a driver on the 7 Bathurst on my last trip to Toronto. I photographed his LFS artic at the layover at the Steeles Ave. end of the line and walked away when he dog-whistled me and yelled 'This is going on Youtube!' I turned around and notice he's taking a video of me. I walked over and politely explained that I do various types of transportation photographing throughout North America, that's all, and he's all 'I don't care. You shouldn't be taking people's pictures'. I told him that you can't even see him in the photo and he's still 'I don't care'. Seeing that I'm getting nowhere being polite and civil, I told him 'Well, have a good day' and as I'm walking away he says 'Someday, someone's going to stick that camera up your a**'. I stopped, turned back and responded 'Well, you realize that would be assault, right?' and he says 'Yup, and the only thing that's preventing me from doing it right now is this TTC patch on my shoulder'. I just said 'Whatever' and walked away. Nice guy, huh?
  4. Gillig product discussion

    The problem is the capital cost, both for the buses and the charging infrastructure. A few progressive cities like Seattle are willing to spend the money up-front for zero emissions fleets, but many medium and smaller-sized transit agencies are barely scraping together the money now just to buy diesel and CNG buses. Where is the money coming from when buses are 60 to 75 percent more expensive and you need charging equipment for every one? Until the federal government and/or state governments pony up some big bucks, zero-emission bus fleets are going to be just a dream for many cities.
  5. Gillig product discussion

    Full adoption of electric buses is a long way off. I think we will need to see batteries and garage-based charging capabilities reach the point where they are demonstrably cheaper than diesel or CNG. I'm skeptical because hybrid buses have been in use for almost 20 years and we haven't seen the purchase cost come down, and various reports have shown that the supposed benefits of hybrids being cheaper to operate than diesel over the 12 to 15-year lifespan of a bus have not been proven.
  6. Gillig product discussion

    It's not just the matter of designing an articulated bus - these days, you have to offer it in CNG and hybrid configurations as well as clean-diesel. That is a lot of development money to sink in to a market that is already filled by NovaBus and New Flyer.
  7. Centro (Central New York RTA)

    Update on the bus fire - all of the D40LF's have been spotted on the bus tracker since Tuesday except for 2503, so this confirms that it was the bus that caught fire. D30LF update: 2400, 2403, 2404 and 2405 have all been spotted in Syracuse. They tend to run rush hours only on certain runs - the 84 has had 1 or 2 in the morning, the last afternoon 152/172 interline has had one and they've also appeared on the 58 and 262X. All four buses have the updated scheme - I knew about 2404 and 2405 but hadn't seen 2400 and 2403 repainted. 2403 is unique in that the front number is lower and the small blue Centro logo appears above it.
  8. Centro (Central New York RTA)

    Regular Oswego bus 2503 had the new paint scheme, but it's not uncommon for D40LF's from Syracuse to spend a few days up there as buses are swapped out for maintenance.
  9. MiWay

    Um, yes, you should have experience driving a bus if you are going to make sweeping judgments about the driving skills of bus operators. The skills needed to operate a heavy-duty North American transit bus are very, very different than those required to operate an automobile. The slower acceleration alone is a major factor as it opens up the endless potential for other drivers to cut you off because of the large amount of space that opens up between the vehicle in front of you and your bus. Add to this the need to interact with customers, provide them with a safe and comfortable ride, monitor the interior of the bus for any criminal or inappropriate behavior and the expectation of enforcing the policies of your employer and you get one of the most stressful driving jobs on the continent. Watching the speedometer and feeling jerky starts and stops is not sufficient information to judge a bus operator's skills. I don't live in the GTA and I rarely ride MiWay so I'm not in a position to judge the agency, its service or its employees, but I do feel compelled to respond when people with zero experience in the transit industry take gratuitous shots at those who do provide the service. There are some bad employees in any organization but I do believe that the majority of operators are conscientious and try to do a good job.
  10. Centro (Central New York RTA)

    Some of the 2400-series D30LF's that were displaced by the new Gillig shorties this spring are now operating on the Syracuse routes - 2400, 2403 and 2405 have been spotted in service so far.
  11. STO 89xx-95xx Classic Spottings/Retirement Watch

    They should preserve the best original STO Classic left in terms of structural condition and overall reliability.
  12. Centro (Central New York RTA)

    Latest New Flyer repaint in the new scheme is C40LF #2531. On the unusual sightings front, Gillig 30-footer #1705 was on yesterday afternoon's route 38 run from Syracuse to Auburn via Elbridge and Weedsport. A 33-mile run in a bouncing baby Gillig - whee!
  13. STO 89xx-95xx Classic Spottings/Retirement Watch

    I assumed that STO retired the 1996 and 1997 Nova Classics and the RTS's to simplify maintenance because they had so few buses with the S50 engine.
  14. Future TTC Bus Orders

    BYD is making a big push to break into the North American market, so I wouldn't be surprised to see them open a facility in Canada.