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northwesterner

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  1. northwesterner

    New Flyer D60LF Retirement / Storage watch

    One might argue they weren't in good shape when they rolled out of the factory but... Yeah - these weren't great coaches new - and the 1998s spent how many years working full days on North America's busiest bus line? The slightly newer ones aren't much better either - they were run ragged on the 98 B-Line. It is truly a testament to CMBC's maintenance team that these can still do a days work ... I'd love to see the cost per mile on these versus new equipment to see how much they're spending to keep them on the road. When you look at similarly long lived coaches ... think about the RTSs that New York City is still operating (for a few more weeks). Those coaches were also subject to long service hours and tough road conditions (though probably overall lighter loads) but the RTS is considered to be an extremely durable, rugged transit coach. I rode one a few months ago ... it rattled like crazy but still got down the road okay (with the same Series 50 as in CMBC's D60LFs). But I wouldn't expect anything less as those are much better coaches, overall, than the 1998-2003 model year D60LFs.
  2. northwesterner

    New Flyer D60LF Retirement / Storage watch

    To get it through the last two years of service... That fleet should have been retired 5+ years ago.
  3. northwesterner

    Sound Transit

    I thought there was something in the ST contract with CT that essentially CT is just doing pass-through rates from First Transit. In one of the earlier contracts, there was concern that CT was "marking up" their contract with FT. ST made a bunch of noise about just inviting FT to bid directly, and so CT reworked it so that it would be direct pass through rates.
  4. northwesterner

    Portland TriMet

    Comments from someone who hasn't been on one... Slow doors - Do we know TriMet wants them to be faster? Agencies are increasingly specifying agonizingly slow doors - someone in the safety department thinks this will cut down on claims. I think it just increases the operational block time, across all buses in the fleet waiting for the doors to cycle. My experience with the earlier Gilligs at TriMet is the rear doors are particularly bothered by the hard to use VAPOR Class passenger activated rear doors. From my observation - passengers would physical push the rear doors open as soon as the green light came on. As this occurred before the Class system had a chance to activate and start opening the rear doors, they would open very slowly. If one waited (as I did to test it, a couple of times) until the green light came on, then waived ones hand in the zone, the doors would pop open with a reasonable speed. The problem is the Class system is so unintuitive and unresponsive - literally no one in Portland is activating the doors properly. VAPOR's newer solid state rear door controls with a grab bar seem to work much better in other cities - TriMet could improve rear door operation if they went with that system. Sensitive Edge - Presumably the sensitive edge is still present on the rear door such that if the door closes on something, it will pop back open. Sensitive edge on the rear door is a standard feature that has been around forever... Interlock - Some agencies are spec'ing their coaches to require a certain psi brake application for the interlock to release. Gone are the days of doors are closed and push the accelerator. They want a conscious action from the driver to deactivate the interlock - doors closed, brake application - of a certain psi - then push the accelerator. What is Tri-Met's standard set up? What is the set-up on these coaches?
  5. northwesterner

    King County Metro - Seattle, Washington

    There are ongoing systematic dewirement issues caused by the current generation of Kiepe pole collectors. The situation is improved from when this story was initially published, but has not been satisfactorily resolved.
  6. northwesterner

    2001 Orion V Retirement

    But they're of an age where there isn't much life left.
  7. northwesterner

    2001 Orion V Retirement

    Why?
  8. northwesterner

    2001 Orion V Retirement

    From there originally, socal these days. Yes - I am very familiar with the type.
  9. northwesterner

    2001 Orion V Retirement

    Still waiting for the RV conversion dreamers to lineup at auction to buy these?
  10. northwesterner

    Greyhound Spottings & Photos

    These plates are governed by IRP rules. All states and provinces that are signatories to the agreement follow the same standards. In order to do your base plates in a specific jurisdiction you are required to have a physical location in that state/province. One company I worked for, due to a long, complicated corporate history, ended up with our plates in a state where we no longer had a bus company. Instead we leased an office and hired an accountant to work remotely to sit alone in that office. She also handled forwarding the mail regarding registration that went to that address to the person elsewhere in the company that actually took care of that for us. @Dane - BC requires a provincial bus operator license in addition to an appropriate IRP registration for non-domiciled vehicles. The PT license for out of state operators is ineffective and a real pain in the rear. And they just rubber stamp whatever you submit anyways ... as long as all the documentation they've requested is there and accounted for, you're good to go. I have a story somewhere about our office nearly missing the deadline for that paperwork, me frantically gathering it all and pulling it together from the maintenance files in the shop, copying it, writing a cover letter, running down to FedEx to have it delivered overnight, only to have FedEx call me the next day and tell me the office has moved and its non-deliverable. As I noted above, as long as someone has a physical presence - an office with one person employed in it, BC would allow you to continue to do IRP registration through them, even though you're not regularly operating there. EDIT - Oregon also requires a bunch of extra stuff in addition to the IRP. That is because, instead of apportioning out the fuel-tax, like pretty much all the other states and provinces, through the IRP, they charge a weight-mile tax. If you don't have a permanent Oregon permit, you can stop at a port of entry, register, and the stop again on your way out of the state and pay the applicable weight-mile tax. That's a pain, so you have to do some additional registration work with Oregon. The software that tracks and remits your IRP mileage taxes to the appropriate registrations will show a $0 due to Oregon for the apportioned fuel-mile tax, and you have to separately calculate your weight-miles tax and remit that to the State of Oregon. Also a giant pain, but generally handled by the accountants without too much problem. EDIT - In case you want to know more... here's the full IRP agreement and the relevant section (https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.irponline.org/resource/resmgr/publications/irp_plan_2019.pdf Turns out, you do need to accrue distance in your base jurisdiction. In the example above about Greyhound - if they make sure to drive one bus ten miles into Alberta once a year, and back out, and do the office space / accountant trick I outlined above, they meet the requirements. 305 SELECTION OF BASE JURISDICTION (a) An Applicant may elect as its Base Jurisdiction any Member Jurisdiction (i) where the Applicant has an Established Place of Business, (ii) where the Fleet the Applicant seeks to register under the Plan accrues distance, and (iii) where Records of the Fleet are maintained or can be made available. (b) An Applicant that does not have an Established Place of Business in any Jurisdiction may designate as a Base Jurisdiction any Member Jurisdiction (i) where the Applicant can demonstrate Residence, (ii) where the Fleet the Applicant seeks to register under the Plan accrues distance, and (iii) where Records of the Fleet are maintained or can be made available. (c) To establish Residence in a Member Jurisdiction, an Applicant must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Member Jurisdiction at least three of the following: (i) if the Applicant is an individual, that his or her driver’s license is issued by that Jurisdiction, (ii) if the Applicant is a corporation, that it is incorporated or registered to conduct business as a foreign corporation in that Jurisdiction, (iii) if the Applicant is a corporation, that the principal owner is a resident of that Jurisdiction, (iv) that the Applicant’s federal income tax returns have been filed from an address in that Jurisdiction, (v) that the Applicant has paid personal income taxes to that Jurisdiction, (vi) that the Applicant has paid real estate or personal property taxes to that Jurisdiction, (vii) that the Applicant receives utility bills in that Jurisdiction in its name, (viii) that the Applicant has a Vehicle titled in that Jurisdiction in its name, or 29 (ix) that other factors clearly evidence the Applicant’s legal Residence in that Jurisdiction. Official Commentary If more than one Member Jurisdiction could qualify as a Base Jurisdiction for an Applicant, the Applicant may choose which of them it will apply to for apportioned registration under the Plan. This serves to preserve the necessary but limited flexibility in the choice of a Base Jurisdiction. It is not the intent of this section to permit a Registrant to manipulate the selection of a Base Jurisdiction in order to avoid the payment of Apportionable Fees on the basis of 100 percent of the distance traveled by its Fleet. This Section provides a three-part test under subsection (a) for the determination of Base Jurisdiction. All three parts must be met in order for a Member Jurisdiction to qualify as a Base Jurisdiction. The Plan offers Residence as an alternative criterion to Established Place of Business only for those Applicants who cannot demonstrate that they meet the Established Place of Business requirement. With respect to the accrual by a Fleet of distance in the Base Jurisdiction, the requirement is to be applied only to the Fleet as a whole; each individual Vehicle of a Fleet need not enter the Base Jurisdiction.
  11. northwesterner

    2001 Orion V Retirement

    All of the controversial things I say around here, this simple, factual, statement gets four responses in two hours??? Lots of different points ... Let's break them down. It's great that many suburban routes have had service and frequency expansions in the decade since Canada Line opened. Essentially the routes are half as long and running twice as often. That's good for transit service. But at the time these buses were spec'd and ordered, they were for 90+ minute slogs from the far suburbs into Downtown Vancouver, through congested, slow, surface streets. The 351 today is a touch over an hour long, during peak, in the peak direction. That's one of the longest trip times for a route that these are regularly assigned to. The 601 is under an hour between Bridgeport and South Delta. These routes were once much, much longer and really did necessitate a suburban type coach. Note that I picked some of the longest routes assigned Orions to make the point about max trip time. Many of the other routes that have Orions now, but didn't a decade ago, are much, much shorter. And yes, all of the Orions are in use every day. Translink is short on buses, so they've found routes they can run them on, even if they aren't routes that really need this kind of equipment. I think the Orions would have been more versatile with a rear door and semi-suburban type setup. And yes, I agree, the service is more frequent. But do you really need a suburban configured bus on those routes? I was referring to total trip time, though time spent on the highway is also important.
  12. northwesterner

    2001 Orion V Retirement

    These were purchased to run much longer routes all the way into downtown Vancouver. All of these routes have been truncated at the Canada Line. If the nature of the service has evolved substantively over the last 20 years, is there still a need for a 1:1 replacement?
  13. northwesterner

    2018 60' Articulated Bus Order

    Thanks. I just don't think its necessary, given the brand equity is already there with the B-Line. Regarding the specialized livery - can Desmond change the management culture at CMBC to the point where they actually can manage to book out the right kind of vehicles on the right lines on a regular basis. I know why they got away from the unique B-Line livery. But I've always seen that as a failure of management and the culture at CMBC. This is a process that can be, and is managed, by other agencies to make sure the correct vehicles are on the correct assignments greater than 95% of the time.
  14. northwesterner

    2018 60' Articulated Bus Order

    I often see it characterized here that this branding is a "Kevin Desmond thing" and he's just "bringing King County Metro to Vancouver." Over a decade ago I took some upper division transportation planning classes at my university. Branding services like this - with a unique naming nomenclature and its own livery, bus stop design, etc, is considered best practice in the industry. I personally think its generally unnecessary, because the core improvements to these types of lines - off board payment, all door board, frequent headways - make the service so attractive that the passengers will come without all the paint, wraps, etc. But if the Desmond led TL does roll-out a new branding, understand he's not just grabbing what he did at KCM and implementing it in Vancouver. He's implementing what is considered to be industry best practices.
  15. northwesterner

    2018 60' Articulated Bus Order

    And I was looking forward to getting dirt in my eye on a future D60LF ride in Vancouver.
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