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MVTArider

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    Twin Cities, MN

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  1. Probably American Red Cross or similar mobile blood drive lab, looks very similar to units they have run around here.
  2. Service levels: I think many operators are anticipating returning to 'regular' service schedules once the worst of this is past. Note a lot of the systems out there with reduced services running are stating it's a temporary or interim measure. Once this is over there may be some permanent reductions in express commuter services if there is simply not demand for them due to ongoing job losses or a long-term societal move towards telecommuting. On the other side there may also be some increases in regular services if more folks need to use transit due to economic hardship. Transit vehicles: If there is an ongoing higher focus on cleanliness I would expect to see solid/hard seats or vinyl padded seats on vehicles become more common. Operator compartment partitions may also become more standard. Future vehicle redesigns may also have some of the interior elements designed better to facilitate easy cleaning. Fare collection: Larger systems may be more likely to go to card only to minimize money handling. There may also be a few systems that decide to operate fare free beyond the temporary back-door boarding basis.
  3. I'm planning on some similar house activities myself. I also have a wood deck that needs a good scrub (Pine-Sol works wonderfully!) and then the planting beds in the front yard are still a disaster so I'd like to get that all cleaned up. Might have a go at mixing some concrete for a small pad in the backyard as well. Agreed 😎 It's going to be some adjustment for myself this summer not riding buses and going out and about like I usually do, but it's going to likely be a good opportunity to catch up on some tasks at home, maybe eat healthier and drop a couple belt notches, and just relax vs. going full bore. All of the transit conventions I had wanted to attend this Spring/Summer are cancelled, and I can't be certain things won't still be affected next year, but on that front I'm still going to cautiously look forward to attending a convention in 2021.
  4. MVTArider

    PACE

    ^ The full rear destination sign fits nicely in that rear window! Overall looks nice. Those things will probably be rattlers though after a few years pounding some of those Chicagoland streets 🙄
  5. MVTArider

    Metro Transit

    There are 4 31xx parked to the side of South which appear to still be in revenue ready status. There was also a dozen or so buses parked outside of South yesterday in the 'problem' corner. I noticed one had a quarantine notice posted in the window. They probably have to take very serious precautions with any biohazards or sick passenger incidents now. I noticed a 2 car train on the Blue line as well today. It appeared empty despite being in service around 2pm. I stopped riding myself after my 31 day pass ran out last week. Ironically my last ride was the same day they rolled out those new guidelines for riding on essential trips only. I'll be driving my car the rest of the summer at least if not the rest of the year. I'm glad they're planning accordingly with a lot of the ridership staying at home. Even when things start getting back to normal (or a new normal) it'll be interesting to see if they continue to operate service at a reduced rate if there's still reduced demand. EDIT: Also nice write up on Streets MN!
  6. ^ I think it's the same deal with some of the special deals being advertised by the auto brands now. (At least in the US market) Brands X, Y and Z are just having those 'kind' offers of no payments for 3 months/no interest for 24 months, or 'don't make any payments for 6 months in event of layoff' etc. because they want or need to sell all this excess fleet they suddenly aren't selling like hotcakes. The consumer will still likely get slammed with deferred interest later down the line. Then of course it sucks more as they'll be trying to pay off the full loan on a vehicle which at that point is depreciated and likely starting to need repairs on stuff just out of warranty.
  7. Welp, yeah we are in a pandemic To answer the original question of how am I coping or what am I doing, in short I've been transitioning the last couple weeks to be ready for whatever comes next, while also getting used to changes that have already occurred. Thankfully I've been able to stock up on a reasonable amount of extra food for me and the dog, got my next medicine fill early, and should now be set in the event I suddenly need to stay home for 1-2 weeks. I've been stepping up the hand washing, cleaning, wiping down, etc. I had to pick up a tub of skin cream though as my hands were literally about to crack open and bleed from dry skin 🙄 Socially I've had to adjust as a few things I'm used to doing, such as church activities, hanging with groups of friends, or volunteering, have suddenly changed. Today instead of a typical 3 hour volunteer shift at a local food bank I work with, I was there for 5 hours working non-stop with the staff as we did our best to plug as many orders out to our clients as possible. Honestly it was emotional at times, i.e. rolling a cart of groceries out for a frail old couple who were just ecstatic they would have food and be able to stay home instead of trying to find something they could afford at a picked over supermarket. I'm not even sure if I'll be able to volunteer next week, as the organization may just have to close temporarily. At work (rental car industry) we've been hit hard from the lack of travel. 80% drop in business at my location this week over last year, and it's still going down. I'm likely getting transferred soon as a different division is really in need of help. I'm not sure how long that work will last but should be covered for another few weeks at least. On the plus side in the event I do get sick, or there's a mandatory stay-in-place in our area, all employees are getting 2 extra weeks of sick pay should they need it. I guess the biggest change, and most relatable on this forum, is transit. I probably took my last ride for a while on Metro Transit this Tuesday. I stopped taking transit to work regularly after Sunday as my 31 day pass expired. Metro Transit is requesting that all riders only take transit for essential trips. As a transit fan, while I still want to go out and ride and fan for fun, it is time to step back and respect the much greater reality that I need to do my part to minimize contact and potential germ spreading as much as possible. I have a perfectly good car so that is how I will be getting around for a while. I guess in the interim I can still go for a nice walk and get a few photos along some routes in my area, or drive to a transit center. (Driving to go transitfan at home instead of riding always feels like cheating though 😛 ) I can always work on organizing and looking through my boxes of schedules and system maps I've accumulated over the last 15 years too... This COVID-19 is becoming a new era in our way of life. While (I truly hope and pray) most of us may not be heavily affected by it health-wise, it is likely going to affect ALL of us in other ways. That said, life will go on. Be safe, be careful, think of others. Don't be selfish.
  8. MVTArider

    Metro Transit

    I haven't heard anything.
  9. MVTArider

    Metro Transit

    I finally had some time this past week to get a few photos of the C Line and take a little ride. Unfortunately the XE60 were all running in a row with XD60 filling the rest of the blocks, so when I got downtown initially I just found a bunch of diesels and decided not to go for a full ride. Still 8700, 8702, and 8704 were all running. ABRT sub buses 3426 and 3428 were also both running. I'm guessing they must be working on the 8100's and 8700's still since they haven't returned those to the regular fleet yet. A few other random photos as well, 1445 was repainted, the 7300 and 1500 series have been getting repaints lately or are being prepped for it from what I've noticed:
  10. I was planning to attend, but will need to stay in town during that time for various reasons. I guess my next Orion V sighting will be at CyRide during BHA 😎
  11. Good question, and I think this applies not just KCATA but to all North American transit systems. IMO what exactly will happen remains to be seen. Responses will vary from system to system, city to city, and it'll depend on many factors. Staff availability, ridership demand, and health/safety protocols would be the main ones. If there is widespread infection then service may be temporarily reduced or suspended or changed. If there's a lockdown quarantine of sorts and all citizens are asked to stay home and limit travel then it would be silly to run empty buses around. Alternately if say 1/5 of operations staff are out sick, or there's a large no-show % due to avoiding potentially infected riders, they would need to run reduced service to compensate for reduced staff availability.
  12. SWT will be getting 4 of the low entry MCI coaches off an option from AC Transit: https://metrocouncil.org/Council-Meetings/Committees/Transportation-Committee/2020/March-9,-2020/0309_2020_97.aspx
  13. Madison Metro is rebranded as Metro Transit now, with new buses carrying the new Metro Transit livery. All the Gilligs I spotted were still in the old Metro scheme. To keep costs down they are not re-painting any older buses into the new scheme aside from some promo wraps. Here's a couple shots from East Towne transfer point taken on Feb/12/2020: Not sure how I like the livery, it is more modern looking but I kinda liked the color scheme and logo of the old one. The XD40 (unless they're actually XDE40?) do not have rear window, but the rear is navy blue vs. black which is an improvement. Also notable is the move from confining to a three digit fleet unit number to what appears to be a year based number instead. Additionally they are getting electric Protatoes this year.
  14. Tried digging in the Wiki a bit but could only find this, no VINS: https://cptdb.ca/wiki/index.php?title=Rochester-Genesee_Regional_Transportation_Authority_'Gillig_Advantage'&oldid=48467#901-919 IIRC they were also rejected and sold to Metropolitan Council due to height restrictions on various routes, as the 11'6" roof height was too high to squeeze under a few 'can opener' bridges.
  15. MVTArider

    Metro Transit

    I have to wonder how well hybrids do in mothballed status, I would think the batteries would drain after not running for an extended period. I guess we'll just have to keep watching Minn Bid. --- Route changes are up already for March 14th. One of the big ones that will affect hundreds if not thousands of riders is the 54. Almost all 54 service to the airport will be suspended when hwy 5 reconstruction starts. Due to hwy 5 being restricted or completely shut down depending on the construction phase the 54 will run regular to 7th/Maynard, then detour to American Blvd. via Shepard, I35E, I494. Obviously MT needs to work with what they get so I understand their revised service plan. If late night Blue Line service is still routinely delayed as it was a couple years ago when I was riding regularly those transfers between train from MSP to 54 EB at American Blvd. are gonna suck. https://www.metrotransit.org/routes-will-change-march-14
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