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Buzz2kb

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  1. Buzz2kb

    Wheel Forward Buses

    Can you further elaborate the difference between the fare collection methods in North America compared to rest of the world? Thanks!
  2. Buzz2kb

    Wheel Forward Buses

    Short answer: Cutaway vans. Long answer:. It seems that cutaways based on cargo vans like the Ford E-Series/Chevy Express or heavier duty trucks like the Ford F-Series/IC Bus/Freightliner are way cheaper than purpose-built wheel forward buses. This maybe the biggest reason why the NABI 30-LFN (an Americanized 1st-generation Optare Solo) is such a flop. Miami Dade Transit was the only transit agency customer for it, and has retired their 2003 buses after roughly 10 years or even less. Can anyone elaborate their history with Miami Dade Transit further?
  3. Buzz2kb

    Palm Tran update

    On top of what edison has said, I have been following up on developments at Palm Tran, and I've never heard of any plans by the agency to introduce any CNG buses or refuelling facilities.
  4. Buzz2kb

    Madison County Transit

    So do the new Fords also have Turtle Top bodies? Thanks!
  5. Buzz2kb

    Palm Tran update

    No. The BRT Plus buses Palm Tran has are diesel buses. That raised fairing is standard on all BRT Plus buses regardless of drivetrains (Diesel, Hybrid or CNG). PS: Palm Tran was once my hometown transit agency.
  6. Buzz2kb

    Valley Metro (Phoenix)

    Wait! As the lower-numbered of those 2008 buses (6597-6647) are based at Tempe, I don't rule out some buses in this order will come in Tempe green. Let's wait and see on that. By the way, it seems a little bit too early to replace these C40LFR buses at 10 years old, unless their CNG tanks are approaching expiry. What do you think as the reason for their early replacement?
  7. Buzz2kb

    Valley Metro (Phoenix)

    Is it in Tempe green or RPTA purple? Thanks!
  8. Buzz2kb

    Madison County Transit

    It's time to open up my own MCT collection taken on my two visits to St. Louis area in 2011 and 2014! As everyone is now aware, Gillig BRT's are the mainstay of MCT's heavy-duty operations. The 3000 series are 29ft. buses and are used on most "Shuttle" and "Cross County" routes. Bus 3004 was spotted at the Alton Station and sister us 3007 at Wood River Station. The 4000 series of 40ft. buses are mostly used on "Express" and "Regional" duties, with buses 4020 and 4021 spotted at Collinsville and Granite City stations respectively. Unfortunately, I was not able to notice/spot any of the 2012 buses in either series in my 2014 visit. For lower-ridership routes/trips, a fleet of cutaway with Turtle Top bodies is also used. Ford Cutaways 146 and 157 belong to the previous generation of buses, and were spotted at Edwardsville and Granite Station respectively. Chevy cutaways 75 and 78 were spotted at Collinsville Station and represent MCT's current cutaway fleet. All but the Chevy cutaways were pictured in 2011. Here is my Madison County Transit gallery: Madison County Transit (Illinois)
  9. During my past visit to Utah and Arizona, I have visited Zion National Park in Utah and Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, Both parks operates elaborate shuttle systems during the peak season (The latter location also operates 2 year-round routes). First up are the shuttle buses at Zion National Park. The park operates unique propane-powered Eldorado National Transmark RE/XHF? buses in a tractor-trailer configuration for its in-canyon route. Illustrated here are tractor unit 43, trailer unit 75 and tractor-trailer combos 34-69 and 43-75. (Note that I name the tractor-trailer combo buses in my files by combing the numbers of both units into a single fleet number and in this post in a tractor no.-trailer no. fashion) Remarkably, the tractor units have carries a front door, while the trailer units has middle doors only. It also operates stand-alone buses on a park-and-ride feeder service from the gateway town of Springdale, Utah; as illustrated by bus 30. It seems that the Proterra Catalyst electric bus was a demonstrator only. I just wonder why Zion National Park dose not use longer non-articulated buses for its in-canyon route. Over to Grand Canyon National Park, the shuttle fleet there is much more conventional and is made up exclusively of CNG-powered New Flyers. Buses C6 and C9 are 2004 C40LF's that still carry the previous of Grand Canyon National Park shuttle. They (plus identical bus C-8) are believed to be the oldest buses in the shuttle fleet and are chiefly used on the Orange route, no doubt due to their age and the short length of the route. C12 is a similar 2008 bus, while buses C10, C23 and C29 are C40LF's of unknown vintages. Finally, buses C32 and C35 are 2011 C40LFR's. The Tusayan park-and-route is the usual haunt of the C40LFR's, undoubtedly due to its relative length; but they can also be found on the Blue route. The newer C40LF's can be found on anything but the Tusayan route. Bonus pictures here are exceedingly rare CNG-powered, single-door Orion VII NG's operated as private tour buses by Gran Canyon National Park Lodges. The Lodges has at least 7 such buses. Here are my links to the respective galleries: Zion NP Shuttle Grand Canyon NP Shuttle Grand Canyon NP Lodges
  10. Buzz2kb

    SunTran (St. George, Utah)

    SunTran, based at St. George is the smallest transit agency in Utah (Peak Vehicle Requirement = 5 buses) to rely exclusively on heavy-duty buses. (Coincidentally, a similarly-named agency in Ocala, Florida is also one of the smallest transit agency there to run on heavy-duty buses only). While Optima Opus buses had featured in the recent past, by the time of my visit two Saturdays ago, the agency is 100% Gillig Low Floor. Its fleet carries 2 different set of liveries. Featuring the earlier red-based livery are 29ft. bus 32 and 35ft. bus 34. Inexplicably, the agency decided to switch to a blue and white based livery, as depicted by buses 37 and 38. Overall, the agency has at least three 29ft. buses (30-32), three red 35ft. buses (33-35) and four blue/white 35ft. buses (36-39). Buses 38 is pictured at the Dixie State University Transit Center, while buses 34 and 37 are pictured at the Sunset Corner shopping center transfer point. Bus 32 is pictured near the Dixie State University campus. Here is my SunTran (St. George) gallery: SunTran (St. George)
  11. There are 3 transit agencies operating in this country, one each in Flagstaff, Arizona; Missoula, Montana and Morgantown, West Virginia; with the first one is being showcased here. The Mountain Line in Flagstaff is the operating name of Northern Arizona Intergovernmental Public Transportation Authority. It's fleet is dominated by Gillig BRT's dating between 2007 to 2016, with all but 2 among the 25 buses being hybrids and all but 3 buses being EPA 2010 buses. Illustrated here is 2015 bus 5363 (The 2015 and 2016 buses are the only ones featuring revised battery covers, and I'm unable to spot the sole 2014 bus), 2013 bus 5372, 2012 bus 5376, 2011 bus 5379 and 2007 bus 5385 (the only non-EPA 2010 bus I've spotted on my visit). However, it also operates 6 New Flyer XDE60 buses on its busiest route. They are the only hybrid Xcelsiors in Arizona, as well as the only Xcelsiors and possible only artics outside Valley Metro in Arizona. Illustrated here is 2017 bus 5360. All pictures are taken at or near the Downtown Connection Center (Mountain Line's speak for a Transit Center) Bonus pictures: Flagstaff is the home of Northern Arizona University (NAU), and NAU operates its own shuttle service known as the AXExpress. While some of its buses are modified school buses, it also operates some of the first Arboc Spirit of Liberty bargain low-floor buses in the country, as shown by buses 530 and 535. Here is my Mountain Line (Arizona) gallery: Mountain Line (Arizona) And my NAU AXExpress gallery: NAU AXExpress
  12. While I have taken pictures at 3 different college shuttle systems in Utah, the University of Utah (UoU) Campus Shuttle has a handful of more fascinating buses among modified school buses and cutaways. (The Utah State University Aggie Shuttle fleet is 100% modified school buses and The Ryde service of Brigham Young University is 100% dual-door cutaways). By far the most interesting is bus 4626, a Complete Coach Works/ZEPS electric bus conversion of a Gillig Low Floor dated from 2001 or older. It is always dedicated to the Union-TRAX route. Do anyone know the origins of this particular bus? Meanwhile, buses 4619 and 4621 are former Utah Transit Authority (UTA) Optima Opus buses. They are only found on the Wasatch Express or the peaks-only HCI-Institute routes. Do anyone know how many of these buses the University has? As a side not, I had planned to picture another Opus bus serving the Salt Lake Community College (SLCC) B-Line Intercampus Shuttle, but the service has been discontinued since August 3rd. I could only see one such bus sitting at an unknown yard in the Mid-Valley area of Salt Lake County (either Midvale or Murray) alongside one other UoU Opus bus while on a TRAX ride. One final question for here, does anyone know the full disposition of UTA's 43-strong fleet of 2005-06 Optima Opus buses? All I know is at least 2 are sold to UoU, at least 1 to SLCC, 7 to Pocatello Regional Transit (Idaho) and up to 4 to Mountain Rides (Blaine County, Idaho). Hope that someone can kindly provide answers to my queries. Here is my Uou Campus Shuttle gallery: UoU Campus Shuttle
  13. Buzz2kb

    Valley Metro (Phoenix)

    Here are the sightings from my first fanning effort on the agency: Unlike its brethren in Denver and Salt Lake City, Valley Metro is a largely bus-based agency except a single lengthy light rail line, with heavy commuter rail still pretty unlikely for its area. However, its bus fleet is way more diverse than either RTD (Denver) or Utah Transit Authority/UTA (Salt Lake City), which I will cover in a later post. First of all, I was able to capture roughly 30 minutes of commuter bus action in downtown Phoenix due to a delay in my flight from Phoenix back to Memphis the past Tuesday. The agency has 2 families of commuter services: Rapid services named more often than not after the main roads they serve (like SR-51, I-10 East/West and I-17) are limited stop services connecting oulying parts of Phoenix with downtown in the morning and the other way round in the afternoon. They are served exclusively with a branded sub-fleet like NABI 45C-LFW LNG bus 7139, New Flyer XN60 7174 and XN40 7303. The 45C-LFW fleet is no doubt endangered with future Xcelsior deliveries of both lengths. The other group of commuter routes are the 500-series of express routes linking other cities in Maricopa County with downtown Phoenix. A mixed bag of buses are used there like single-door New Flyer C40LFR suburban bus 6732; articulated buses like RPTA-liveried XN60 bus 8528 and City of Tempe-liveried DE60LFR bus 8071. Meanwhile, semi-suburban D40LFR 6490 is seen on a West Valley (West of Phoenix) route. Finally, transit-style C40LFR 6653 is seen on an express route originating from Tempe. Apparently, RPTA seem to confine its artics to commuter runs of late, as the XN60's are serving as NABI 60-BRT replacements on the 530-series of express routes serving Mesa, and the 542 Chandler Express was the only route I've spotted the DE60LFR's on. Its local service fleet is just as varied as the commuter buses. The agency seems to intermingle its artics freely with rigids on its busiest routes like the 29, 50 and so on. While I've seen a D60LF running out of Desert Sky Transit Center on the 29, I was unable to picture it. Brand new XD60 bus 8104 was the only local service artic I've managed to picture, and it was spotted out of service near the above location. Meanwhile, I was also unable to spot any of the unique 5600-series Gillig Low Floor diesels in service. However, I've spotted the CNG versions from both the City of Phoenix and RPTA (Mesa) divisions. 2016 Phoenix bus 5210 and 2017 RPTA bus 6768 were spotted at the Metrocenter (north-central Phoenix) and Superstition Springs (far eastern Mesa) Transit Centers respectively. The agency has 3 different iterations of transit-style New Flyer C40LFR's. The newest group were the 120 City of Phoenix 2014 buses like 5048 spotted at the Arrowhead Towne Center transfer site. It also has 44 of the green-fronted City of Tempe-owned sister buses like 6701 spotted near the Main/Sycamore light rail station in western Mesa. Meanwhile, 70 out of 72 sister buses dating from 2008-09 wears an older version of the fleet livery, as illustrated by bus 6652 spotted near the Tempe Transportation Center (Tempe TC). Furthermore, RPTA also has a handful of 2007 D40LFR's like 6454 spotted in the same general area as 6701. One last New Flyer bus illustrated here is 2007 D40LF bus 6588 serving on the Phoenix DASH circulator. That sub-fleet is already being gradually phased out. The agency also operate a few fascinating sub-fleets of under 40-foot buses on several neighborhood circulator networks and a rural route. Eldorado National EZ-Rider BRT CNG bus 1605 is part of a fleet intended as Phoneix DASH circulator bus replacement but ended up serving as Tempe Orbit buses. It was spotted near the Tempe TC featuring a modified RPTA livery. Meanwhile, 2015 Ford cutaway 1603 is another Orbit bus spotted right at the Tempe TC. Cutaway 1518 is a broadly similar bus used on the Phoenix MARY (Maryvale Area Ride for You) circulator pictured at the Desert Sky TC. Apparently, the Phoenix Circulator buses are not branded but carry a generic Phoenix Neighborhood Circulator livery. Route names are not displayed either, only the direction of travel. Therefore, one pretty much has to rely on the photography location to identify the precise circualtor route. One last cutaway featured here is 1615, an International/Strtrans comnbination also pictured at the same transit center. It carries a RPTA type livery and is a dedicated Rural Route 685 bus. I did not spot any of the 2010 Chevy/Eldorado Natioanl Passport HD buses, though. The last buses to be featured for now belong to the Scottsdale Trolley sub-system, another long-established neighborhood circulator system. By now, all the truck-based trolley replicas are retired and the service is totally in the hands of various Gillig Low Floor 29ft. and 35ft. While the sub-fleet has 29ft. hybrid buses with full trolley replica package, 29ft. and 35ft. hybrid buses, at least 1 CNG 29ft. bus with trolley replica features and regular 29ft./35ft. CNG buses; I was only able to spot the first sub-type (illustrated by bus 4503 pictured near Scottsdale's Museum of the West) and the last 2 sub-types (illustrated by brand new 2018 CNG 35ft. bus 4515 and CNG 29ft. bus 4520, both pictured at Scottsdale Community College) Last but not least, light rail car 109B is pictured at downtown Phoenix Here is my Valley Metro gallery: Valley Metro (Phoenix)
  14. Bumper September 16th update: 7 photos in Memphis Area Transit Authority Bus gallery (Highlight: First pictures of buses displaying the L-route suffix for routes renumbered from express to limited stop services. My gallery contain a couple of buses serving route 28L, formerly route 280 express) 19 photos in Utah State University Aggie Shuttle (Logan, Utah) gallery (Highlight: System is totally in the hands of school bus derivatives) 43 photos in Cache Valley Transit District (Logan, Utah) gallery (Highlight: Agency's fixed-route fleet is 100% Gillig Low Floor, including 3 hybrids) 51 photos in Park City Transit (Park City, Utah) gallery (Highlight: Agency is dominated by Gillig Low Floor's or its derivatives, but gallery contains the first Proterra Catalyst buses I've spotted) 19 photos in SunTran (St. George, Utah) gallery (Highlight: Agency is now 100% Gillig Low Floor after years of using Optima Opus buses) 20 photos in Zion National Park Shuttle gallery (Highlight: System operates Eldorado National Transmark RE's/XHF's? in a unique tractor-trailer configuration) 25 photos in Mountain Line (Flagstaff, Arizona) gallery (Highlight: Agency uses mostly Gillig BRT hybrids, but also operates the only New Flyer Xcelsior artics outside Valley Metro in Phoenix area) 26 photos in Grand Canyon National Park Shuttle gallery (Highlight: System is 100% New Flyer low floor CNG buses) 9 photos in Northern Arizona University (NAU) AXExpress (Flagstaff, Arizona) gallery (Highlight: Arboc Spirit of Liberty low floor buses are operating alongside school bus derivatives) 12 photos in Cotton Wood Area Transit/Verde Lynx gallery (Highlight: Arboc minibuses operates the Cottonwood locals, while a large cutaway is featured on the Verde Lynx regional route to Sedona) 17 photos in Brigham Young University The Ryde (Provo, Utah) gallery (Highlight: Service operated entirely with dual-door cutaways) 11 photos in Grand Canyon National Park Lodges gallery (Highlight: The Lodges operates an unusual fleet of single-door Orion VII NG CNG buses on private tours) 36 photos in University of Utah Campus Shuttle gallery (Highlight: At least 2 former Utah Transit Authority Optima Opus buses are operated alongside a converted Gillig Low Floor electric bus in a fleet of mostly cutaways and modified school buses) 53 photos in Utah Transit Authority Rail gallery 135 photos in Valley Metro (Phoenix) gallery (Highlight: Agency has by far the most diverse of those I've fanned on in Utah and Arizona, with a host of regular transit, suburban and articulated buses plus trolley replicas from 3 manufacturers running on diesel, CNG/LNG and hybrid engines) 292 photos in Utah Transit Authority Bus gallery (Highlight: System is full of Gillig BRT's with different configurations, but also operates Utah's only New Flyer Xcelsior artics) Fleet narratives on the Utah and Arizona properties which is not 100% cutaway or modified school buses will appear in the near future. (Note: The NAU Arboc bus will feature as a bonus picture in my upcoming Mountain Line post, while the Grand Canyon National Park Lodges Orion VII will appear as a bonus picture in my Grand Canyon National Park Shuttle thread)
  15. Buzz2kb

    Valley Metro (Phoenix)

    Hi! I will visit the Valley Metro operating area on September 10th to tail end my Utah-Arizona trip, and I'm asking for a few fanning advice: 1. Which of the outlying transit centers (outside downtown Phoenix) is most worth fanning at (in terms of bus type variety and the safeness of the surrounding community)? 2. By the same tokens, which ones need more caution while fanning at or even avoiding outright? 3. Which routes are the best bet to spot the following types? Eldorado EZ-Rider BRT CNG 30ft. Gillig Low Floor 35ft. hybrid/CNG Gillig Low Floor 40ft. diesel (5600-series) New Flyer D40LFR New Flyer D40LF (6500-series) New Flyer L40LFR RPTA-owned Gillig Low Floor's (6750-6810) New Flyer D40LFA and D60LFA NABI 45C-LFW Rapid-liveried New Flyer XN60 Rapid liveried New Flyer XN40 Phoenix-based artics (New Flyer D60LF and XD60's) RPTA-owned New Flyer DE60LFR's and XN60's. 4. Finally, how shall I deal with the expected heat in the area while fanning? Hope that someone here can provide insights into my queries. Thanks!
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