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M. Parsons

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  1. ETS Grande West Vicinity Buses

    2001 in service on a route 301. Not tracking on Transit55. Tracking in Transit55 are 2002 and 2004. 2005 was tracking... seems it was changed over? Edit #1: 2005 replaced by 2011. 2011 is not tracking #2002 replaced by #31.
  2. 2016 Edmonton and Area spotting and news

    And your daily Mitchell update... Lucky 7 is on track to finish 2 full days! Not only that, it was the first Glaval out this morning, and is the last on the road this evening. 04 bit the dust and was replaced with Ferrier #22, while #19 has returned to Ferrier, so, still looks like there will be 4 loaners. And still no Vicinity's of course. It's certainly a little bit less "exciting" with the return of a Passport HD, Lucky 7 not being changed over, and a lot of loaners, but probably more grief than Mitchell should have to deal with. Watching these changes reminds of the days of tracking trolleys in their final days. Back then we relied on a lot of actual spottings and not much got passed us with simply eyes on the street. This time it's technology, however, I've certainly been out there seeing some of this some days.
  3. Of course. Trolleybuses. Late 1960's-1970's with the E700/800's, Vancouver's fleet in the 1980's, E60's in 1994, and then of course all manner of low floor trolleys, fuel cells, and battery buses in the 2000's - Present. I would imagine they include the Ballard fuel cell buses of the 1990's in there. Did they perhaps embellish the 50 year claim? Yes, a bit. But it is true. Technically yes.
  4. 2016 Edmonton and Area spotting and news

    Time for the morning Mitchell Update. Vicinity- 0 Glaval's- All 6 usual suspects are out, including Lucky 7. The two active Mitchell IC's are out... 31 and 94. Passport's... 21, 25, and 26 are out. 25 is the changeover for 6 yesterday, and 21 snuck in under the radar as being a Mitchell bus. First day was yesterday. On the 11th it was clearly a Ferrier bus (did a 340). Came out at 1030 yesterday. Kind of curious if it was an emergency transfer from Ferrier that morning?! Spares at Mitchell right now is #19 presumably. No sign of #93 really makes me wonder if it shit the bed as well. 4 Ferrier loaners and 0 Vicinity's. This is the first time in quite some time that I recall 6 Glaval's out at once. Edit: just realized the run 08 was on today actually had 4803 yesterday. Edit 2: #21's block on Monday didn't start at 1030... it started at 9:00. Does that mean that Mitchell had 0 buses to send out until #21 was delivered from Ferrier? There's a lot of unknowns with just looking at online spottings... like the driver forgot to sign in. But, when you look all of the things but together... it really does look like there were no buses available.
  5. 2016 Edmonton and Area spotting and news

    Well, the winner for the PM peak Community Bus out of Mitchell was....... 06. Changed over at 11:12, sent out the 399 and back tracking at 15:15. Curious of 93 joined it's dead comrades as it didn't get out today, despite ample chances. Turns out the 302 is a crazy block from Ferrier. First time I can recall that non-HD Passport's have been up that way. It's worth noting the block 06 was on is also the first time in awhile Glaval's have been in the Boonie Doon area.
  6. 2016 Edmonton and Area spotting and news

    And what a piece it is. 07 went out today, I tracked it down for a photo. Sent a message out at noon that I'd better check to see if it made it past noon, and the bad joke continues as it didn't. Stopped tracking at 1153 with 13 eventually replacing it. 06 also was changed over with 25 out of Ferrier. We did start off with 5 Glaval's on the road... and now all active Glaval's have been in service today. Yet there's only 4 on the road. So to update the Mitchell Scoreboard... 04- In service 05- MIA Dec 26 06- C/O 07- C/O 08- In Service 09- MIA Jan 24 10- MIA Feb 10 11- In Service 13- In Service, replaced 07 31- In Service 33- MIA Feb 3 92- MIA Jan 31 93- Presumably available 94- In Service 95- MIA Nov 13 96- MIA Jan 10 97- MIA Jan 7 14- Returned to Ferrier? 15- Returned to Ferrier 19- In Service 25- C/O for 06 26- In Service So, basically heading into the afternoon there's #93 ready to go in the garage, unless 10 or 33 come back... And yet, no Vicinity's yet. I'm sure there must be a reason, although I can't imagine what reason that is that prevents them from even sending out a Vicinity or two when they have this chronic piece of shit #07 they keep putting out and they keep changing over. Most of the routes converted to Community Service buses just saw extensions to existing runs so that the runs were now extended into the peak periods instead of basically being 9:00-15:00 runs. Certainly some 114/ 317 combinations out there. So far 19 Community Service runs. I believe there will be another 1 or 2 coming out in the afternoon. I believe one should be the evening 302.
  7. 2016 Edmonton and Area spotting and news

    So, #07 has turned into a sad joke. Further looking at it's recent history, it was changed off Jan. 31 and Feb. 1. It didn't go out on the 2nd, but did on the 3rd. It was changed over with #26. That's possibly how 26 ended up at Mitchell. It then disappeared until the 8th and 9th, both days it was changed over. Maybe ETS figured 3rd times a charm? 07 went out Saturday and was once again changed over for the 3rd day in an a row. It was changed over with it's rescue bus from a week earlier... 26. 6 runs it was sent out for, 6 times it was changed over. Only 1 day did it make it past noon. WTH! #14 is now back at Ferrier, leaving just 19 and 26 at Mitchell. Wouldn't be surprised to see those repatriated to Ferrier if Mitchell does indeed get a whole fleet of Vicinity's. Personally, I find it quite interesting to be able to track these changes within the fleet on an almost daily basis. First time we've been able to do it with ETS since Smart Bus was installed as this is the first major bus replacement since then. Of course, this is all thanks to transit55.ca!
  8. Happy 10 Years

    Tracked down #08 for a quick ride, expecting it might be my last (unless the 301 tomorrow has a Glaval... Then I might get a 2 minute ride... if I get up early to make it to work for 730.... and that's a big if). I'll reiterate again. Those buses do not ride like a school bus. It was quite a decent ride, which included rutted residential roads and a parking lot. Sure, the bus rattled like hell. Reminded me much of a early 1980's New Look with the rattles. In true Glaval fashion, something was duct taped on the dashboard. What I've always liked about those buses was how spacious they seem. They must be wider than the Passport's and IC LC's. The Passport rides worse than Glaval by far in my opinion.
  9. 2016 Edmonton and Area spotting and news

    4 Vicinity's on the ramp at Mitchell today. 2008 was at Ferrier, and later spotted on driver training in the vicinity of Mitchell. I will be very surprised is the Vicinity's don't hit the road Sunday, or at the latest Monday. What follows is a look at current Community Service operations, the struggles Mitchell seems to be having with their fleet, and how the Vicinity's might fit into the picture beyond this weekend. Although some of my observations have been good ol' boots on the ground spottings, without Transit55 this post would have required a lot more research by digging into individual route schedules. What has promoted this is that over the last week or two 3 Passport have been running out of Mitchell. #14, 19, and 26. #15 had been there but has since migrated back to Ferrier at about the time #26 arrived. Why are they there? I'm not totally sure. At first I though they were attrition replacements if Mitchell ran too low, if they have gotten to a point where they aren't going to put money into buses that are soon to be retired. ETS's has had a surplus of Community Service buses ever since they did some restructuring in SE Edmonton and drastically reduced the Community Service shifts. I believe the Union reported that 1/3 of all shifts were cut. The Remand Centre route was cut as well. Reductions on the 55 and 381.... There's probably other cuts too. Right now, there are only 5 Community Service buses on the road. You used to be able to find 4-5 alone in the Century Park area! This reduction in need has lead to a surplus I imagine, although, I haven't seen anything official to back that up. 2, 3, 12, and 18 are pretty much confirmed retired. Long term MIA are 1 and 5, and short term MIA are 9 and 10. That leaves 6 Glaval's in service. (Long term MIA = 1+ month) February 9 Synopsis Mitchell Glaval's- 5 (4, 7*, 8, 11, 13) IC LC- 1 (31)* Passport- 3 (15, 19, 26) Passport HD- 2 (93, 94) *31 C/O for 7. Fun fact. 93 C/O for 7 the day before. "Peak" bookout today was 10 buses from Mitchell. Considering Mitchell's peak fleet was 13 Glaval's, 3 IC LC's, and 6 Passport HD's for 22 buses, that would have been easy at one point and give them breathing room when a few buses here and there ceased running. What gets interesting is what else is MIA at Mitchell. Long term MIA 32, 95. Short term MIA 33, 92, 96, 97. Collectively, there are only 2 out of 6 Passport HD's in service right now. Granted, 92 has only been MIA for 9 days but 97 is just over 1 month and 96 just under 1 month. Removing 2, 3, and 12 that left Mitchell with 19 buses which was doable. But take out everything else that is MIA... that left Mitchell with 6 Glaval's, 1 IC LC, and 2 Passport HD's. for a total of 9 buses when they need at least 10! I'd actually lay blame on the Passport HD's apparent issues with 4 out of 6 buses not in service for the need to move some Passport's to Mitchell. Today was literally 19's first day at Mitchell. 31 was actually a recent return. It had been MIA for a few days. I thought it was still MIA until I ran into it returning to Mitchell. I have previously seen Passport's running on Mitchell runs as change overs, although, they would usually end up back at Ferrier. Ferrier 2010 Passport- 6 (16, 17, 21, 23, 25, 27) 2011 Passport- 4 (34, 36, 39, 40) So Ferrier's "peak" bookout is the same as Mitchell... 10. Ferrier's peak fleet was 27 units. Again, you an see how there are quite a few spare units since the reductions! Ferrier has 1 retired, 3 to Mitchell, long term MIA is only 37. Short term MIA though is quite a few... 22, 24, 35, 42, 43. That gives Ferrier 17 buses for the peak need of 10 buses. Before sending 3 buses to Mitchell, Ferrier had 20 buses. Now, "peak" is simply determined by looking at what buses show on Transit55 as having operated today. That doesn't mean that all 10 Ferrier buses were on the road at one time, but rather just refers to the number of individual buses that saw service today. It's possibly that weekend service might have a few more. It's also possible that I missed some buses simply because they might not be tracking on Transit55 for whatever reason. Now, things have changed a bit with Community Service routes for the upcoming signup. From ETS's website in regards to February 11 changes: "Plus, Routes 32, 114, 124, 321 and 325* will now use community buses." 32- 1 bus AM/ PM peak weekdays Ferrier/ Mitchell 114- 2 buses AM/ PM peak weekdays Mitchell 124- 2 buses AM/ PM peak weekdays Mitchell 321- 1 bus AM/ PM peak weekday Ferrier 325- 1 bus weekday evenings Ferrier/ Mitchell The 32 and 325 could come from either Ferrier or Mitchell. Best case for Mitchell is 4 more buses needed, worst case is 6 more buses needed! I'm sure the vast majority of the first Vicinity's will run out of Mitchell given increasing bookout needs and their hodgepodge fleet. The 114 is a very curious addition. Glaval's seat 21 passengers, Vicinity's 24. I'm wondering if certain routes will be guaranteed Vicinity routes because they can absorb extra passengers easier than a cutaway, with the 114 being one of routes. If they're changing the 114 to Community Service buses, I don't know why they just didn't replace it with the 317. I guess that might come with one of the major service changes.
  10. Feature Photo Submissions

    Excellent ad on the back too. Don't suppose those are the electric go carts which basically have trolley poles? Always liked watching those things in WEM, but, they've since switched from the overhead current collection to some sort of induction system through the floor.
  11. New Flyer electric bus

    Exactly. The full test is 9-12 months, so, telling the poster above "a few months" is in fact wrong. As for being an industry first with with no predecessor being a reason for a full test is crap. Bus manufactures need to have their buses put through Altoona testing if they want to sell them to agencies using federal funding. Pretty much as simple as that. Certainly, if the FTA or other agencies are providing additional funds for electric buses they might want to subject them to their own set of tests. Frankly, it would be nice if Altoona would provide fact checking of manufacture claims, unfortunately, there are different configurations that probably prevent this. So far the BYD K9 that was tested was a Chinese built bus, not the North American version. And the XE40 was a Winnipeg bus which used en route charging, rather than depot charging, and therefore would have more limited range, but with less batterys to lug around, it could have improved milage over a depot charging BYD. Of course, that opens up a can of worms. I think something needs to be done to standardize electric bus testing, in particular with regards to battery technology, charging technology and range. That's for another discussion however. The XE60 is certainly not an industry first either. I think that industry first was the BYD K11. I'd hazard a guess that BYD's artic has, or is going through Altoona testing. Given that they already have production buses out there (and New Flyer doesn't). This document on page 5 from a year ago seems to imply the testing was already in progress: http://www.avta.com/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=1484
  12. Happy 10 Years

    Way wrong. There's 4 year, 5 year, 7 year, and 10 year. Most in transit use are 7 year, like the Arboc's. I believe it's only van conversion things that are 4 and 5 year, and some lighter duty cutaways are 5 years.
  13. New Flyer electric bus

    Do you know if it's in for full or partial testing?
  14. Happy 10 Years

    The Glaval's are actually over 10 years old, but took so long to enter service they've only been in service for 10 years. It's not impressive. It's average. They are a 10 year bus so they have been in service for their design life. The ELF's were impressive. Ride on a Glaval is fine. The Passport's were/ are a lot stiffer by far.
  15. Happy 10 Years

    The Glaval Easy On fleet has now achieved 10 years in service with ETS. In fact, they outlasted the Ez Rider fleet with Calgary Transit (and even other transit properties). Not a bad accomplishment given the Easy On was not a successful bus, and ETS had to perform major work to the buses early in their life. https://cptdb.ca/topic/4569-2008-edmonton-and-area-spottings/?do=findComment&comment=133151 The fleet isn't exactly intact. 2&3 are definitely retired, 1&5 haven't been seen service in a month or more. #12 was the first to be retired. The Glaval fleet was an.... interesting addition to the ETS fleet. ETS had been quite set on low floor buses, including for their Community Service fleet, even while peer transit agencies stuck it out with non-accessible high floor cutaway buses, and most ultimately went with the lighter duty Arboc cutaway to provide low floor para transit service. With the demise of Overland and the ELF bus, ETS tested a number of buses on the route 304 consisting of both low floor, medium duty "transit style" buses (Thomas SLF, Bluebird LF), as well as the cutaway style Champion EZ-Trans. When ETS issued a tender for the Community Service purchase, out of left field came Glaval, winning the tender with their Easy On model. As a result, despite the lack of prior testing, Edmonton committed to a bus not operated in transit service anywhere else in North America, at least not in any great numbers! The first order consisted of #01-09 delivered in 2007. #10-13 followed in 2008. The buses were built on a Workhorse LF72 chassis with a GM engine and Allison tranmission. Over the years they have been fitted with a camera system, some where equipped for highway use, and all except #12 were fitted with Smart Bus. Following these 13 buses, ETS did not return for more. Indeed, presumably not too happy with the Glaval's, ETS made emergency purchases which lead to IC LC's #31-33 being purchased, and Passport #28. While the Glaval's did allow for the retirement of a few ELF's, it certainly was not on a one for one basis. Ironically, the Glaval's in fact help prolong some ELF retirements. Again, without specific details, what we do know is that the entire fleet was cycle through the Paterson shops, had their skins removed, and work carried out. They are rare buses in general in North America and I would imagine certain parts, body parts in particular, were probably not in great supply! It has been common to see an assortment of quick fixes applied to these buses in for the form of duct tape. 05's patched side, windshields taped up. There's been all sort of parts taped up on these buses through the years. We certainly got our laughs out of the Glaval's. Early on ETS added orange posts to the front bumpers to help drivers tell where the front of their bus was. Later, ETS went back and covered up portions of the bright orange posts with blue tape so that the orange was only visible to the driver. The Glaval's were originally based out of Ferrier and Mitchell, later being consolidated at Mitchell. Presumably due to age and perhaps need for parts, #12 was retired first, being one of the few buses in service in the last 4-5 years to never receive Smart Bus equipment. #3 followed in October 2016, and #2 in August 2017. Since then #1 and 5 have gone MIA in the last 2 months of 2017. With service adjustments that reduced the need for Community Service buses as a whole, a few of these retirements have been as a result a surplus of buses to ETS's needs*. However, #1 and 5 going MIA, Passport's #14 and 15 have since been moved to Mitchell. With the arrival in October of the first Vicinity buses, the Glaval's end appeared close at hand. However, as has been common, ETS has never rushed new buses into service. The Glaval's took time to enter service... the IC LC's... Passport's... XD40's.... First, they made it to 2018, and now into February 2018 the fleet as reached the 10 year marker for active service... give or take some retirements... and a period of minimal service during the repair work at Paterson. Even now, it's intriguing that in very late January 2018, 08 was being used for training new operators, putting in a rare appearance at Ferrier. From a transit enthusiast perspective, they have made ETS's Community Service fleet quite interesting over the last 10 years... between prolonging the ELF's, bringing in emergency oddball purchases, and just being a rare bus themselves, they kept ETS interesting when the rest of the fleet was essentially all New Flyer. Unfortunately, despite making the fleet interesting, it came at the expensive of what has probably been an expensive bus, and perhaps a bad purchase by the City of Edmonton. Thanks for 10 Fugly Years. * Although ETS cut Community Service runs and replaced them with conventional transit service, thereby presumably requiring less CS buses, the purchase of the Vicinity bus amounted to enough units to replace the entire CS fleet except for the newest buses, the 6 Passport-HD's, which would rebuild the fleet back to it's peak fleet size before attrition that has occurred within the Glaval, IC LC, and Passport fleet's.