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MVTArider

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Everything posted by MVTArider

  1. CARTA in Chattanooga, TN has also been running electric shuttles on the downtown free shuttle since the 1990s. CARTA 729 by J. Mc., on Flickr
  2. Duh, I should have thought of that Yes I just checked and those have got to be ex-SWT 353, 354. Northstar Link had ex-SWT 351 YP053351 and 355 YP053355 in 2014. SWT meanwhile had no 2000 or 2001 MCI left in their fleet in 2014. It was around that time they were pushing against the 14 year minimum life cycle for the coaches so MC let them replace their 2000-2001 units at 12 years and then reassigned those to other operators.
  3. 451 on the 1 Milton Ave Loop Tuesday. Not sure if there are still D35LF in service or not. I only observed buses on route 1 during quick stops along Milton going to and coming from Suburban Chicago and did not have time to visit the transit center. I also got a photo of 450 which I'll post on my Flickr eventually.
  4. IIRC there used to be a coach 0053 and 0054 with either Metro Transit or a MTS contractor. Those may have been x-fered to MVTA temporarily while they were waiting for new units? Here is Zack W's photo of 0051, a 1998 or 1999 102-DL3: 1999 MCI D4500 by Zack W, on Flickr
  5. MVTArider

    Metro Transit

    Crime aboard the buses and trains has been in the news a lot lately. Sadly it has been an increasing issue in recent weeks. Just a few hours ago two people were shot on board a C Line bus downtown, 1 dead, 1 in critical condition. The suspect is in custody: https://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2020/02/06/minneapolis-police-1-dead-after-double-shooting-in-downtown/ A few weeks previous an individual was stabbed to death on a Blue Line train following an earlier altercation: https://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2020/01/23/1-dead-following-stabbing-on-blue-line-train/ These sort of events, along with various media reports and various complaints from constituents has gotten the attention of the state legislature. Lawmakers proposing new oversight to Met Council to combat crime on light rail system - KSTP MN Legislators propose change to improve Metro Transit experience for riders - KSTP
  6. MVTArider

    Metro Transit

    ^ During the State Fair in late August would be the best time to spot any remaining Phantoms or D60 out and about. Yes they may run some on the Fair shuttles, but the majority this past Fair seemed to run on peak period revenue service while newer (probably more reliable) equipment ran on the all day Fair shuttle services. If you aren't here during the Fair however there will likely still be a couple of the 32xx D60 on the express routes, they seem to pop up on the 850 branches. In addition to the Xe60 on C Line, you may also want to swing by the U of MN as they're likely be a Van Hool A300L or two on the 121 and possibly the 122 even during the summer break. Otherwise just checking out the bus action on the MARQ2 corridor in downtown Minneapolis during the weekday AM and PM rush hours is always interesting. Yesh it's mostly MCI D4500 and 20 flavors of Gillig Low Floor / BRT, but it is an interesting sight anyways from an operational perspective. --- In LRT news Metro Transit is getting new high rez cameras with livestream capability installed on all trains. This will allow transit control to better monitor the service and respond to crimes and incidents more efficiently. Council Presentation PDF There was also recently a RFP for replacement seat inserts for all the LRV as they are planning to transition from the current upholstered seat panels to solid panels. They do already have a few cars with solid panel inserts for testing. I barely ride the LRT lines though so haven't had the opportunity to see one myself.
  7. Those solid seats are getting popular. Metro Transit is converting all the light-rail seats to hard panels instead of upholstered panels as well. Not as comfy, but it does make for a cheaper to maintain and cleaner seat.
  8. I don't think they care about some people posting tons of school bus photos on Flickr, their complaint (which I can understand) was simply so many school bus photos appearing repetitively in the 'Explore' feed. As an aside though it is kind of funny how for some (many?) of us we will go out of our way to grab a shot of a motorcoach or transit bus spotted somewhere, yet happen across a school bus with perfect 3/4 sun angle in a parking lot or where ever, easy shot, but meh just not interested.
  9. MVTArider

    Metro Transit

    Dang! Nice find TC! I remember MnDot used to have something similar but when they redesigned their website a while back I was unable to locate the files. I've saved a copy myself and will have a go at updating Mankato, Rochester, and a few other US operators I have some knowledge of. 60036-60039, 44 entered service with Lorenz as MTS units originally and then transferred to Metro when they took over the odd runs on 62 and 80 got re-assigned in a new contract to First. Very interesting. IIRC MTN got the 16 and 84 on a trial contract basis. There was that audit of MTN a few months ago that found a lot of issues, so I wouldn't call them a shoo-in. From the plan holders list it looks like there's going to be some competition on this one. Coach USA, Transdev, First, Schmitty, Lorenz, MV and Voigts. Granted downloading docs doesn't mean they'll bid. I hope it can stay local though.
  10. MVTArider

    Metro Transit

    The 2007 RTS spec hybrids are starting to retire, in addition to the two on auction 7113 also appeared to be in sell-off state at South: I'm guessing with the hybrids they want to be rid of them as soon as feasible, instead of pushing them to 14 years like the diesels. Plus if those batteries are shot then it would be foolish to replace them for just an extra year of standby service. The two listed are gutted and scrap though, so not sure. 3105 - 5FYD2NU093U025849 3139 - 5FYD2NU093U026029 3201 - 5FYD6YU016B029948 7110 - 15GGD301671077871 7114 - 15GGD301371077875
  11. From this staff post in response the concerns over that announcement, it doesn't sound like they are about to just disappear overnight like some are suggesting. Rather they just need to get some more revenue coming in long term if they are going to keep the site going long term. https://www.flickr.com/help/forum/en-us/72157712280985623/page4/#reply72157712303453822 For myself, I have no plans to discontinue using Flickr. With my variety of photo topic interests and 20,000+ photos and videos posted on my account I think $50 a year is reasonable. There are some improvements I'd like to see such as fixing the 'collections' up and having those posted more prominently again. However the site has certainly improved over the past year since they took over. (It was common to run into glitches before) Nothing online is guaranteed. Servers can crash, malware can wipe out data, sites can be sold and changed, etc. I always view online posting and sharing photos as a way to broadcast and share my perspective. I maintain backups of all my photos and have never just assumed that what I put online will forever be available to me. 11 years ago when I went to downtown St. Paul with my shiny new P&S camera I simply wanted to get some photos of Metro Transit buses to share with my fellow transitfans and to have for my own amusement. I was mesmerized after discovering a different transit forum and seeing all the photos and news on other systems, so wanted to reciprocate that in a way. A year later I decided to hop on the Flickr bandwagon as it seemed a good spot to post and organize my growing collection of photos. I have been happy there since. I've met a lot of awesome people through Flickr, and made some good friends. Overall I have no regrets. My time spent on there has provided me countless hours of entertainment and honestly at times provided a needed distraction during some rough moments in life. Sure, if the site eventually goes dark it'll be disappointing, but I'm sure I can find something else if it gets to that point.
  12. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone! Here's my lone festive transit related photo this season, one of our Holiday bus interiors while on last run of the night. At least it's something:
  13. Regarding the concern over using cameras and sensors to 'spy on us', A - If a foreign interest was determined enough they could probably just hack into systems or cloud anyways regardless of who built or sourced the hardware/software. B - For some agencies camera footage is technically viewable via a data request. Yes it's a PITA to actually get said footage, but legally in some cases anyone who requests can view provided they are compensating the agency for staff time and cost. Honestly from a practical standpoint I'd be more concerned about foreign interference in our personal autos. Wrecking operational havoc via software hacks on Random City USA's transit system isn't going to do a whole lot aside from the major metropolitan regions. Causing mass disruption on a country-wide level by hacking our cars via the imported tech installed would be more noticeable and cause significant issues. So anyways what was this tread about again? I guess I should get back on topic now. A Protato would look pretty good in the MUNI scheme. I'm curious to see what will happen with ADL as well. ADL seems to be doing alright offering the 200EV in the UK with BYD propulsion. Ones I rode all seemed to run great and I haven't heard of any issues. However Foothill is going with a propulsion from Proterra on their Enviro 500.
  14. I was bored, so I tried doodling up a basic roof line banner type livery concept for WT, yeah my drawing skills aren't the best
  15. ^ That is one of those general state contracts where a transit authority or operator in WA can then just exercise options on that contract and order buses at the price stated vs. having to do their own RFP procurement process. Whether any agencies will actually use it is another matter. WSDOT may have similar deals with other manufacturers as well.
  16. 2004 and 2005, holy smokes they got their money's worth out of those!
  17. Kind of old news by now, but here's a few shots from Dallas taken 10/31:
  18. Their interior seems to have cleaned up a bit since the 2017 demo unit. It looks nicer without a bunch of access panels in the rear. Edit, and here's the 2014/2015 one as well for another comparison.
  19. Just thinking out loud here, but does anyone think NFI might give the Xcelsior model a facelift in the next few years, or roll out a new model? Or will it probably stay modern looking enough to not need any changes in the near future? The Xcelsior is 11 years old now, so it's not new anymore. However the main competition to it is the LFS and the Low Floor. LFS is way older styling wise (yes I know a 1998 LFS looks different than a 2019 one, but still overall the same boxy shape with curved front) and obviously the Low Floor has been around a while now as well. Personally for looks I think the Xcelsior is still one of the better looking transit buses out there in the North American market.
  20. I was in the DFW region for a short trip a couple weeks ago. While I was there I was able to swing through Denton, TX and check out the DCTA system. The star of the system is the A-Train. This commuter line runs throughout the day and links downtown Denton and the Downtown Denton Transit Center to the DART (Dallas) Green Line light rail at Trinity Mills station. The service is operated by First Transit with Stadler Rail GTW DMU units. When I rode I only observed single unit trains running. I have seen photos of two unit sets however. I only got a couple of so-so pics of 102 as I wasn't waiting a half hour for another just to get another pic. DCTA Connect is the main fixed-route local bus service. There are 8 main routes serving Denton and 2 in Lewisville. From what I observed the Lewisville ones are likely operated with cutaway type buses. I spotted quite a few Ford Transit chassis cutaways at A Train stations while riding up to Denton. The Denton routes mostly run with 35' Gillig LF. A cutaway or an EZ Rider may also pop up on those routes however. And vice versa the Gilligs may show up on campus shuttles as well. I didn't get too many pics of the regular route buses as they have 20-50 minute frequencies and there really aren't dedicated pulse times at the DDTC. Finally there are the campus shuttle services. The bulk of the service is for UNT - University of North Texas, however there are also a couple shuttle lines for NCTC. (I didn't observe those, possibly run with cutaways?) The UNT shuttles are operated with a fleet of Champion CTS RE on Freightliner chassis and Eldo EZ Rider II BRT 35' units. A couple Gilligs were also seen on shuttles, 1712, and also 0704 posted above was on the DP. With the Champion units all sporting a UNT specific livery, I'm curious whether they are owned by the University vs. DCTA, or if they were previously contracted in a separate system. There are two main transfer points on the UNT campus, Fouts Field Transfer and Union Transfer. I got most of my pics around Union as the sun was perfect Overall an interesting system to see. I would have liked to ride around a bit more but I wanted to get down to Forth Worth. Plus most of the campus shuttles complete their loops in 10-15 minutes, so it's just the sames buses again if you wait around. EDIT: I will also note I'm just assuming the first two digits on the bus fleet numbers are the year, but that may not be correct. If anyone has better info on that please comment.
  21. That livery is a great update IMO, it's sharp but not gaudy and should still look good in 10-15 years. The current scheme wasn't bad, but was definitely getting a bit dated. Also branding as STL Metro is a nice touch. Yes it's not some rocket science marketing name, but it is unique and certainly fits the system. Better than continuing to go by 'Metro' like the other 800 or so agencies.
  22. Spotted a 35' Vicinity pulling out of the Delta cargo access road tonight at MSP. It was dark at the time so couldn't really tell if it was in service or not. Plain white and no decals or lit signs. I'll watch the Delta employee shuttles now to see if it or others start appearing. I'm just assuming it would have to be for Delta as the only other shuttles for the contractors are run with vans or small cutaways.
  23. How about the mirror placement on this BYD demo? https://www.flickr.com/photos/tec869/48926948903/ https://www.flickr.com/photos/tec869/48926931258/ https://www.flickr.com/photos/tec869/48926949608/ (Photos © TEC_869 on Flickr)
  24. https://www.publicsurplus.com/sms/auction/view?auc=2447642 TDH4523 for sale from Lafayette Go CityBus, hope it goes to a good home.
  25. MVTArider

    Metro Transit

    Seems a bit odd they didn't figure out they didn't get additional funding from the legislature for BEBs until last month, but okay. For contracted service I've noticed First has been running one of the remaining 2006 D40LF on the 542 in the afternoons. They also seem to consistently run on the 350. Since they were redone in the new scheme I assume they aren't retiring immediately.
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