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  1. $1.19/mile is waaaaaay below market rate. Also, the UW has a blanket contract for charter bus services (non-athletic department) with specified rates.....
  2. This is simply a management problem. As in ... where are the middle managers that are supposed to be keeping an eye on this stuff? CMBC and Translink has suffered from these issues for years... literally whole batches of middle managers have turned over and these issues are not getting better. When I was in Vancouver a couple weekends ago for my first "Series 50 Free" visit, ever, I could not believe seeing the 40ft Novas out on the 20, while the diesel artics were interspersed on the 3. That's just bad management. And yes @MCW Metrobus I did see your comment below about yard space and do acknowledge that issue is a hinderance to the efficient bookout of coaches, but come on, there has to be a solution. Other agencies with jam packed yards manage to get around this problem and put the right equipment out every day on their assignments, why can't CMBC?
  3. @roamer @Atomic Taco At one point they were putting a decal on the side of the coach with the Operator of the Year's name. I have no idea if that driver's relief would keep the coach, or if it would go in with them as Roamer described. Here's a not that great busdude.com photo of coach 1138, brand new at the time, decaled for 1999 Operator of the Year Terry Christoe.
  4. For the last couple of years (since Central gave up their last Phantoms) the only operators qualified on 40ft Phantoms are those who pick Bellevue Base or East Base (for the ST units). Given half of the roster has a FT date of less than five years, there are potentially quite a few operators each shake up who need to be qualified. Of course, with just one coach ... the only concern is whether his relief is qualified or not. If not, they should just have the relief pull a different coach out of the base.
  5. If your max passengers carried is 3 ... this isn't going to be a big contributor to revenue.
  6. Did the owners give you permission to repost them?
  7. I'm shocked - shocked - that a Series 50 would fail in that manner. ­čśé
  8. Late 1980s. Legacy, terminal based, database systems are common at many corporations (including some very big ones). These become backbone IT systems, often time custom links are written to connect these databases with other software programs (accounting, payroll, supply chain, etc) which makes it really hard to migrate to something new because literally, the entire company runs on these systems. I had a professor in graduate school that once did these IT migrations for Fortune 500 companies. The costs were frequently upwards of $50 million to do the migration with a multiple year timeline to implement the changes. Betterez is still in the start-up phase. Five years from now, if their business model is not viable/scalable and they don't make it to an IPO, and instead close up shop, who will support the software?
  9. At my workplace (not bus business) we use a terminal based mainframe database for bookings, reservations, inventory, and accounts receivable. I use F key inputs every day. Given the way this system is the "backbone" of much of what we do, the costs and risks involved with migrating away from it are too great. And so we keep using it, probably for as long as we can hire programmers who can maintain it.
  10. It appears the operator of the year is now driving 3430 ... its out today.
  11. I'll weigh in. I'm now solidly an adult but when the Gilligs first were introduced, I was in my early teens with a slightly abnormal interest in buses ;-). When they were brand new, brand new, there was certainly the novelty factor. The interior was so different, the paint stood out, and features like the MegaMax destination sign were revolutionary. They were quiet and comfortable, and rode well. The 1600-series Flyers were my favorite coaches to ride growing up, but no doubt about it, they were well past their expiration date by the time they were retired. For the operators, the Gilligs were a huge upgrade in driver's station comfort and ergonomics compared to the Flyers. As the years went by, they became kind of - meh. There were a lot of them, you could ride them anywhere in the system, and they all seemed pretty interchangeable (except for the Ryerson Base 30 - mentioned in another post, which were heavily worn). Rattles started to appear in many of the coaches, and they didn't seem to be wearing very well. I remember a long time Ryerson night driver I rode with for years (until he retired about a decade ago) saying circa 2002 - the Gilligs are nice but you can tell they're wearing out. When they are the age the 3000s are now, they won't be in nearly the same shape. So the 3000s were 16 then - a generally unpopular coach among operators - and they were fully retired at 18 in 2004. The remaining 40ft Gilligs outlived the 3000s by 5 full years of service. The interesting thing is, they did wear a lot when they were new. But then they didn't seem to get much worse. Of course, the fleet thinned considerably with the recession cutbacks and the delivery of the Orions, which meant some of the roughest coaches were shown the door early. And many of the coaches that remained were in very good shape - North Base's original set of 3485-3529 being in nearly mint condition as a group at the time North Base finally traded them out around 2012. In four successive trips to Seattle starting last Thanksgiving I had the opportunity to ride: 3260 3302 3321 3430 3449 3500 3541 and 3560. 3260 and 3321 were in the roughest shape - but the rest were outstanding performers - some of them were "like new" which is unbelievable considering their age. To your point above, they really were the perfect bus for any situation - they were at home on suburban commuter routes, and could easily do a days work on busy urban routes. I think most will look back fondly on them. They were really good coaches - coaches we took for granted for too many years.
  12. I was trying to point out there is more nuance to what can cause a retirement. If it's issue was something like a flat tire - an hour job to swap out - and it's still needed to make they assignments tomorrow, the road failure won't be a death sentence. If it pissed out all its transmission fluid and won't move under it's own power, its done. There are a lot of things that can cause a road failure. And the remedies for such can be anything from a quick and easy repair to a major overhaul. This is why its important not to make assumptions.
  13. It was reported elsewhere that 3260's transmission has failed. Unclear what the Operator of the Year will drive for the remainder of his tenure. I found 3260 to be a fairly worn out coach, lots of rattles, not a great ride, interior in worn condition when I rode with the operator of the year on Sunday this spring. I also rode 3430 and it was in shockingly good condition. It was sort of a strange juxtaposition between those two coaches. 3260 was a lifetime East Campus coach ... most of those coaches were in great shape as the service they saw was a little more ... light duty than what some of the other Bases put their coaches through. Meanwhile, 3430 was one of the "Ryerson Base 30" when Ryerson first received a batch of 30 Gilligs from Central Base when the 1998 option order was delivered. Ryerson's scheduler promptly assigned them to all day base 17/130/132 and 24/136/137 runs, where they would operate on very long urban route families for 20hrs a day, 7 days a week. The whole fleet was signed out on weekends. With no trippers in the mix, this group of coaches wore out very, very quickly and most of them were pretty rough around the edges for the remainder of their service life. Somehow though, in the end, it all balanced out and I was pretty impressed by 3430 when I rode it last spring.
  14. A road failure is not an indication that the bus will immediately thereafter go to the scrap line.
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