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  1. Oops! I've apparently forgotten to upload those 17 Memphis pictures! But they should be here now!
  2. August 13 Update: Added 11 photos to Memphis Area Transit Authority bus gallery. (Highlights: Baby Gillig hybrid 2007 on brand-new route 45. Green and dual-door baby Gillig hybrid 2004 on weekends-only route 47 pictured at the Agricenter International Farmer's Market)
  3. Sarasota County Area Transit

    What's the matter with this agency? Retiring 8-year old baby Gillig hybrid's?! Even Palm Tran and LYNX (Orlando), the previous worst offenders in retiring relatively young heavy-duty buses usually keep theirs for at least 10 years. Also, can anyone explain why is Sarasota retiring hybrids in favor of more clean diesel buses? Thanks!
  4. July 29/30 update: Added 17 photos to Nashville MTA gallery (Highlights: Photos of EPA-2010 Gillig BRT hybrid bus 739 in fleet livery. Also, I am finally to picture Proterra EcoRide BE35 electric buses on its Music City Circuit circulators, with buses 1301 and 1303 featured. Photos of NFI XDE60's 131 and 133 in route 10- artics on that route is a Sundays only ops, are also featured).
  5. July 23 update: Added 21 photos to Owensboro Transit System gallery (Highlights: Photos of 2 former TANK (Kentucky portion of suburban Cincinnati)? 29ft. regular Gillig Low Floor's, a revised system featuring 2 brand new routes - Orange and White and finally pictures of the Downtown Trolley route)
  6. Corpus Christi Regional Transportation Authority

    Now to my photo chronicle! After the retirement of the Opus 30ft. buses, routes with lowest ridership at Corpus Christi RTA are handled by 2 different series of Arboc/Chevy low floor CNG cutaways. Cutaway 2017 is an original version and is seen at the Flour Bluff transfer point at Compton and Waldron roads; while cutaway 3011 is a face-lifted sister bus seen at the Robstown Station. The five 2008 Gillig Trolley Replica 35ft. diesel buses are the agency's first Gillig's, as illustrated by bus 98 seen outside the Corpus Christi City Hall. They are supplemented by a pair of 2009 sister buses like bus 102 seen at Southside Station near the La Palmera mall. They are followed by 13 regular 35ft. 2009 diesel buses like bus 648 seen at Port Ayers Station, and three 2010 BRT 35ft. like bus 653 seen at the Staples Street Station in downtown Corpus Christi. The agency has six 40ft. 2009 regular diesel buses like bus 715 (first of batch) seen near the Staples Street Station and a pair of 2010 BRT 40ft. like bus 722 seen at Port Ayers Station. The five 2010 BRT's in both lengths turn out to be the agency's final diesel buses. The agency then goes all-in for CNG Gillig Low Floor buses, with 35ft. bus 902 (one of the original five new in 2012) seen outside the Corpus Christi City Hall. Sister bus 911 from a subsequent delivery is seen near the Six Points Station. I have spotted and pictured up to bus 915. As for the 40ft. CNG buses, bus 1003 is one of the original five (note the white-painted CNG tank, versus the red-painted tanks in most other buses). Buses 1006, 1018 and 1023 are from subsequent deliveries. All four are seen at the Staples Street Station. Here is the link to my Corpus Christi RTA gallery: Corpus Christi RTA
  7. El Metro is the operating name for Laredo Transit Management, Inc. in the border city of Laredo, Texas. While isolated Blue Bird Xcel 102's from 2003 or 2006 may still show up on weekdays and 1998 Novabus RTS popping up as non-revenue vehicles according to its real time map, its weekend operations is 100% Gillig Low Floor. The agency has such buses dating between 2009 and 2017 and sub-divided into 4 different sub-types. Buses 0901 and 1136 are both 35ft. diesels, except that the 0900-series are EPA-2007 uses, while buses from 1136 onward are their EPA-2010 sister buses. The agency has 10 of the former series (0901-0910) and at least 6 of the latter series (1136-1141). 29ft. Trolley Replica 0929 is one of its kind and is always allocated to its route 7 (Laredo Community College) The low 1130's (1130-1135) are 40ft. EPA-2010 diesel buses, as exemplified by bus 1134. The arrival of the 2015 CNG 40ft. buses brought a revised livery featuring maroon and orange swoops, as well as a tall orange skirt on a white base. illustrated here is bus 1544, the first of 9 such buses. They are since supplemented by a solitary 2017 bus 1753. Notably, El Metro adheres fairly strictly to an allocated bus system Mondays though Saturdays, meaning that the same buses always stick to the same route if available. Other than Trolley Replica 0929, other examples according to its real time map are: 35ft. bus 1136 is a dedicated route 6 bus. 40ft. diesel bus 1134 is always used on route 12B. 40ft. CNG bus 1544 is always used on route 1. Here is the link to my El Metro gallery: El Metro (Laredo, Texas)
  8. To those unfamiliar with how I name my transit pictures, here is a generic template of the filenames of most of them: WWW-rXXX-YYY-Z WWW is my abbreviation of the operating transit agency, rXXX refers to the route number, where XXX can vary between 1 to 3 digits (1 digit for agencies operating up to route number 9 like Albany (Georgia), 2 digits for those operating up to route 99 like Corpus Christi (Texas) and 3 digits for those operating routes 100 or above like VIA Metropolitan Transit, I name single digit routes with agencies of the 2nd category as r0x, and those with the last category as r00x. Double-digit routes with agencies of the 3rd category as r0xx). Route suffix letters may also be present. Exceptions to the above route numbering schemes are agencies using a NYC-style alpha-numeric combo of route names like former system in Jacksonville, Florida or those using only route letters or names like Murfreesboro Rover in suburban Nashville. I use the entire alpha-numeric combo in the former case , and either full or abbreviated route names in the latter case. For WMATA Metrobus in greater Washington DC, I also add the state codes DC, MD and VA before the route numbers to distinguish between the DC, Maryland and Virginia division routes. For DC routes without a letter prefix and all Virginia routes, I simply use the route number without the usual r prefix to avoid confusion with R-prefixed DC routes. I skip the route number/name part for vehicles pictured whlie not in service. YYY refers to the fleet number of the vehicle pictured. It can vary between 1 to 5 digits like the bus side of Dallas DART. Whenever there is more than 1 picture of the same vehicle/route combo, the Z part of the template refers to the individual picture number. Hope that this explainer can help future viewers of my vast collection!
  9. VIA Metropolitan Transit

    Now to my photo chronicle! I'm just as surprised that VIA retired their 61 D40LF's from 2003 (200-260) ahead of the 1999 NABI 40-LFW's (They are now 18-year old buses, same as the maximum permissible life of public buses in Hong Kong absent special permissions). By the way, bus 746 is the oldest of the 16 buses of the 730-809 group I've pictured. It is spotted at Commerce Street in downtown San Antonio. I've also pictured final bus of the batch. no. 809 at Randolph Park & Ride. Coincidentally, both buses are in the previous fleet livery. Meanwhile, bus 886 is one of the 13 buses of the 2000 group of NABI's (810-889). It is pictured at the Medical Center Transit Center (MCTC). One more NABI in the old fleet livery here is bus 946. It is the final bus from the 2001 batch of 57 (890-946), as well as VIA's final 1st-Gen 40-LFW. It is pictured at the Centro Plaza west of downtown. Now onto the surviving members of these 217 buses (largest single-type sub fleet until all 270 Novabus LFS CNG's are delivered) wearing different combos of colored waves and silver: Bus 747 wears the red variant and is taken at the McCreless Marketplace transfer point. This variant proves to be the precursor to VIA's current red/silver livery. Bus 752 wears the orange version and is pictured at Market and St. Mary's in downtown. Bus 770 is the only one I've pictured wearing the grey variant. It is seen at Navarro and Commerce in downtown. Bus 855 with the violet variant is pictured at the University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA) transfer point. One final bus in wave livery attached here is bus 935 with the navy version taken at the Crossroads Park & Ride. VIA has 4 further NABI 40-LFW's numbered 947-950. They were delivered in the same silver/turquoise livery as the New Flyer DE40LFR express buses, but all have sice been repainted into the current red/silver livery. They have several other distinctions: They are VIA's first CNG buses. They are VIA's only 2nd-Gen 40-LFW's. They are VIA's final 40ft. NABI buses. Attached here are buses 947 and 948. They are both spotted on route 22 (Hays Frequent) at Market Street in downtown. Can anyone point out if this is the usual haunt for these 4 buses? VIA's final NABI buses overall and its only artics are its flagship buses. It has 19 NABI 60-BRT CNG buses serving the original Primo route 100 along Fredericksburg Road between downtown and the MCTC. I am only able to picture members of the original 16 new in 2012 (not the 3 extra 2013 buses). Buses 953 and 961 are taken at the MCTC and Commerce Street in downtown respectively. Onto VIA's New Flyer fleet. Until the arrival of the LFS's, VIA has had a few years of NABI-New Flyer duopoly with 40ft. buses and above (How ironic is that NABI was bought by New Flyer in 2013 and eventually disappearing as a brand altogether!) The 64 D40LF's dating from 2004-05 (261-324) are now VIA's oldest New Flyers after the retirement of the 2003 buses. Bus 261 is the first of those and is pictured at St. Mary's and Commerce in downtown. Meanwhile, bus 325 is the first of the small 2006 batch of 13 buses and bus 375 is the final bus of the 2008 batch of 37(and VIA's final D40LF as well). Both are pictured at the Ingram Transit Center. I happened to picture 3 D40LF's from the 2008 batch carrying the current red/silver livery. Bus 339 is also the first bus of the batch. It and the bus right behind, no. 340 are both pictured at the North Star Transit Center. Bus 343 is one other such bus, and is taken at the Kel-Lac Transit Center. VIA's next 30 New Flyers bought in 2010 are also its only diesel-electric hybrid buses. They have rather comfy high-back and (some) reclinable seats and are mostly assigned to express routes. Most still carry the silver/turquoise express liver and old VIA logos (I am unable to spot the sole repainted bus from this batch). Their roof fairings are also fairly unusual for LFR's. I can only recall King County Metro (DE60LFR's), MATBUS of Fargo, North Dakota (DE35LFR's), SEPTA (DE40LFR's and E40LFR trolleybuses), Sound Transit (D60LFR's/DE60LFR's) and Translink Vancouver (E40LFR and E60LFR trolley buses). Are there other LFR's with this kind of fairings? Back to the buses themselves, bus 376, the first of the batch is taken at Ingram Transit Center on a local route. Another bus pictured on a non-express route is bus 381 on the Primo route 101 pictured at the UTSA Transfer point. Meanwhile, bus 389 is my ride from Randolph Park & Ride to Centro Plaza on route 17, and is pictured at the latter location while turning into a route 93 run. Bus 382 is my ride from downtown to UTSA, and bus 391 is my ride from UTSA all the way back to Randolph Park & Ride (routes 94 turns to route 17 at downtown). Finally, bus 404 is a Primo-branded bus on Primo route 101 taken at the MCTC. Does anyone know how many DE40LFR's are Primo-branded? The next 15 New Flyers XN40's are both VIA's first CNG New Flyers and final New Flyers for now. Most of the 406-420 batch are in a special VIVA livery and used on 2 out of 3 tourist-oriented VIVA routes. Illustrated here are buses 406 and 415 pictured at the Alamo Plaza area on their intended uses. I've also attached Primo-branded buses 419 and 420 pictured at UTSA and the MCTC respectiely; both on Primo route 101. VIA's 135 Novabus LFS CNG buses are the only ones found in the US outside NFTA in Buffalo, New York. Illustrated here are select examples of such buses serving outside downtown: Bus 426 is the lowest-numbered LFS I've pictured. It is pictured on route 614 at the Kel-Lac Transit Center. I have a picture of the same bus serving route 615 interlined with it in my gallery. Bus 439 is pictured on route 630 at the Randolph Park & Ride. Bus 443 is my ride from Randolph Park & Ride to North Star Transit Center on route 551, and is pictured at the latter location. Bus 449 is pictured at the MCTC on route 520. Bus 469 is pictured at UTSA on route 660. Bus 477 is pictured just outside Crossroads Par & Ride on route 524. Buses 524 and 528 are both pictured at North Star Transit Center on routes 647 and 602 respectively. Bus 535 is pictured at the Naco Pass transfer point on route 502. Bus 538 is the highest-numbered of the initial 135 I've pictured. It is spotted on express route 48 at the Madla Transit Center. It is also my only picture taken there. Finally, VIA also operates 2005 Optima AH-28 trolley replicas powered by propane and 2012 Proterra EcoRide BE35 pure electric buses on its route 301 VIVA Centro. Illustrated here are trolley replicas 112 and 114 (note the LED destination signs on 114) and Proterra bus 117. 117 is also the first-ever Proterra electric bus I've pictured. Can anyone shed lights on why the XN40's are not used on route 301? I wonder what will replace the Trolley Replicas as they are about due for retirement. If route 301 cannot use XN40's due to length restriction, then I think either the New Flyer XN35 or the Proterra Catalyst BE35 are great contenders for this role, unless New Flyer somehow develops a XE35 bus. Here is the link to my VIA gallery: VIA Metropolitan Transit (San Antonio, Texas)
  10. 3 brand new galleries covering transit agencies in South Texas in July 8th update: 46 photos in El Metro (Laredo, Texas) gallery. 75 photos in Corpus Christi RTA gallery. 210 photos in VIA Metropolitan Transit (San Antonio, Texas) gallery.
  11. VIA Metropolitan Transit

    During the past weekend through Monday, I was on a hardcore fanning spree on the entire VIA bus system such that I have pictures for its EVERY single daytime bus route. Before posting my photo chronicle here, I'd just like to share a few operational insights and tips for future fans,as well as raising several questions. With regard to its Novabus LFS CNG buses, while they can show up on some pretty secondary routes in the 600 series, VIA does for now prioritize their use on the routes 25/75 pairing (East/West Commerce Frequent) that serves much of the Commerce Street and the route 550/551 (Looper Clockwise/Counterclockwise Skip) family of limited stop routes that serve as connectors between virtually all outlying transit centers/Park and Rides in the VIA system (except the Medical Center Transit Center/MCTC, served with connecting routes from 3 of those transit centers). Can anyone shed any light on these allocations? VIA also seems to think the LFS buses are acceptable stand-in express buses due to them being spanklingly new, as I've spotted them on part-time express routes 16 and 48 (Both will be featured in my upcoming VIA Flickr gallery). On the other hand, the all-day express routes (routes 6, 17, 64, 93 and 94) seems to be the reserve of suburban-seated DE40LFR's. Can anyone confirm my theory? As for Primo route 101 between the MCTC and UT San Antonio, does anyone know if this is a length-restricted route so that only 40ft. buses are allowed on it? Also does anyone know why it is only allocated lower-emission New Flyers (Chiefly branded XN40's or DE40LFR's, but I also saw one of the latter in express livery showing up there) and not even the LFS CNG buses? Here are my thoughts on the various transit centers I've visited: The North Star Transit Center seems to be the best one to get passenger side pictures of buses without obstruction, and you can also get driver side pictures on many of them without resorting to stand on areas not intended for pedestrians. You can take pictures of the non-Primo routes at the MCTC at relative safe positions, but extremely caution is needed if you want to picture the Primo buses (routes 100 and 101) at the driver's side. You can also picture the 610-series of local connectors at the Kel-Lac Transit Center at a pedestrian-safe location (less so for express route 64, limited stop routes 76, 550 and 551). The situation at Ingram Transit Center is a bit delicate, as it is undergoing a reconstruction project, and you may need to step into loose ground to take driver's side pictures for buses on certain routes, and this is definitely not recommended if construction is underway. At Randolph Park and Ride, extreme caution needs to be exercised if you want to take driver's side pictures of buses serving on routes 17, 502, 505, 551, 630, 631 and 632; especially the first one, as that side of the transit station is right in front of a highway off-ramp, and you have only very narrow room to stand on near the bay for route 17. Taking driver's side picture of a bus on route 8 at that location is not recommended, and it is tough to get unobstructed view of stationary buses on the above routes there. While I did not take many pictures at the Crossroads Park and Ride, the stretch of Crossroads Blvd between it and Fredericksburg road is good for spotting routes 95, 509, 520 and 524. Just one question for transit addict 327 here, is the security guards at Kel-Lac Transit Center more sensitive to transit fans due to its proximity to a military base? (I was asked not to take pictures there and referred to the VIA Transit Police. No name or ID taken though, and I was fanning as a legitimate bus passenger travelling on the 550/551 loops) Finally, interlining of routes is highly prevalent in the VIA system, as less than a third of VIA's 93 daytime routes do not interline (most notably the 550/551 loops as each of them is a unidirectional loop). I'd like to raise a few questions on route interlining, both specific to VIA and in general: 1. Why VIA practices interlining so heavily for a large metropolitan agency? 2. What determines if a VIA route will be interlined or not (For example, the nature of routes 550/551 makes interlining impossible)? 3.How does VIA chose which routes to pair in interlining schemes other than serving a common transit center? 4. Are there other large metropolitan transit agencies practicing interlining? 5. What are the pros and cons for route interlining? One last question on VIA operations, what are the highest-ridership VIA routes other than Primo 100, and which has the lowest ridership? Hopefully someone can shed lights on my queries above (especially transit addict 327). My photo chronicle coming up next!
  12. Corpus Christi Regional Transportation Authority

    Bad news for fans of fleet diversity, as I can confirm that the Orion VII OG's at the agency have been retired too, as I haven't seen buses 708-714 at the agency's real-time bus tracking page for a long time. This means that its heavy-duty fleet is now 100% Gillig, a sharp contrast to the early 2010's where the Orion VII's, Opus buses in 2 lengths, late-model Flixible Metro's and TMC RTS's were operating alongside the oldest Gillig Low Floor's. Operationally, the agency seems to loosely adhere to a dedicated buses policy on weekdays with its heavy-duty buses (including Gillig Trolley Replica's). That means it will dedicate a pool of buses to a particular route. Here are a few examples: The 2010 Gillig BRT 35ft buses 651-653 will always appear on its route 29 Trolley Replica no. 98 is a dedicated route 76 (Harbor Bridge Shuttle) bus. 2009 Gillig Low Floor 35ft. buses 641 and 642 will always appear on the routes 26/32 pairing. Because of the interlining with route 78 (North Beach), route 6 will always see Trolley Replicas, one of which is bus 102. That policy apparently does not apply to its fixed-route Arboc cutaways, as any Arboc with a destination sign can be used on the agency's small bus routes (3, 4, 30, 34, 35, 54 and 63). Fleet-wise, it now has at least 15 Gillig Low Floor 35ft. CNG (up to bus 915) and 24 similar 40ft. buses (up to bus 1024). It has 2 series of fixed-route cutaways, the 2000-series of original Arboc's and 3000-series of face-lifted sister buses. A photo chronicle on my sightings last Friday to come soon!
  13. SporTran to get 2011 New Flyer CNG Buses

    So do you mean that they are XN40's (CNG buses)?
  14. A few operational updates on BJCTA: Based on my observation on the agency's recently launched real-time tracking site and page 5 of the RFP for bus repainting and repair services, i can confidently assert the Orion VI's are now history, leaving the 3 Sonoma County Transit examples as the last possible Orion VI CNG buses still in service. This also marks the end of Orion VI use in the Southeastern US and leave Broome County Transit (Binghamton , New York) and PACE (Suburbs of Chicago metro area) the last two significant American operators of Orion VI's. Meanwhile, the 500-series ex-Gwinnett County Transit (Georgia) Orion VII OG CNG buses seems to be weekdays-only buses with no more than 3 on the road in any given day; and that 1 of the 9 purchased may serve as a spares bus only (the RFP mentioned 8 such buses in use). It seems that when the three 700-series XN40's are delivered, the 500's may become contingency buses. The 40ft. allocation on Saturdays for the agency is 100% XN40's. Also, the 4 surviving trolley replicas seems to be relegated to contingency use as well. This mean the only other fixed route types for the agency are the remaining 2004 Opus buses (11 X 29ft. and 2 X 35ft.), the 2010 NABI 31-LFW CNG buses and the seven 200-series 30ft. 2014 Ford/Goshen cutaways (fleet no. 200-206). Onto route-specific observations: The Avenue I route 4 (partial replacement of the Birmingham-Fairfield route 41 discontinued due to the latter city's non-payment of BJCTA operational dues), the Bessemer local route 46, Mountain Brook reverse commute route 50 family (Cherokee Bend and Hermitage) and the Highway 280 Commuter route 201 always uses the 200 series cutaways. Routes 12, 14, 17, 18, 42, 43, 44, Mountain Brooke reverse commute route 51 and 93 (replacement for the Green Dart/Southside Loop) are below-40ft. routes. The first 7 generally see NABI's but Opus buses can pop up too. Route 51 will use either a cutaway or an Opus. Finally, route 93 will use any non-40ft. fixed route buses, including the 200-series cutaway. That route 17 doesn't see XN40's is a mystery to me, as I had spotted Orion VI's on that service as recently as December 2013 with bus 2034. I wonder if new route alignments since then made it a length-restricted service or precipitous decline in ridership play more role in that fleet allocation decision. The East-West Dart route 91 tends to see a wrapped 600-series XN40 not needed on the Magic City Connector. The non-wrapped 600's tend to appear on at least one of the two Birmingham-Bessemer services (Routes 1 and 45) and most likely both (except on yesterday so far, when 2 out of 3 appeared on the routes 3/28 pairing) Express routes 72, shuttle routes 95 and 96 will use anything but XN40's, and routes 1 Express and 20 tend to use any heavy-duty buses outside the XN40's as well. Last but not least, I did an analysis on the service interlining at this agency a while ago, and I believe the results below are still valid to this date: Routes 3 and 28 are interlined 6 days a week with 3 shared buses. Routes 6 and 8 are interlined on Saturdays only with 3 shared buses. Routes 12 and 18 are interlined on Saturdays only with 1 shared bus. Routes 25 and 26 are interlined on weekdays only with 2 shared buses (Route 25 does not offer Saturday service) Routes 40 and 48 are interlined on weekdays with 3 shared buses and on Saturdays with 2 shared buses. Routes 42 and 43 are interlined on weekdays only with 2 shared buses (Neither route has Saturday service, except modified service on route 42 on Saturday service holidays) Hope that you all like my operational analysis on the agency!
  15. SporTran to get 2011 New Flyer CNG Buses

    Wait! The Gillig Low Floor is still in production! Just to the latest EPA emission standards though. By the way, are the new Xcelsior's XD40's, XDE40's or XN40's or even XE40's? Thanks!