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  1. https://www.mvta.com/news/dec-3-service-changes/ New (return) route 498 Southdale LINK - hourly service weekdays from Marschall Road TS to Southdale TC via Golden Triangle area, Fairview Hospital, Southdale Medical Center 444 - increased weekend service frequency to 30 minutes Orange LINK - new northern terminus at Burnsville Walmart Other minor changes in the posted link --- I take it MVTA/Schmitty is not struggling to recruit and retain drivers to cover their bare minimum service needs like MT and First...
  2. MVTArider

    Metro Transit

    Not really Metro Transit, but also not really worth starting a whole new topic on currently IMO... City of Saint Paul is currently requesting bids for the Como Park shuttle. Their current fleet consists of 5 General Coach EZ Trans 'Low Floor' transit bus cutaway unit things. These units are owned by Saint Paul and contracted out for operation. I haven't actually seen one since 2014 when Jefferson Lines operated them. (I don't visit Como Park Zoo much) According to an addendum they are planning to replace 3 of the units in 2023/2024 and keep 2 if operationally warranted. Currently they're in storage. If they do go for replacements It'll be interesting to see if they go for anything more substantial than off-the-rack cutaways. Attached is the current fleet info. Based on receiving dates 3 units are 2009, 1 2010, 1 2012. I'll link a photo I took of one in 2014 at Jefferson. Como Shuttle 3399 by J. Mc., on Flickr Bus unit information.pdf
  3. MVTArider

    Metro Transit

    Thanks for requesting these and sharing! Wow, lots of historical stuff too. I didn't know some of the U of M fleet was actually under MTS purview. I believe First did own the D60LFs and NABIs, and likely the assorted secondhand Phantoms. Not sure on the RTS or Bluebirds though. It may have been a different type of operating contract back then with Laidlaw as well. Hmm, according to TransSee on the XDE40s 7290 hasn't run in service since May, and 7291 since last December. I wonder if they'll find a way to dispose of those soon or just sit on them until 2024. Will also be interesting to see if the new 2022 baby Gilligs finally start running in service with the 12/3 changes. My only guess on them sitting so long is perhaps they still need some parts due to the supply chain issues.
  4. Baked Protato... I hope no one was injured I heard previously SEPTA was having issues with them structurally and was in a back and forth with Proterra over whether they were fit for service or not.
  5. MVTArider

    Metro Transit

  6. Who exactly is their Chicago operator, or is there even one currently? Just checking the megabus site Chicago is not an option at all right now for trying to pick a starting point. I believe Coach USA franchisees Van Galder (Janesville, WI) and Wisconsin Coach Lines do sell/accept megabus tickets on their line run services in Wisconsin and between Minneapolis and WI. Van Galder I know runs a few J4500 with megabus decals as well. (i.e.) This actually makes it even stranger that Chicago is not an option since Van Galder runs almost hourly service between Chicago Union Station and at least Rockford or Janesville via ORD. (Service may actually all extend through to Madison, I haven't dug into the schedule much) Coach USA Van Galder 68250 by J. Mc., on Flickr
  7. Hertz's IL plated Gilligs probably got sent over from O'Hare. ORD transitioned to a CONRAC a year or two ago rendering their off-site rental shuttles redundant. Yes, cost savings is the main factor for rental brand sharing of buses. Enterprise would be operating shared buses for all three brands (National/Alamo/Enterprise) if they could consolidate rental operations onto one lot I'm sure. Interesting to see/hear Enterprise Holdings and Hertz Global Holdings going for ARBOC units, Sixt has at least one in Denver as well so that model may be a more common sight among the remaining rental car shuttle fleets in the future. (Sidebar, rental cars are mostly operated by three main companies now AvisBudgetGroup Avis/Budget/Payless/Zipcar, Enterprise Holdings Alamo/Enterprise/National, Hertz Global Holdings Hertz/Dollar/Thrifty/Firefly. So if one of the brands in a 'family' operates a certain model of shuttle it may likely be run by another as well.) Nice coverage! I find the off-site shuttle operations at decentralized major Airports interesting. Industry standard for rental cars is moving from off-site individual lots to CONRACs whenever feasible. So the amount of US Airports with the individual rental car companies still responsible for shuttling their own customers is steadily dwindling. Denver, DTW and Raleigh are some of the remaining large volume holdouts. LAX is the largest, but their new facility will begin operations soon. Possibly the same series as the 2021 ones they gave to First at MSP, 588, 590-592. I can't tell from the pics if they are the 37' model like ours or not though.
  8. MVTArider

    Metro Transit

    I watched the presentation on this. I'm surprised they're cutting Orange right down to every 30 off-peak vs. trying to do 20, but if that's how ridership is then I guess it makes sense. 465 is another good option in that corridor at least between Burnsville/SBTC/Lake/DT. They mentioned one of their contractor providers is struggling with staffing. (First) However they also mentioned there was additional opportunity to contract some service (7, 65, 70, 75, 852, Red). It'll be interesting to see what contractor they'll be using on these routes. Schmitty contract routes 87, 534, 537, 546 will be trimmed, so if they aren't having as much of a staffing challenge as First that certainly opens some capacity for operating additional routes. However I doubt they would handle all of those. I would assume First would get a few assigned as well. Of course the real question here is what will be done with Red? Will 1750-1756 just get pawned off on a contractor, or could we see some 29' Gilligs (or cutaways!?) bouncing along on Cedar? On the contracting note there is also a RFP pending for the Small Bus and Two Rivers area contract. BEaR contract was awarded to Schmitty again back in March.
  9. MVTArider

    Metro Transit

    I have to wonder if these continued staffing issues will have any effect on which vendors are considered when the next 5 year contracts are awarded for the MTS regional route zones. (Or if they'll even get bids? Perhaps we may see Metro Transit actually start running some 30 footers and take over a couple routes in the future?) Seems like First is really struggling to retain staff. Meanwhile Schmitty doesn't seem to have any major issues fulfilling their operating needs on the MC regional routes or MVTA, though they do appear to also be slightly shorthanded on occasion. (I.e. canceling the 4FUN route this weekend to accommodate more Ren Fest service)
  10. https://rptride.doublemap.com/map/ It'll show the bus number when hovering the cursor over the vehicle marker. Usually works for other systems that use this real time location mapping as well.
  11. I still haven't spotted any sign of the XE60 units on the route tracker... Though I suppose they could either be not tracked or using a repurposed ID from older Gilligs. Auctions: 236 2005 Gillig LF 15GGD291551074888 237 2005 Gillig LF 15GGD291751074889 Currently older units 227 and 233 are tracking, so it looks like these are retired more due to cost of upkeep > benefit of maintaining vs. part of a full series replacement.
  12. CDMX's (Ciudad de Mexico) new trolleybus line 10 commenced trial operations on September 11th, and is anticipated to open for revenue service on October 15th. (Though with several past delays that remains to be seen) The line is completely elevated and serves 11 stations. It is in the southeast area of CDMX and extends east along Ermita Iztapalapa from Metro Constitución de 1917 (Line 8/Cablecar Line 2/CETRAM) to Acahualtepec/CASA Libertad UACM. A further extension on the eastern end (delayed due to construction setbacks) will connect the line to the planned terminus of Metro Santa Martha (Line A/Cablecar Line 2/CETRAM). Frequency is expected to be every 5-8 minutes and fare is 7 pesos (35¢ USD / 46¢ CAD) Another new elevated trolleybus line, 11, is also in the works. It will extend further southeast from Santa Martha out to Ixtapaluca. Line 11 is currently beginning initial construction. Here's an overview video of a ride POV from the front of one of the buses on a portion of the new viaduct. Fairly impressive infrastructure.
  13. MVTArider

    Metro Transit

    Interesting how a handful of the 714X+ 2008 Hybrids are still running regularly while their full diesel counterparts are done for. I wonder if the EPA07 ISL is less reliable than the ISB/Allison Hybrid system, or if it's more to do with the hybrid batteries needing to be used X amount of time after replacement. I rode one of the 7140 series on the 54 recently and it seemed to be in good shape for a 13-14 year old bus. There aren't any direct replacements coming in for the 11xx units either correct? Granted in the overall fleet scheme some 40' units will be/have been indirectly replaced by 81xx XD60 on the Orange and new D line. I'm a little surprised they are auctioning off those cutaways with the blue/yellow stripe still on them. Although the logos are removed I'm sure average person on the street would look at one of those and assume it's a 'Metro Transit' handicap bus. Also for unusual bus assignments 8145 was on the A line working an evening run recently. At least that's better than a regular route Gillig.
  14. MVTArider

    Metro Transit

    Has there been any sign or recent sightings of the 2022 shorty Gilligs for the MTS Regional Routes pool entering service yet? I see the 2008 60xx units and the ex-MT 40 footers are still running regularly. Considering some were built in February and others spotted in delivery in April I imagine they must be stored somewhere waiting for parts or something. I noticed at least one motorcoach parked with the retired 11xx units at South last week. I wonder if a couple of the 2009 ones will be sent to auction soon.
  15. I'll submit two different photos of Des Moines 1504 and the following caption for consideration, personally I like the non-sun angle picture since it shows the Iowa State Fair sign with the 2022 dates in the background and seems to fit the historical documenting theme, but I know sun angle photos are the ones that are preferred here so am including another 'better lit' shot as 1504 departs the State Capitol. (If this does get chosen use whichever you like better) Anyways... ---- Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority, or DART, 1504 is seen on special service route 1 Fairgrounds - State Capitol express during the 2022 Iowa State Fair. The 2022 Iowa State Fair shuttles were the last major assignment for the remaining active DART articulated bus fleet prior to their full retirement. 1504 was one of seven New Flyer D60LF model articulated units purchased by DART for use on their express routes. They were all built in 2000 and originally operated by the Orange County Transit Authority. Prior to being placed into service with DART in 2015, these units were completely re-manufactured by Complete Coach Works. As of 2022 DART has no plans to reintroduce articulated buses to their fleet at any time in the foreseeable future. This is due to continued lower ridership demand on express routes post-COVID-19 and being unable to operate articulated buses on routes serving the DART Central Station due to the shorter platform bays. Photo(s) by Jaron M. / MVTArider Taken August 18th, 2022.
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