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About MVTArider

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    Reporting From the Twin Cities

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  1. New Winnipeg - Selkirk service

    Next month it'll be this guy probably...
  2. Metro Transit

    Time for the annual State Fair transit report! 7109 was the one 2004 Low Floor observed in a temporary wrap for the arterial bus A Line service, while I did see it a few times over the 12 day Fair period, I unfortunately never had a chance to ride and was only able to get this lone photo with my phone (albeit better than nothing): Metro Transit 7109 Overall the A Line service seemed a bit better this year with 8012 added to the fleet and 7109 as an extra, but there were still some bad times of bus bunching. Of course this is unavoidable given how congested Snelling gets during the Fair. For Metro Transit a number of Phantoms including 976, 996, and some 10xx series were out and about. I spotted 996 on the 960 service during the Fair, and also was able to ride 1024 on one of the local routes. D60HF also made appearances, although they seemed to be operated mainly on the peak period express routes while XD60 worked the all day Fair services. I did spot one D60 at the Fair during my visit, but was unable to get a photo. And finally as before I'll just plop the State Fair shuttles operated by Lorenz in here as well, lots of goodies to see this year. Lorenz appeared to have moved the majority of the service back to their own transit bus fleet thanks to recent additions of retired D40LF from Houston, Met Council, and at least one Gillig Low Floor from MVTA. I think the oldest units in their transit fleet are now 1995 vintage Phantoms. No 6V92TA units remain from what I observed. The Houston units I'm guessing are from the 2000-2001 orders, as they sounded like they had Cummins and not S50. I could be mistaken on that however. I'm sure a Houston area member can provide better info. In other news, transit fares will be increasing by 25 cents on October 1st. https://www.metrotransit.org/fare-increase
  3. Alexander Dennis

    So it sounds like the 200s are essentially replacing an ARBOC and a 30' Gillig, (and the XDE35 replace a 30' Gillig and a D35LF). Would love to know what the other agencies involved are. I have to suspect MATBUS, they also have some 30' Gilligs up for retirement soon. At any rate it's nice to see the 200 continuing on in the North American market. Now the question remains, will we see the 200 MMC styling brought here to match the current 500?
  4. Seattle Area Transit Pictures

    Some random shots from my short 1 day visit to Seattle back in June: I stayed down in Federal Way during my visit, was interesting to see how congested those HOV lanes on I-5 get. Are they even enforced? Still it was a nice ride on the 177 (or was it 178?) with a D60 in the morning, and then another nice ride on the 590 to Tacoma with a BRTPlus CNG in the afternoon. (Wow that bus could move!) LINK was a bit nicer experience this time around with every 10 frequency. Glad they keep your light rail cleaner than Metro does here. Our trains simply reek sometimes. Also had a chance to ride a DE60LFA on the A down to Federal Way TC. I took the LINK from DT to Tukwila, and then A down to Federal as there was no way I was going to try taking my giant suitcase on board the D4500 on the 577 from downtown, and apparently they aren't allowed to take anything underneath. Makes me wonder how they handle luggage at SEATAC on ST routes with D4500 though... Also managed to catch what appeared to be the lone Enviro500 (MMC) on the 512 to Everett during the AM. Very nice ride. Was sort of funny as I saw it coming up 5th and was thinking, alright! Then the lady waiting there says to me, ooh, we get the double decker! I guess they are pretty popular even among the non-enthusiast riders!
  5. Jefferson Lines

    https://www.jeffersonlines.com/travel-information/travel-to-canada/ Definitely looks like some sort of low fare promotion, was $25 from Minneapolis to Fargo to Winnipeg, but $38 from Minneapolis to Fargo on a trip I checked. I wonder if they have just one operator driving for the entire trip from Fargo to Winni and back to Fargo? Seems like that would be a fairly long shift, even though there would be a roughly 4 hour break between arrival and departure.
  6. Metro Transit

    Interesting sighting this afternoon, spotted one of my favorite 71xx 2004 Low Floor units done up in the arterial rapid bus scheme (similar to 8000-8012). It was either deadheading or working the 134. My guess is MT is planning on dedicating one or two to the A Line during the State Fair this year to help with bus bunching and crowding. Last year they had a few regular buses on A during the busy times. Also noticed they have started adding advertising to the exteriors on some ABRT buses. Haven't seen any wraps yet but I'm sure one will surface eventually.
  7. Metro Transit

    http://kstp.com/news/st-paul-police-arrest-driver-car-crashes-into-bus-killing-1-/4549934/ My thoughts and prayers for the victims of this.
  8. Minnesota Valley Transit Authority

    Wow, been a while on the updates. I spotted one of the new 47xx 2017 Gillig BRTs a couple weeks ago. There are also 47xx 2017 MCI being added. I assume these are replacing 2003 ones, which are now eligible at Met Council 14 year standard. Meanwhile I saw a 2003 Gillig last week still running on a regular assignment. Haven't seen any 2004 D40LF in a while, although those would be more likely confined to peak service being based at Eagan Garage. Also: http://www.mvta.com/news/double-decker-will-be-on-display/ If they do go ahead with pursuing doubles it'll be interesting to see how they assign them. P&R express would be the obvious choice, however routes like 465, 475, 495 would probably be a great fit. (All day service blocks but largely express type service.) Of course I'm sure we all want Enviro500 in the MVTA fleet just because they would look wicked in the silver and emerald MVTA scheme!
  9. Metro Transit

    Finally got around to tweaking/updating the Metro Transit wiki last night based off the fleet list. I'll try to throw some pics in there as well soon. 31xx D60 and a chunk of the 2002-2004 Phantoms are still on standby for use as spares during the 2017 State Fair. Stray appearances of them may also be seen during rush hours. 1790-1799 are all in service now. 2004 Low Floors 7105-7109 are still in service, I spotted one a couple weeks ago. It'll be interesting to see if they run them to 2018 to put 14 years on them as is happening with the 2003 Low Floors from MVTA. I also wonder if they will start an 18xx series soon to replace those, or hold off and save that series for the next big order which would be in 2020/2021 to replace the 2008 LF/BRT. Also Metro Transit will be getting battery electric buses eventually from what I understand. Sounds like they are holding off until the 2007 Hybrids will be replaced starting in 2019. A smart move IMO, let the technology mature another year and see how the new Nicollet Mall corridor functions for transit operations.
  10. https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/daimlers-new-bus-will-automatically-brake-for-pedestrians/
  11. Car Rentals

    Enterprise Exotic now has a location at MSP. They've got various Land Rovers, AUDI, BMW, Porsche, Mercedes, Corvette, and Camaro SS. Advantage MSP has added some Chevy and Toyota sedans to their fleet, I remember last year it seemed like half their cars were Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. National for pickups has added some Nissan Titan, a bit of a change from the usual F-150 and Ram 1500. RAM 1500 is still my fav in the large pickup category though I've also noticed some Nissan Armada along with Infiniti QX80. The Challengers and Chargers with the Hemi are fun to drive too.
  12. General Motorcoach Spottings & Photos

    Spotted one of Eclipse's 2016 TS-45 at the MOA last Saturday: The rest of their fleet from what I'm aware consists of C2045 and a J4500 or two. Was nice to finally see a TS-45 in person
  13. Metro Transit

    The First Transit legals have been quietly disappearing on a number of the 29' Low Floors, kind of interesting as Schmitty doesn't take over those routes until July 30th from what I understand. There was a new toy waiting to ferry me home tonight, Metro Transit 2017 Gillig Low Floor 40' 1790! Biggest difference from the 2016 batch is they have gone with frameless windows and black frames on the interior. They are also still trying out different seating configurations, this one has two 3 seat flip up benches with Q-Pod in the front for wheelchairs, but then on curbside there are three individual flip-up aisle facing seats, while standard 2x seats face forward on the streetside. Still the standard ASC InSight model with a nice cushion. 1790 also has the same 6 speed ZF transmission as do all the 15xx-17xx units and some of the 14xx.
  14. Megabus US/Canada

    ^ Reminds me, I got a couple pics at the beginning of the month: Are they still running TD925 outside of the Midwest? Or is everything in North America being operated by regional Coach USA/Canada affiliate fleet? Personally I'd be more likely to choose Mega to Chicago now, knowing I would likely get a ride on a nice Van Galder J4500 instead of a beat TD925
  15. Duluth Transit Authority

    I've been informed the Proterras should arrive early 2018. In other news the DTA downtown transit center has been closed once again due to nearby road construction blocking access. It should reopen July 1st. Meanwhile the system is utilizing the Holiday/TCE exchanges on Superior.