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northwesterner

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  1. northwesterner

    King County Metro - Seattle, Washington

    A couple corrections. The 15/18/21/22/56/57 interline pattern started with the Fall 1998 service change. This corresponded with the 15 & 18 each seeing a 20 minute headway weekdays, 10 minute combined. Previously each operated on a 30 minute headway, 15 minute combined on the common corridor. One of the 15 or 18 would through route on 1st Ave with the 22, while the other would layover at 2nd and Main. I believe that if you operated an inbound 18, became a 22, then the other way, you'd throughroute to a 15 in the northbound direction. But this interline pattern changed often. Pre Fall 1998, the 21 throughrouted with the 16, and as you noted, the 28 with the 56. Note that the 15 Night Shuttle operated through the mid-2000s, when it was finally eliminated. I'd have to look at a timetable (have some from this era, in storage in my parent's basement in Seattle so not accessible) but the 15 Night Shuttle interlined with the 18 on the very north end. It was some weird pattern that had been around forever... something like a northbound 18 would do the North Beach loop, then operate to via 85th Ave NW and lay s/b on 15th at 85th. It would then operate an inbound 15 shuttle to the Ballard Bridge. It then would pull around and hold for the outbound 18 at 15th and Leary, operate the 15 through the Blue Ridge loop, then, operate westbound on NW 85th Street and lay inbound at 24th and 85th. It would then operate an inbound 18 to Downtown Seattle. Also, post Fall 1998 the 22 did not terminate downtown on Sundays. I believe the pattern was 30-minute headways on the 21, and 60-minutes each on the 22 and 56, for a 15 minute headway on the common corridor. There were some cutbacks to the 22 after I-695, including an elimination of evening service.
  2. northwesterner

    Life After Greyhound

    The bureaucracy in this process is unreal.
  3. Correct. But Greyhound does minimal charter work in the US ... one city where they do quite a bit is Chicago (for whatever reason...) and they already have a fleet of non-lift coaches for that work. Last I looked, MCI was charging something like $80,000 to retrofit a lift into an E or J. Don't know what they'd charge for a D, but it would be similar. This retrofit done by MCI would bring it to OEM standards. I know some of the DL3s had lifts added by ABC as part of the refurb, but I can't believe that the cost per unit would be substantially less than what MCI is charging, especially if we're talking about less than 50 buses as opposed to the hundreds they did before. So yes, $80,000 is a fraction of the $800,000 or so a brand new coach with a lift would cost. But the capital investment analysis may show that the better choice is to retire the old, near end of life bus, in favor of purchasing a new one at the current market rate.
  4. northwesterner

    King County Metro - Seattle, Washington

    This is all still accurate. I see "RB" as a suffix these days for Owl runs, not sure how long that has been in place.
  5. northwesterner

    King County Metro - Seattle, Washington

    Typically the runs are based off of a route family, with a "parent route" as the "route"/"run." Thus back when the 15/18/21/22/56/57 were all interlined, all runs were 15/** where ** is the run number and 15 was the parent route. These days, we do see trippers, that are part of a parent route family, labeled with the route number of the tripper. I believe this is to make it easier to understand at a glance what the tripper is actually operating. You do see some routes that are part of a family but with a different characteristic with a different parent route ... for instance, the early AM diesel trippers on route 44 where historically assigned "44/XX" while the trolley coach 43 and 44 runs were all "43/XX." In other situations, they'll use high run numbers ... when the 7 Express was still operating with diesel service, the run numbers were in the 50s for AM trippers, and 60s for PM trippers. If you knew this run number structure, you could identify what it was at a glance. Metro had exterior facing run numbers going back to the 1940s until the mid-2000s when they were removed. Poor driver visibility on the Gilligs was the culprit - as delivered they had too tall mirrors (blind spots), overly tall fareboxes in relation to the drivers seat, dash sign holders & run number boxes that created blind spots to the right. All of these items were adjusted over time - new mirrors (three iterations on the left, three on the right), shorter farebox vaults, and finally clear dash sign holders and removal of run number boxes. I daresay the run number boxes would have survived if it hadn't been for all the other blind spot issues.
  6. northwesterner

    King County Metro - Seattle, Washington

    There was an article either in the old Seattle Transit employee newsletter or the early Metro version of it about the ancient, high-mileage 100s and their high seniority operators that loved driving them on the 39 Shuttle... If someone who lives in Seattle wants to hit up the stacks at the UW library and scan that article for us.... 😀
  7. northwesterner

    Life After Greyhound

    You keep talking about what is and isn't viable. The folks who know what is and isn't viable are the ones putting together business plans and trying to figure out if there is an opportunity. If they haven't applied for those routes, they probably aren't actually viable.
  8. northwesterner

    King County Metro - Seattle, Washington

    I think that is correct. I believe the 31 Beacon was the route via Columbian Way ... the later 39 was 4th Ave S to Columbian Way and then Seward Park before terminating at Rainier Beach or continuing to Southcenter.
  9. northwesterner

    King County Metro - Seattle, Washington

    These discussions are difficult because there are many different time eras, and routes that overlapped. The 135 and 138 were historically out of South, and operated from that base for the majority of their lives. The 135 in its last two years or so, was moved to Ryerson (the 138 was eliminated by that point). When the 135 was eliminated, and the 125 created, the 125 operated out of Ryerson Base, replacing the 135. The 11 moved from Ryerson to Central, much, much, more recently (and may have gone back and forth at least once) than 2004. The 128 was placed at South when it started, and operated continuously out of South until it moved to Central very recently. For many years, the 24 interlined with the 39, which served Beacon Hill. I believe the 39 was the successor to the 31 Beacon Hill. The 19/136/137 and 24/39 pairings maintained until the Magnolia restructure around 1998...
  10. northwesterner

    King County Metro - Seattle, Washington

    The 120 moved to Atlantic 5 or 6 years ago... The old 20 was at Ryerson, and Mercer before that, forever. Pre 1998 - The 50 was Ryerson, 128 didn't exist, 135/138 were South, 139 didn't exist. Towards the end of the 2000s, South Base had a very limited fleet of 2000s. The last shakeup or two they operated there, South had something like 12, which was a low point. These were used for all day base service on the 174, and then other routes as available. On Sundays, with the tunnel closed, the 2000s and 5000s were mixed across the 150/174/194 pretty evenly. There was one run on the 150 on Sundays assigned a Gillig (same run every week), and may have been one run on the 174 (as captured by Zack above) that was the same. They also regularly worked non-tunnel trippers out of East Base, though always on a run cut that included a tunnel trip. After about 2001, Central Base also used them, heavily in the AM Peak on trippers (some of which may have been full-time runs that did a tripper first ... the 71/72/73 for years had a much lower headway in the AM than mid-day and PM peak, so those runs would do a tripper then start their work on the 71-series around 9AM), as well as a few in the PM peak. North Base had a Breda assigned to a 358 trip for one shake-up in the PM around 2002, but their scheduler rarely assigned them to non-tunnel work. For about a year in the same time period, there was a Saturday 71-series run that wrapped up a 73 in Jackson Park in the early evening (around 6:30PM) then deadhead over to Shoreline Community College, did an inbound 5, an outbound 54, and an inbound 54 and returned to the base. I never snagged a picture of this, because it except in the summer months, it was always dark when this run was operating with this equipment on the 5 or 54.
  11. northwesterner

    King County Metro - Seattle, Washington

    Don't know when the change occurred. But the layover was at 7th and Blanchard for a long time... 3000s only operated out of Ryerson (and Mercer Base, briefly, before Ryerson opened), Central/Atlantic, and, as discussed here previously, briefly East Base. Thus, there were no regular assignments of them to the 174. 1600-series Flyers, as well as 3200-Gilligs made occasional appearances. I can recall seeing an occasional 3200 in the late 1990s on a 174 Boeing Industrial or Sea-Tac short-turn. Bredas also were regularly seen on the 174.
  12. northwesterner

    King County Metro - Seattle, Washington

    I haven't seen a fleet roster in *forever* but I don't think this is quite right. There are more D60LFs that are assigned to / maintained by Atlantic Base. The 120 run cards indicate "PULLOUT AT PARENT BASE - ATLANTIC." If the 120, which uses Atlantic operators, were using coaches assigned to / maintained by Central Base, the run cards would read "PULLOUT AT STORAGE BASE - CENTRAL." Also - the lack of XDE60 sightings on the 120, which are intermixed in the Central Base signout, is another clue as to the Atlantic fleet. Note that in the past, Atlantic did use coaches assigned to / maintained by Central Base for the 120, though that no longer appears to be the case.
  13. northwesterner

    King County Metro - Seattle, Washington

    Its on the 120 tonight, so there's a 95% chance it's Atlantic Base. There is a small chance it is a Central Base coach ... but that's a small chance.
  14. northwesterner

    King County Metro - Seattle, Washington

    It's interesting that the widely ignored 55mph speed limit was in place starting in 1974 - long before the 1400s were spec'd out. The 2000s and 3000s were geared to top out at 57mph. I've heard the thinking was that you'd get the extra 2 mph to get around someone going exactly the speed limit. I don't recall the 57mph 2000s being horribly slow with everyone passing them when they were on the freeway, even after the 55mph speed limit was repealed in the mid 1990s. As I've mentioned here before, the last shakeup of the 1400s (Feb 99), all the 1400s were supposed to be retired by the start of the shakeup. It took a lot longer to get the 2300s in service than planned (none were in service at the start of the shakeup) and so a rider alert went out noting that while all trips were indicated as accessible on the timetable, specific trips on a list of routes would be non-accessible and either call the info line or look at the timetables on the *internet.* As a result of this, the runs had been re-cut assuming that all these routes would be accessible (typically the 1400s were contained to a set of routes they'd been on forever) and the runs were more efficient assuming that all the artics would be the same. Thus, when they designated those trips non-accessible, a lot of trippers ended up with 1400s on routes that hadn't seen them in a while. I regularly rode them their last shakeup on routes like 242, 268, 272, 276 and 340 that hadn't seen 1400s in forever. There was one trip on the 340 that ran all the way from Aurora Village to Burien (I suspect it was the second trip on a Boeing Everett tripper) that I rode a few times in the AM. I can recall the operator, with a coach that do 75mph, on a schedule written for a 57mph bus, stopping and holding for a couple of minutes at every 405 freeway stop (time-point).
  15. northwesterner

    Valley Metro (Phoenix)

    They are the same farebox that the MBTA in Boston purchased. They were widely panned there - unreliable, slow, and overly complicated to maintain. I can't imagine that two agencies would have totally opposite experiences with the same farebox.
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