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    HRM, Nova Scotia

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  1. Halifax (metro) Transit.

    The charter bus operator I'm working for in Nova Scotia needed to replace some bumpers on his Prevost coaches and after some research I discovered the rear bumper from a New Flyer D40LF will bolt right in place once the old steel mounting plate is removed on the Prevosts. While designed as a front bumper, flip it upside down and it's a back bumper assembly as supplied by Prevost, the same was done on MCI & Nova Bus Classics. So the rear bumpers from 1018 & 1019 will live on as the replacements after we removed them over the past few days at the scrapyard. I also got the safety triangle kit out of 1019 for my own vehicle. The scrapyard is operating a new shredder so the GM cutaways and D40LFs towed in are reduced to tiny pieces within a day of arrival. They aren't salvaging anything once towed in... engines and all end up in the grinder once the grapple hook rips them into smaller pieces for the shredder.
  2. Fortress of Louisbourg Classic

    Wow, been many years since I last saw those Orion's . The Gillis family made money for years with those units, first running them as Aerocoach units, then the fortress work and a few of them licensed for charter work under Acadian Lines and Nova Charter Service. Was sad to see most of them rotting away in the back yard around '95 and very happy to see them on the highway headed through Moncton a year later as they headed to new owners.
  3. MCI Classic tracking thread

  4. MCI Classic tracking thread

    Just out of curiosity, what does the garage do for a scrap prep? Obviously they remove CT stuff like radio, fare boxes, camera systems, etc, but are they rendering the engine unusable or anything so that the scrap yard can't sell the engine or other mechanical components to another client? I've worked at places where scrap vehicles were drained of fluids and tired swapped out for bald ones then towed away, and other places had us drive scrap buses right to the scrap yard. I can remember driving a spare school bus years ago on a morning run, when I got back to the yard they pulled the radio, painted over the name then had me drive it on it's final trip to the wrecking yard. Mechanic followed me and pulled the plates and batteries once it was parked. JC
  5. Commuter Rail

    I hope VIA can get this up and running without interference from the ATU and local pres. Ken Wilson. I'm typically pro-union but Ken was on the news tonight whining about how the train might compete with Halifax Transit bus routes. Rail transportation isn't covered under municipal or provincial regulations, its covered under federal law. If VIA wants to run trains on tracks that its has users rights for then Ken and his crew should stop complaining and maybe take a look at how the municipality and his members can step up their game once the VIA-operated trains gain a reputation for efficiency, timely service (ie. on-time, not standing outside the bus having a smoke 5 minutes past departure time) and friendly customer service.
  6. Pacific Western Transportation

    The company was quoted in a recent trade publication that they suffered no loss of assets and no employees were injured in the fires.
  7. The contract has changed hands yet again after Stock did their 5 years. Coach Atlantic Group managed to be the winning bidder at $5.6 million which will see them operate 33 regular route buses plus spares for 3 years plus 2 renewal option years. I just hope the low bid didn't happen because of slashed drivers pay like in the past. It was a kick in the pants back in 1992 to go from $12+ per hour with benefits to $8/hr at 4 hours per day max and no benefits. Pay, benefits and union representation had improved once Laidlaw then First Student ran things but I haven't followed employee relations since Stock came in so I have no idea if the union carried on or got voted out. I am curious to see what they bring in for a fleet. Coach Atlantic's bus sales division (TransCon International) is a Lion Bus distributor but the company also has a good relationship with IC Bus. JC
  8. Airdrie Intercity Commuter Express & Local Service

    The compressor is active whenever the engine is running. It simply goes into "unloaded" mode once the air is built up, that means air is now simply being moved between the two cylinders in the compressor instead of being compressed. When the systems calls for more air the compressor goes back into "loaded" mode and starts compressing air again. There is no waste of air in applying the maxi at every stop and really isn't much different than the load on the compressor from rear/front door interlocks setting the brakes, air suspension and the usual loss of air through leaky fittings or rust pinholes in tanks after they've been run for 10+ years.
  9. First Student Canada

    Here's a couple more... 922898 had Laidlaw decals at one point, It came from another Ft. Mac site and I drove it instead of the new ICs because it had lots of heat and was pretty quick on the highway. Shell finally demanded newer buses be used as regular route buses so I drove 898 to the storage yard by the airport where it sat until needed by another site. 2740 came from CNRL and was returned to that location after the workload returned to normal. I'll look around my house for a few camera cards that have pics of the Albian Sands fleet. JC
  10. First Student Canada

    We "borrowed" it from the CNRL fleet, along with other FS65 buses once the original, 20 new IC's weren't enough to meet the demands at site. There were also some former Laidlaw Ontario and former Laidlaw/First Student Nova Scotia Corbeil buses in the spare fleet that parked way out by Ft. Mac's airport.
  11. First Student Canada

    Is 2784 a ex-Cardinal FS65? If so I can understand the good highway trip as a I drove 2780 at Shell Albian Sands for FirstCanada for many months back in 2011-2012. Great buses for highway or backroad trips!
  12. Halifax (metro) Transit.

    Saw this around 12noon today in Burnside. Looks like the Access-A-Bus reversed in the parking lot at 53 Wright Avenue, barrelled down the slope towards the neighbouring building but was stopped by the boulders at the bottom of the hill. The rocks tore up the skirt panels pretty good. One HRP cruiser, two Transit supervisor vehicles and one of Ruggle's large wreckers were all on aite when I went by. I wasn't able to see a fleet number and sorry for the blurry pic. JC
  13. Not sure if this was posted elsewhere but NS-based Perry Rand Transportation's bus rebuild shop in Moncton was destroyed by fire this weekend. They still have their bus sales and parts facility in NS and the rebuild shop used to be busy doing in-house work for their own fleet prior to selling their school and charter fleet to Stock. The Moncton shop also performed pre-delivery inspections of new buses and custom modifications for clients (wheelchair lifts, bookmobile interiors, graphics, etc). It's too bad as I haven't seen many bus operators who could keep 20+ year old buses running in like new condition. They are the only Thomas Bus approved body rebuilder in the Maritimes. The fire was huge and if you look through their facebook photos you can see the massive timbers that fueled the blaze, along with all the paints, plastics and other combustibles. I hope the old International-Harvester school bus stored out back survived. It was a collector's item! Thankfully nobody was injured. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/fire-moncton-warehouse-1.3489378 https://www.facebook.com/Perry-Rand-Transportation-Group-Limited-220011688051657/photos_stream JC
  14. The NS Utility & Review Board bureacracy

    It's very sad. Pretty bad when your competition gets to set the terms of YOUR license and are given the blessing to do this by the URB. The board and the motor carrier inspection office have outlived their usefulness. Licensed mechanics in the province are quite capable of doing safety inspections and the charter bus industry needs to adapt and not depend on government regulating pricing and operating licenses. Let the market figure out who survives and who doesn't. Here's an interesting article from the Chronicle Herald date March 6th 2012. The NS system required the applicant to show need for the additional services not being met by existing carriers whereas NB requires those opposing the application to show how issuing the license would be against the public's interest: It’s my party and Halifax can cry if it wants to. That seemed to be the tune party-bus entrepreneur Rod Sheppard was crooning Tuesday after reporting a successful year of operations in Moncton with Party Bus Atlantic Inc. The Nova Scotia regulator shut down the mobile party business back in 2010 after a short run. “We’ve had a terrific year of operations here in New Brunswick. The market has been very welcoming,” Sheppard said in an interview. It is more than a little aggravating that Nova Scotia is a missing link between his St. John’s, N.L., base and his growing marketplace in New Brunswick, he said. Sheppard said he was up and running with his Party Bus business in New Brunswick within about three months after the provincial Utility and Review Board ousted his business from Nova Scotia, but he still had a few parting shots for a “ludicrous” regulatory regime that prevented him from operating in this province after other limousine operators complained about the competition. “I don’t think we’ll ever be able to get a licence to operate in Nova Scotia when the utility board prevents other businesses from establishing themselves because this would be competition for the existing operators. “Can you image how people in Nova Scotia would react if Walmart prevented Canadian Tire from opening a store because it was competition? Isn’t this just the silliest thing you ever heard?” He said he was naive to roll into Nova Scotia with a version of his successful Newfoundland and Labrador business without first obtaining approval from the review board. It regulates bus and limousine services in the province. It wasn’t long before the board got word of the party-bus business, which provided a mobile party atmosphere for revellers for special events. The board ordered Sheppard and a partner in for a formal application process, with objections from Absolute Charters, Molega Tours, Prestige Limousine and Town Limousine Service. “There is very little concrete evidence of demand (for such a service) in Nova Scotia,” said the Aug. 18, 2010, board decision. Sheppard said he and other company officials drove the two luxury buses, one worth about $150,000 and the other about $200,000, across the provincial line, where the operation has been doing a booming business. “Fear of competition is not a legitimate argument against a new business in New Brunswick,” said Sheppard. The party bus can offer pumped-up music and lighting and has also found a ready market in children’s and youth events, corporate gatherings, wedding and proms, and stag parties in New Brunswick, said Sheppard. The buses can be equipped with fog machines and dance poles. “We’re rocking and rolling in New Brunswick and its Nova Scotia’s loss,” he said. “This province is way more fun anyway.” Board decisions are available to the public. Executive director Paul Allen did not want to comment on the decision but said the reasons for the board’s rejection are fully outlined in its report. (bpower@herald.ca)