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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. Proterra

    One of Proterra's Catalyst E2 units is currently in town touring with the MVTA: https://www.mvta.com/news/minnesota-valley-transit-authority-taps-proterra-for-big-game-week/ I was able to catch a ride on it on the 403 express shuttle service, it seemed to do well with the freeway. I think it was going about 60-65mph on the Hwy 77 portion. Of course a lot of cars whizzed by like we were standing still as everyone likes to go 70-80 on 77 I'm just assuming it's a 2017 since it looked fairly new and I didn't see it at the APTA Expo. (IIRC someone said they were building another E2 demo) It was being operated as a regular bus so didn't want to pester the operator about any technical details. Obligatory photos: I also posted a ride video too if anyone's interested.
  2. They could switch them to something like B1, B2, B10, etc. Wound help differentiate the service a bit, like the C(X) community shuttles or N(X) night routes.
  3. Metro Transit

    Word from one of the operators is the previously averted strike for ATU transit operators may be back on for Friday as apparently while Metro Transit approved the negotiated contract, Metropolitan Council still has not voted to fund it... There is an item from Management Committee to approve the agreement at the general MC meeting this Wednesday, so I assume it will go through and service will continue as expected. Also at the MC meeting this week they'll likely be voting to approve a $12,601,519.68 purchase agreement for eight XE60 and six chargers for the C Line from New Flyer with expected delivery in 2018/2019. Service on the C line will be operated with 14 buses total, 8 XE60, 6 XD60, and is expected to start in 2019. Mall of America has a new temporary transit hub set up for the buses: I'm not sure if this is only in place for the next couple of weeks in preparation for the Superbowl LRT security or if this is also long term in preparation for the upcoming MOA Transit Center reconstruction project. And finally on the subject of Superbowl there are a host of service improvements and special service to help ferry fans about: https://www.metrotransit.org/super-bowl-riders
  4. Transit videos

    I'll just shamelessly plug my short compilation vids I put together recently with clips from before/during the 2017 Vancouver BHA convention: TransLink Buses TransLink SkyTrains Still one of my favorite systems
  5. Metro Transit

    ^ According to an application from one of the recent meeting agendas, it might actually be 8 XE60, plus 6 XD60. Three doors, all for operation on the C Line arterial bus scheduled to begin service in 2019ish. Recovery times for the C line run blocks are expected to have longer time allotments to allow for recharging. So it sounds like these will be fast charge and not extended range. With Nicollet Mall reconstruction complete the buses are back: Once again Mall routes are supposed to be operated using 100% hybrids. We'll see how long that holds up. I observed a 16xx violating that while wandering downtown that afternoon. 2017 LRT cars 260, 261 were on a test run on the Blue Line a couple nights ago. The complete order is 260-264 I believe. They are S70 units identical to the other 2xx series, however they've gone back to Aries 4MA model seats as found on the Flexity-Swifts instead of the nice ones the other Siemens units have. Well, at least they still are putting actual seats on the trains as opposed to some systems.
  6. Sorry to SPAM the threads with pics here, but IIRC someone was asking before about how the interior would be for the XE60, so here's a few shots from APTA Expo:
  7. Proterra

    Atlanta APTA Expo Proterra pics for anyone interested. I rode the Catalyst E2 demo between stops at the convention center, seemed like a very solid and nice bus. AC was great on it too! A bit noisy compared to the XE40 though. I was Nova had an LFSe demo instead of a LFS, would've been nice to compare.
  8. Grande West Transportation

    Can't confirm on the rear wheels as I didn't look specifically at those. This CNG is actually 32' and not 35' as I originally stated, thanks to Tilley for the correct info. Was informed by a sales rep it was 35', though as we know a busy sales rep at a tradeshow may not always be the best source on technical info
  9. Grande West Transportation

    A bit stale now, but, a few pics from the APTA Expo: ... and a couple un-obscured shots from MARTA yard visit with MBS: ... and a short ride clip aboard one of the MARTA community routes: MARTA 1726 Ride by J. Mc., on Flickr
  10. This was taken in 2014 but thought it was interesting, Google Streetview from ABC Faribault:
  11. Brandon Transit

    It may be held for a while due to legal holds and not necessarily a write off. When a transit vehicle is involved in any sort of major accident involving injuries and/or property damage, depending on the agency and circumstances it can be held by the legal department for months while court cases, claims, lawsuits, etc. are processed.
  12. Emory University in Atlanta, GA has a fairly sizable campus shuttle system that serves it's main campus and hospital facilities. The system is comprised of about 20 different routes, although some are special services which only run during select periods. The shuttles are operated and presumably owned by First Transit. The fleet consists largely of ElDorado National EZ Rider II BRT 30' units, some 35', small cutaways, and at least one Axess 40'. The Axess is completely white with only the Emory logo on each side, so I'm not sure if it's just an older unit, or recently acquired used or transferred. The cutaway pictured was the only one I spotted, but I'm guessing there are others for late night services and dial-a-ride. The shuttles serve designated stops on campus as marked with Emory Cliff bus stop signs. From what I can tell the system is officially known as Cliff Shuttle, but 'Cliff' is not really noted aside from some references on the shuttle info. pages, and an emblem on the bus stop signs and side of each bus. For information on the system visit the Emory shuttle information page: http://transportation.emory.edu/shuttles/index.html
  13. Macon Transit Authority

    During my trip to Atlanta, to attend the MBS convention and APTA Expo last week, I started off with a quick visit to Macon. The fleet is now comprised of XD40 running primarily on route 9, ElDo Axess on a couple of routes, VII on another route, and cutaways. I'm guessing funding for the MTA is not at the best level, as the system definitely looked like it could use some TLC. Very few of the dest. signs were working, most buses seemed to have a paper sign in the window. The next bus announcement signs at the downtown terminal weren't functioning. The buses themselves have a lot of wear and tear that would have likely been repaired at a different agency. Bus stop signage at many stops still consists of the old scheme. The way the schedules are set up it appears they are trying to maximize the level of service out of what service hours they can afford to operate. For example the route 9 I rode to and from downtown to the motel is scheduled with a 5 minute recovery time downtown, for a run that takes about 80 minutes, with multiple traffic lights, turns, traffic, circuitous routing, and absolutely no transit advantages whatsoever. The bus was 5 minutes late when I got on heading downtown, and about 20 minutes late leaving downtown when I headed back on a later trip. I must commend their staff though, despite being late with no time for a break and having to deal with impatient riders the drivers at the terminal all seemed to be very upbeat and friendly. Now for the photos, the XD40 have a unique design compared to the typical layout most agencies buy. I spotted 525, and got pics of 526, 527, all wrapped and running route 9. These all have a centered rear door, and two ramps: The Axess also appear to have ramps for each door from what I can tell. Two of the three I got pics of were unwrapped, with another in a Mercer Bears wrap. Also 522 caught fire I'm guessing, as you can see it with obvious smoke damage to the roof in the recent Google aerial view of the MTA yard: https://goo.gl/maps/BpJgXs7JeBC2 And finally some shots of VII 587 and 589, as well as some cutaways. 716 is not noted in the Wiki list, I'm wondering if it might be that previously mentioned 'zero emissions' one? It was crawling down the street when I took that pic like it was having problems with acceleration. It appeared to have Freedman CitiSeat model from what I saw through the window. Not often one sees a cutaway with dual doors either. Also here's one of the old Cherry Blossom Express bus stop signs. Anyone know what that name is from? I can't find any record of the system being called by that name.
  14. Metro Transit

    6 XE60 for 2019: http://www.startribune.com/metro-transit-getting-6-electric-buses-in-2019/447804953/
  15. Gillig product discussion

    Since I was at the APTA Expo I asked someone with Gillig about this. An artic model is being planned but it will be a while. I'm guessing there'll be one actually produced and displayed for APTA Expo 2020. Was told the battery electric design was more important to develop first so they did.