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M. Parsons

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Everything posted by M. Parsons

  1. Live! From highway 1!! At least 3 new buses.749 and 750 are D40LFRs and 781 is a EZ Rider II. They also have a new paint scheme. 2 tone orange wavy stripes. Classic 766 was at the garage. Appears active.
  2. M. Parsons

    CPTDB Reached new "Most Online" Record

    Probably nothing, after all that time is based up on your computers time. For me it shows as 10:51AM for the most online. I'm also curious how accurate that number is and the technical "stuff" behind it. 2479 users at once seems a bit excessive... to jump from 863 from 5+ years ago to 2479 in 2019 without anything in between in all of these years seems a bit odd. In fact, I always wrote the 863 number off as being an anomaly. Perhaps lots bots visiting for Google or Wikipedia or perhaps even something more malicious in the way of bots (advertising related?, attack?, spamming attempts?).
  3. M. Parsons

    Whats up with the board

    Given all of the STO stuff is in the NCR section... with topics dating back to 2007... 12 years ago... I guess that's where it goes.....
  4. M. Parsons

    Electric buses by Gillig

    Perhaps because BYD has more experience building electric buses than Gillig? Perhaps this Cummins drive might be proportionally more expensive than the BYD drive? Perhaps BYD has the foreign financial backing that would allow them to offer competitive pricing? As for BYD and tariffs... Given that I gather BYD is winning tenders which include "Buy America" requirements, I'd imagine that tariffs are not too signficant... If the bus was all Chinese components, don't think it would be meeting "Buy America" requirements. "The firm’s battery-electric, zero-emission buses not only meet but also exceed all current and future stated FTA “Buy America” requirements, incorporating 70%+ U.S. content." http://en.byd.com/usa/news-posts/press-release-byd-continues-u-s-investment-with-new-5-million-warehouse-facility/
  5. M. Parsons

    TTC GM Fleet Reminiscing

    A bit late to the party on this one... but lots of manual steering in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=qfz2zG2HmMc There are two other Edmonton Transit videos from the same user on this channel that are worth a watch.
  6. M. Parsons

    LRT Spottings

    2010 and new ballast cars 2206 and 2207 doing some ballast work at Churchill Station.
  7. M. Parsons

    Strathcona Sightings

    This is what peak hour 414 service looked like coming up on 15 years ago, when the 414 was sort of the secondary route to the 401. There were 40' bus trips and probably even 60' buses used on the 414, but it was usually cutaways for a couple of early afternoon trips. Now of course, the 414 is the main route and the 404 the secondary route. Often the buses in use are double deckers.
  8. M. Parsons

    Edmonton's historic buses

    96 is an ElDorado Passport.
  9. M. Parsons

    Southeast LRT

    It's been more like 6 months and it's sitting inside a tent at the Gerry Wright facility. There is literally no where to put any new cars yet.
  10. M. Parsons

    Go Transit buses in Calgary

  11. M. Parsons

    Fort Saskatchewan Transit Future

    You would need to do some research. Start off with City Council meeting minutes and the City budget. You'll probably find something. Before soliciting for information, make sure you know what you're even talking. Your posts amount to: "this sucks, how can we fix it, but really, I know nothing about the City of the Region". The bridge is a problem, but the end is insight. https://www.transportation.alberta.ca/6051.htm
  12. M. Parsons

    Bus Network Redesign

    "Old school" passengers know which stop to use I guess as we've never* had terminus labels on stops. I guess map reading skills are going away in this day in age? For the last 22ish years I've figured out which stop to use by looking at a map. *Pre-Horizon 2000 (June 29, 1997, 20 years ago) some bus stops would have listed the routes and terminals. That vast majority would not have. With the Horizon 2000 changes a new bus stop sign was introduced which now included route numbers. At bus terminals the bus stop signs are different and do indeed include destinations. Personally, I feel having the route numbers that serve the stop to be good enough. Perhaps if have you have no sense of direction or are unfamiliar with an area I could appreciate that one could have a bit tougher of a time picking out which bus stop to use. What have you so far experienced with ETS in regards to this "coin toss" that you don't know which direction you'll end up going?
  13. M. Parsons

    Fort Saskatchewan Transit Future

    Improved service will cost $$$$$$$$. How does Fort Saskatchewan fund increased service levels? Will taxpayers be willing to foot the bill for more transit through tax increases? "Right now, the only bus that gets you out of town is the ETS 580". What would you propose in addition too, or in place of the 580? More stops along existing routes, maybe. The existing service however if quite smart. Maximum coverage, 30 minutes per loop. Extending the route to encompass both the West loop and Downtown loop would add time which would prevent convenient-for-scheduling 30 minute trip times. Transfer connections are timed and can be made at the DOW Centre or North Transfer point for those that need to reach the other portions of the routes that aren't duplicated. 8:25-13:25 service is covered by one bus and that service can perhaps be a bit funky, although, usable. The 580 covers another slice of Fort Saskatchewan and probably brings most residents to within a 400m walk of a bus stop. Without specific examples, I can't comment further, but it does look like transit coverage is deployed as effectively as possible with the available budget. On demand bus service would be a replacement for fix route service. Whether that's good or not is another conversation. It think the to meet the 580's you need fixed route service. Maybe in that 5 hour window with 1 bus you could use on demand bus service. For this "I know someone who knows someone" scenario, I suggest looking into Special Transportation Services Society. Watching the raise of transit operations around Edmonton, Fort Saskatchewan has set up what seems to be a model scenario. Their service I was always concerned would vaporize one day. Contracted, minimal infrastructure. Over time it built up... more commuter runs, then contracted local service. Finally, City owned buses operated by a contractor with ETS contracted for the commuter service, and now some more permanent infrastructure (improved bus stops, transfer points and park and ride). It would be nice if the service could one day could demand additional buses, but, I suspect that could be some time aways.
  14. M. Parsons

    Christmas Loot 2018 What did you get?

    Liquor, coffee, and coffee liqueur. Perfect.
  15. M. Parsons

    Red Deer

    Well, I'm in Red Deer for a few days to run a store down here. Naturally, I volunteered to get a free trip to see Red Deer Transit when they were looking for people. So far... 509 (D40) is out on a route 4, and I got a pic of 7143, their only unrebuilt GM.
  16. M. Parsons

    TTC Electric Buses Orders and Deployments

    False. Edmonton's order is depot charging also, but unless something changed during negotiations, it will be overhead charging. I gather the TTC's will be plug in charging.
  17. This is actually something that could lead to discussion. Whether or not Orion was, I suspect BAE was was looking to a full EV system with the HybriDrive system going back 5-10 years. Given for many years the Orion was the defacto platform for the BAE HybriDrive, I think absolutely a 100% EV Orion VII would have happened, unless a successor to the Orion VII was around by now. As for the Orion VII being compatible with 100% electric power, as the main difference between a hybrid and a battery electric bus is the power source, I would say again, absolutely. I'm not overly familiar with the Orion VII, and in particular the later developments of the NG and EPA10, so I'm not sure how far they got with including electric driven accessories in the Orion VII, but that too could be a step towards a full electric bus. One benefit of the Xcelsior over of the LFR platform is an advertised 8% weight reduction. Less weights allows more batteries to be carried (not withstanding any body strengthening to support batteries I guess). I've tried to dig up some specifications, but, I am under the impression that the Orion VII was a bit heavier than comparable New Flyer and Nova Bus products. That could be the one detriment with the Orion VII platform vs the Xcelsior in a full electric bus. But, that's only if you compared the two. I think an Orion VII could have done just fine as a an electric bus, although perhaps with a bit more limited range unless en route charging is employed (which both New Flyer and Nova Bus started with first). In the case of New Flyer they developed their own entire electric bus concept, whereas BAE would have probably done a lot of the EV work with Orion's support. Looking into the HyrbiDrive this evening, I see it's come even further than the last time I looked into it. I am curious if one day we'll see a HybriDrive full EV system as an option in buses from other vendors like Nova Bus or New Flyer, instead of their in house developed options. http://www.hybridrive.com/pdf/bus/advancing_electric_solutions_brochure_18.pdf
  18. This guy did: But then, we've already established in other threads that you're not too keen on reading. Besides, it's all the same discussion at this point whether it's Orion or NABI: The lunacy of New Flyer resurrecting old product lines.
  19. That might make sense to a bus fan, but that's about it. The reality is that the majority of the North American bus market (the USA) operates in a lowest bid wins environment. While maybe some transit agencies might want initially to have kept receiving NABI's or Orion's for parts commonality, that would have been a concern 5 years ago. A transit agency could specify some sort of "BRT" styling or other features, but there's no way they could specify Orion or NABI styling as then the competition is no longer fair. Therefore, there is absolutely no reason for New Flyer to offer anything but the Xcelsior. Making the "guts the same" with a NABI or Orion shell means engineering... engineering costs money. Why would New Flyer do this when no one wants it? They'd have to sell the buses at a higher cost to recover the investment which would then turn off any agencies that might have wanted it. To be clear, New Flyer only offers 3 sizes. And they've only ever offered 3 sizes of Xcelsior, and even going back to the LFR it was really only 3 sizes that saw production, and that's been the case for 10+ years. Anyways, hopefully this is the end of the New Flyer resurrecting Orion and NABI fantasies. We're beating a dead horse now.
  20. M. Parsons

    New Flyer Xcelsior

    Some further reading for you on cold weather testing of battery buses: https://www.edmonton.ca/documents/transit/ETS_Electric_Feasibility_Study.pdf Lets not forget Winnipeg has been running battery electric buses longer than anyone else. Edmonton is still running 4 hybrid buses in colder conditions than Toronto's average coldest temperature (Strathcona County Transit too, and of course St. Albert has winter running now on their BYD's). The simple thing is that you heat the batteries the same way to heat the passenger cabin (and cool them for that matter). Hence, Edmonton's hybrid buses were their first buses with air conditioning as it was needed for the batteries. How do you refuel a diesel bus when there's no power to run the fuel pump? And sure, there are probably generators tied into fuel pumps at transit garages, however, you said "or worse"... so... how would transit function without electricity for an extended period? How do you maintain buses in a garage without electricity? What if your diesel generator breaks down and you can't fuel your diesel buses? Is it worth staying diesel on the small chance that a large power outage could possibly it one day again vs. the potential advantages and cost savings of electric buses? You know, we could almost have a productive discussion about the merits of diesel vs. CNG vs. electric buses, but, you clearly don't have any intention of that with half assed arguments, name calling, and providing exactly zero sources to back up your points. I'm probably wasting my time on this.... but here it goes. Certainly, there's going to be some costs here. In Edmonton's case this has even included strengthening the floor slab for the bus storage area due to the increased weight of the intended type of battery electric buses (the garage has underground employee parking). Ultimately, the costs are going to be determined by what a transit agency wants. St. Albert has elected to go with depot charging buses with BYD's charging system. Quite possibly the cheapest option, but, perhaps not the best option. Edmonton is doing depot charging as well, however, they are looking at scaling their installation for a larger fleet and hands free operation (no plugging buses in). Scaled over a larger fleet, this is probably cheaper than individual chargers for every bus. Of course, then there's en route charging. Certainly, the charging stations are going to cost more than depot charging, however, you can then cut back on the amount of batteries carried on the bus, while practically eliminating range issues. See the link I provided for life cycle costs of the different technologies and their charging infrastructure. I don't know exactly what you're trying to say here. But I see "operation cost", "funding", and "maintaining" which makes me think this it time to discuss capital costs vs. operating costs. When we're talking electric bus charging infrastructure, be it en route chargers, depot chargers, garage modifications, power grid upgrades etc. we're talking one time capital costs that come from one budget. When we talk fuel costs, maintenance costs, driver costs etc. we are talking operating costs which come from another budget. When we talk life cycle costs we're talking about the combined costs over a defined life cycle for an entire system including the capital and operating costs. Again, see my link for those life cycle costs. And trust me, diesel is not without it's capital costs. Fuel tank replacements and hydrocarbon remediation at decommissioned transit garages. So, certainly there will be increased capital costs to deploy electric buses, but those are one time costs. The saving are then from the reduced operating costs of the buses. And certainly, as the battery charging system ages there will be a capital cost down the road to upgrade or replace. How far down the road? That we don't really know yet, but, I think we need a standardized charging scheme to be adopted, and that is coming along as the technology matures. As for "unproven", I think it's safe to say we've figured out how to put electricity into batteries, and then to take electricity out of the battery and turn an electric motor. It's a matter of making the storage battery as efficient and energy dense as possible now that has room for improvement, although, it's safe to say that the technology is at an adequate level right now to start the electrification of transit systems. You're talking about the Designline bus with the Capstone turbine or whatever it was? That wasn't a battery electric bus so that's irrelevant to this conversation. And how is BYD mostly a failure? I've said it before, I'm not a fan of BYD for a few reasons, however, that's not to say they can't deliver a electric bus that delivers what it's supposed to. Incidentally, I took a quick look into RTD's 30-something fleet of BYD's and couldn't find anything negative besides late delivery (which at this point in time BYD has become somewhat known for). St. Albert's fleet of 7 from my observations seem to be doing just fine. I personally think BYD should have supplied their battery technology for existing bus designs, rather than trying to build their own bus that meets North American standards (BYD started as a battery manufacturer). I think late delivery and quality issues are part of learning how to build a bus for North America, and their issues, and I think artics are best left to diesel buses or en route charging battery buses. You are right though. It will take into the next decade to prove electric bus technology, and frankly, in the grand scheme of things, that sounds about the right time frame. Lets think back to the 1920's when the internal combustion engine bus started to get a foothold. The ICE bus started off small. Built on truck frames and what not. Generally limited by the technology of the era. They couldn't compete with the mighty streetcar, but, rather were used to feed it. As the years went on technology improved and engines got bigger. Dedicated buses were being built. Cities evolved and changed and expanded beyond the streetcar lines. Bigger buses showed up in the form of trolleybuses and in some cases the trolleybuses started replacing the streetcar. In time (post WWII) the ICE bus would improve and start to have the passenger capacity to take over from streetcars, and in time replace the trolleybus as well. In Edmonton that took 20+ years between the first ICE bus to the first 40' diesel transit bus. So, you're absolutely right. It will take into the next decade to perfect and roll out electric buses on a larger scale. But, it took time to roll out large capacity diesel buses, and if someone hadn't put in that effort to develop and experiment and take risks with that technology, we wouldn't have your precious diesel buses today, but would rather be using the horse and buggy. To answer your question "Why replace Clean Diesel buses with Electric ones? Simple all of the usual arguments. Reduced in street emissions/ cleaner, and low life cycle costs than diesel buses. Now, irreverent diesel Orion fanboy, run along and quit insulting the people that actually help make this discussion board a discussion board and who know what the hell they are talking about.
  21. M. Parsons

    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.
  22. M. Parsons

    New Flyer Xcelsior

    Your line of thinking is.... interesting. First it's "these" TA's are going to regret it. I think Valley Metro was in the original quote. So, presumably it's just the transit agencies in the hot climates ("extreme weather conditions"?) who will regret it? Or are you implying that all TA's will regret battery electric buses? Certainly, using the battery to provide air conditioning and even cooling the battery itself will be detrimental to the range of a battery electric bus. I was going to suggest that your "these TA's are going to regret it" quote just refers to transit agencies that operate in extreme heat.... On the other hand, I've seen Reno, Nevada's Proterra's in operation and they seem to be doing ok with their electric bus fleets (2nd generation now I believe). If you're talking about "extreme weather" in general, besides desert environments, can you provide further specifics on why you think battery electrics won't work?
  23. M. Parsons

    Happy 10 Years

    Nice find. I've reference the Transport Canada list many times in the past, but, I never checked the Glaval Easy On's. As my first post documents, it's really an unknown how ETS came to purchasing these buses. I believe there was at least one Ontario agency that ended up with a Easy On. For now, I suspect this will remain a mystery. FOIPing the City of Edmonton might reveal something. Of course, my original post was tongue in cheek. I was dismayed (as a taxpayer) that Edmonton seemingly circumvented standard procurement channels to end up with these buses that seemed to be lemons, at least in a sense. As a transit advocate I liked the fact that these buses were true low floors, and that ETS wasn't looking for the cheapest cutaway bus out there. As a transit enthusiast? Well, having one of the rarest buses out there was pretty neat as well, even if it wasn't a typical fullsize transit bus. And that fact that they had a longer in service life than the Passport's was at least interesting in the end, even though I strongly feel ETS should have never purchased the Easy On's.
  24. M. Parsons

    General FML moments

    IrfanView kicks ass. Anyways, why would you use Paint for detailing fleet rosters?! Seems to me a spreadsheet would work better.
  25. M. Parsons

    Bus Network Redesign

    That's just the designations they are using during the planning stages at the open houses. No sense in confusing people by using numbers that conflict with existing routes.