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About MVTArider

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    Reporting From the Twin Cities

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    Twin Cities, MN

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  1. MVTArider

    Metro Transit

    Those 600xx units when ordered were for the contracted fleet, and assigned to Lorenz for operation on the 62 line branches that they operated. (It was an odd setup with Lorenz operating some trips, and Metro Transit operating others) However with the major route restructures that happened with the Green Line opening in 2014, the 62 service was changed and also moved entirely to Metro Transit operation. At that point those buses were then re-assigned to the Metro Transit fleet. They are now part of the general 40' fleet out of East, they carry ads, and can be found on various routes from that garage. (54, 62, 68, 74, etc.) The buses have some subtle interior differences but are basically the same as the rest of the 40' ones so no point in keeping them separate. Bus numbering in the Twin Cities breaks down like this: (source) Metro Transit: 0000-3999, 7100-9999 MVTA: 4000-4999 Southwest Transit: 5000-5999 (but they have yet to use the 5) Metro Mobility: 6100-6599, 61000-63199, 64100-64199 Scott County: 64000-64099 Opt-Outs and Contracted: Big Buses: 6000-6099 or 60000-60999 Small Buses: 6600-6699 or 64200-66999 When buses get transferred between operators though they typically don't bother to change numbers. The 43xx Gilligs that went from MVTA to First to replace the 2003 D40LF kept their numbers, or the 6xx and 23xx Phantoms that went to Maple Grove Transit and Plymouth Metrolink respectively also kept their numbers. I saw one at the State Fair earlier this year, amazing they've kept them this long after grousing about having to run 12 year old MCI coaches previously. I see the MVTA 2006 D40LF are also up. I'm surprised the 2003 Low Floors aren't on there though, or maybe they auctioned them earlier. I'm sure a few of those buses will pop up in the Lorenz fleet. --- A couple pics from today, 7109 has been sitting in the reserve line outside South but it was working the A Line this afternoon. And also a snap of 1201 on the 84. I have seen 1200-1204 on the 84 so far. Orange Line BRT funding has finally been approved by the FTA, scheduled to open 2021: https://metrocouncil.org/News-Events/Transportation/News-Articles/FTA-Announces-Full-Federal-Funding-of-Orange-Line.aspx
  2. MVTArider

    Metro Transit

    I rode 1200 on the 84 today (first day of contracted route operation) and spotted one other unknown LF/BRT unit on the line as well. Looked like they basically stripped all exterior advertisements off 1200, cleaned up the interior a bit, and sent it over to MTN. I was wondering if they might've assigned the 2013 60036-44 40' LF/BRT units back over to MTS for contracting but then I saw 60044 on the 54 (Metro Transit route) yesterday. Now I'll have to spot some more on the 16 and 84 to see if they assigned a series (ie. 1200-1209) or just some buses at random.
  3. MVTArider

    Grande West Transportation

    Nothing set for orders, but Iowa transit agencies now have the Vicinity as an option to purchase under a state DOT contract. METRO: Iowa DOT approves contract to add Vicinity buses Edit: a bit older news item but some Mississippi agencies have a contract in place as well. METRO: Miss. transit authorities to purchase Vicinity buses
  4. MVTArider

    Orion Bus International

    I'm not sure who even owns the rights to the brand and name, Daimler AG? NFI? I doubt the name would return after 6 years of rest, and it's even less likely the VII3G+E would be revived and developed. Then again I suppose a band of transit nerds from NYC could start rumors and buy the Orion website and cite sources of MTA having interest in looking at a bid proposal on Facebook ­čśë
  5. MVTArider

    New Gillig model

    I was told by a rep at APTA Expo in 2017 they are working on developing an artic model, with something out in 3 years. Otherwise there's nothing new for styling that's been made public yet. Let's look at the competition: Xcelsior is 10 years old now, so I'd expect NFI to come out with some sort of minor styling change on it in the next couple of years, or perhaps a new model. History shows they roll out either a new model or restyle every decade or so. (LF, Invero, LFA, LFR, MiDi, Xcelsior) Now thay they have other manufacturers (MCI, ARBOC) in their corporate umbrella though they may be content to let it ride for a while. Nova LFS, I think it is still the same frame (exception to the powertrain end) and basic style from the mid-90's*, but obviously a 1998 LFS and a 2018 LFS look different. A 1996 Low Floor and a 2018 Low Floor also look different for that matter. NABI restyled their LFW twice and look where it got them. Orion restyled the VII and they also no longer exist. (Though likely more due to MB killing them) ElDorado Axess and EZ-Rider have been upgraded and seem to be thriving in the smaller segments. As has been said before they would be wise to plan for the future in terms of staying relevant with a more fuel efficient and modern design. However as long as they are making a profit selling their product, there's no reason to drop and replace it with something different immediately. *Any mechanics or engineers with knowledge in this feel free to dispute.
  6. MVTArider

    Future of Flickr

    Actually, does anyone have a way to contact a family member of his to see if there was any password or login left behind? If there was I'm sure someone close to him would be happy to accept a donation and keep the account active.
  7. MVTArider

    Future of Flickr

    Agreed! I was happy to see SmugMug buy them honestly, I was thinking Google or Facebook might snap them up and turn it into a big ad revenue user data collection mine. I certainly have no plans to leave Flickr anytime soon, unless they seriously screw the site up or something. I wish they would've offered some sort of middle option, like 5000 uploads for $12 a year, but $1 a week for unlimited uploads and hosting isn't terrible. The only downside with this new free account limit is when someone passes or just forgets about renewing their account, we potentially can lose a treasure trove of historic photos.
  8. MVTArider

    BYD "E-Bus"

    Good for them giving BYD their mess back instead of trying to save face and hide it. I wonder what CCW's turn time is on a rebuild? I would think they could gut, rebuild, and re-power a set of 10 D60LF in less than 18 months.
  9. MVTArider

    Ozark Regional Transit (Springdale, Arkansas)

    Press Release PDF: ARBOC secures first major order for up to forty Spirit of Equess medium-duty transit buses for Ozark Regional Transit
  10. MVTArider

    Metro Transit

    The end on an era, former flagship routes 16 (major stops now covered by the Green Line LRT) and the 84 (Snelling Ave to Ford and Cleveland now covered by the A Line) will be transferred from Metro Transit operation over to Metropolitan Transportation Services division and contracted as regional routes effective with December 1st route changes. The new contractor will be Metropolitan Transportation Network, a local outfit that currently operates school buses. It appears this is their first time going into public transit operation so it'll be interesting to see how it works out. 16 and 84 will also be trimmed down to reduce duplicate service with the Green and A lines and function more as feeders. I'm very curious to know if they will be operated with contractor fleet 30' Gilligs, cutaways, or if some Metro Transit or older opt-out 40' buses will be transferred over. Unless they've transferred some other services from contracted to Metro Transit in the past services changes, I don't think there are enough spare 30' buses to cover both routes. Route changes, most are simply reinstating cut trips from during the driver shortage this summer: https://www.metrotransit.org/routes-will-change-on-dec-1 More interesting stuff from recent meetings: Presentation on Electric bus MOU and charging infrastructure agreement Memo on negotiating a contract with MTN for the operation of regional routes Presentation on 2019-2024 Transit Capital Program - Of particular interest is one subtle bullet point stating buses extended to 14 years
  11. MVTArider

    Wheel Forward Buses

    My error, I remember the fareboxes on First Glasgow now, and Lothian. I recall on some other services though I paid the operator directly, i.e. Arriva, EnsignBus, and McGill I think. I was getting a bit impatient watching riders pay with contactless, On our North American systems it's the instant touch and go validation, while there it seemed to take 2-5 seconds a card to validate! I think it's also worth pointing out that in the UK 'cutaways' can be found on low volume services: Walsall Community Transport DK08OSZ by J. Mc., on Flickr
  12. MVTArider

    Wheel Forward Buses

    Ditto. Transit fare collection in the UK (outside of London) is just about the same as here where passengers pay as they board at the front door either with cash or a pass. One difference is in North America we use fareboxes. Many UK operators use the 'dog dish' method with a cashbox and quite a few even make change. Transfers, day passes, etc. are printed out on receipt type paper vs. the tickets we are used to here.
  13. MVTArider

    Duluth Transit Authority

    Nice! I was up in Duluth myself the week before the Proterra went into service. During my brief visit new Gillig Low Floor 40' 1800-1809 had just entered service. DTA was also operating Southwest Transit 524, a 2016 Gillig trolley, presumably on loan. I hope I can make it back up to Duluth sometime soon to ride a couple of the Proterras.
  14. MVTArider

    Alexander Dennis

    Yes, historically there have been lots of chassis options across the pond even with the same body design, can be a bit confusing for us North American fans who are used to just make/model! Enviro 400 bodied on: Scania chassis: ADL (Dennis Trident) chassis: Volvo hybrid chassis: Enviro 300 bodied: Integral E30D chassis: MAN chassis: Scania chassis: From my understanding the Volvo chassis tends to be preferred by busfans for ride quality on Enviro and Wrightbus models over the others.
  15. MVTArider

    Winnipeg´╗┐´╗┐ Transit 300-36´╗┐9 (2018 XD40)´╗┐

    IMO if a white base livery is here to stay, they could still do a modernized orange decal band around the top of the bus. Perhaps something like orange background with the T logo and 'Winnipeg Transit' in creme color. Other systems, i.e. Metro Transit (MN), MATBUS, Thunder Bay, use this decal method and it seems to work well.