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About MVTArider

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    Reporting From the Twin Cities

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  1. https://www.mvta.com/cms-files/october_28_board_packet.pdf The October 28th board packet has minutes from the previous meeting regarding RED Line as well as some very detailed response and slideshow. Also MVTA's 3rd quarter ridership report. Regarding the Novas, they are "problematic" according to officials. So my previous thoughts on them possibly being refurbed and assigned to regular contract route assignment are unlikely. They'll probably be popping up on MinnBid soon after Metro Transit takes over and a new fleet is assigned. At this point though my question is where are the new buses to replace them? Given that new buses here tend to take a couple weeks for PDI before they're pressed into service then either, 1- something better show up soon, or 2- RED is going to be served by the existing A line fleet.
  2. MVTArider

    Metro Transit

  3. Well, 7 years later, here's what's become of the Utah ZEPS Gillig: https://www.govdeals.ca/index.cfm?fa=Main.Item&itemid=1897&acctid=7735
  4. MVTArider

    Metro Transit

    B and D line funding approved in a bonding bill passed yesterday, hopefully it makes it into law. KSTP article Perhaps Met Council is waiting until that funding is certain before issuing new RFPs for 40' and 60' units. I spotted 3202 on the 5 and 3214 on the 22 (or was it another route..) yesterday. Also it looked like the D60s at South were parked back in the corner of the side lot when I rode by on on an express. Seems like Metro Transit is running more trips with 40' buses vs. 60' buses again on some lines as ridership comes back heavier on others. They still have ghost or double bus runs on the 68 and presumably a few other crowded lines as well.
  5. I took a ride on the RED Line last week. Both Novas I rode were in great shape, aside from the doors. The doors on them are really slow and I noticed the rear doors on one were jamming. With the RED due to be transferred to Metro Transit operation in December (see Metro Transit thread) and new buses eventually replacing the Novas I was also looking at the interior layout. If they were to keep the Novas and re-assign them to regular route service all that really needs to be done on the interior is remove the bike racks and install 1-2 rows of seats. So considering they're at about 8 years of regular service now, they could likely pull another 3-4 years out of them easily with a few minor fixes and a repaint. Apple Valley Transit Station is closed to allow for social distancing and probably also to avoid vandalism and loitering with how quiet it is currently. All buses drop off and pick up at northbound Bay D currently. In more general MVTA news, they have installed custom plexiglass barriers on all their buses to act as an air barrier between operator and passengers. Express service has returned on some routes, however a number of trips, route segments, or specific routes are still suspended due to the large drop in demand for daily commuting and low ridership. Finally a few pics:
  6. Three RTS up for auction: Auction #2646837 - 1995 RTS Nova 30' Transit Bus (#9521) 4RKNDTGA2SR830741 Auction #2646861 - 1998 RTS Nova 30' Transit Bus (#9826) 4RKNNTGA9WR833123 Auction #2646874 - 1998 RTS Nova 30' Transit Bus (#9830) 4RKNNTGA6WR833127
  7. There are a bus load of ex-GGT RTS and V on Public Surplus currently. Most auctions are ending soon. Here's the lists that were attached if anyone's interested.MCI and Novas Auction Posted 9.16.2020.xlsxGGT Orion Auction Posted 9.18.2020.xlsx
  8. MVTArider

    Metro Transit

    Looks like I'll be going for another Red Line ride pretty soon I hate to see the service dropped from MVTA/S&S operation as they've done a fantastic job with it over the years. But from an operational perspective it does make sense. South would be a better base than EBG as they can likely reduce total operator hours with less deadheading. Plus South can maintain a standard fleet of the Gillig BRTPlus ABRT units for Red and A. (and perhaps D as well eventually) The LFS are 2012 so they can technically be dumped soon as they qualify for retirement due to mileage and age. Given that they're oddballs and would need new seats added otherwise that may be the plan. However, they could easily be refurbished to regular route spec and continue to run either with MVTA, MT, or MTS/First. Really giving them to First would make sense IMO as they already deal with a diverse fleet anyways. Heck, with COVID they could probably get the cost of a few new seats covered with a grant by spinning it as a 'social-distancing optimizing interior seating layout' prototype. What will be really interesting to see is how they plan to have MT covering facility service/maintenance at the CGTS and AVTS stations. Both are obviously MVTA transit stations that Red Line stops at, and are not exclusively Red Line stations. --- For spottings I've noticed 1203 running on the 84 a few different days. Also the new fareboxes are starting to appear on the 16xx Gilligs. Seems like MT is still figuring out the bus capacity to ridership assignments thing on a week to week basis. The weekend of the September pick change more 40 footers were on some of the Sunday 54 runs, so the trip I took to work on a 40' had around 25 of us on there. Then the next week every run was an artic again. Loving the Transee bus info. Awesome to see which trips coming up have the 60' vs. the 40'. I find the arrival info for the stops isn't always as accurate, at least the couple I use, but it's still a good source.
  9. I need to renew my vehicle registration by the end of the month. I never got my renewal notice in the mail though. Not sure if that's due to COVID delays, or if my change of address I filed last year never went though and it got sent to my old place and then 'returned to sender'. Well I checked online and I can easily renew my reg. online just fine but thing is for security they won't tell me what the current address is for the reg. so I know it'll be mailed to my current place. So I'm going to have to go to a local deputy registrar office after all and renew in person. Hopefully they can look it up and file the renewal as well and me not having a renewal slip won't be a problem 🙄 The amount of crap retail workers need to put up with is astounding sometimes. Sucks when it's coming from within and not just the village idiots. (That's one of our terms for select customers at my work)
  10. It still has the classic Protato look despite a little tweaking in the design. Glad to read this new model has improved suspension. Though it wasn't terrible, that buckboard ride was one downside to the Catalyst models. I'd be interested to see how the additional front charging port works with a bike rack option, or if that would be a 'one or the other' thing.
  11. The pseudo quaint-town-main-streety facade is a tad strong IMO, though certainly better looking than a bland beige wall of uniformity. I hope some successful local businesses can get established. Ideally a mix of stuff to appeal to a range of incomes and needs. Places that seem to cater exclusively to high-end tastes tend to struggle if they aren't in a very well to do high income area from what I've seen around here.
  12. To go with that, if this is a new service proposal IMO it would be best to run it first with some regular fleet or re-assignable fleet to gauge ridership and see if it would be successful. Then invest in a dedicated fleet of buses, electric or otherwise, for the route(s) if it is sustainable. Electric buses are nice, but average rider doesn't care much about what the vehicle is, they care if it gets them where they need to go in a reasonable or quicker amount of time compared to other means of travel at their disposal.
  13. MVTArider

    Metro Transit

    3141 on the 54 this morning
  14. How is the MTHA doing in general with the Pandemic and such? I'm wondering if WT may eventually affect their fleet storage situation as well with ongoing budget cuts?
  15. Yes we have two downtown zones, one in Minneapolis, one in Saint Paul. You can ride any route including the light-rail within that zone for 50 cents a ride, but need to start and end the trip within the zone. From what I'm aware, the main target of the downtown zone fare was downtown workers looking to go eat lunch or do a little shopping. I don't know how well used the fare is. I've only ever bought one in my 15+ years of riding. Generally here you're better off paying a regular fare of $2 which gets 2.5 hours of unlimited rides on regular routes. We do also have free service along Nicollet Mall in DT Minneapolis. Northbound route 18 buses (every 10-15 minutes) and Southbound route 10 buses (every 10-15 minutes) are free to board between 2nd St and the convention center. The buses then go out of service as they hit the ends of their runs at those points, so it eliminates continual riding or folks camping on board.
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