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Thanks again for all the tips everyone. I had a really nice time fanning the Seattle region. I was able to get a ton of photos and vids of King County Metro, Sound Transit, Community Transit, Everett

Some random shots from my short 1 day visit to Seattle back in June:     I stayed down in Federal Way during my visit, was interesting to see how congested those HOV lanes on I-5 get.

Here's a compilation of KCM street clips of bus action I put together if anyone's interested. (Just finally finishing up my Seattle area video editing from the trip back in April )  

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Based on the number 00, and it being on the ferry, I'd assume that it is an activity bus. When I was driving home today, I got a quick glimpse of a Gillig that just left a school.

#16 in 2011

I meant that I saw a Gillig yesterday. The photo is from 2011 and is a single rear axle Crown.

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From what I understand and have observed ST seems to operate with a very lean spare ratio. It might even be programmed at the 10% mark for peak, which gives you just enough coaches to cover for maintenance and to have a couple on the lot incase of road calls, etc. They do not seem to have an active and ready reserve fleet (which would difficult to have one group of coaches cover all 3 agencies - it would have to carry a different set of on board equipment for each agency.) As for why PT coaches are being used, it could simply be they are the ones to have operators and equipment ready to hit the road, and Metro and CT do not have one, the other, or both available on short notice.

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This was sorta interesting. On Monday, I saw several Sound Transit coaches on CT routes and several CT coaches on ST routes. Got pics of a couple of them

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I also saw 23828 doing a 513 and 23809 on a 510.

Also, there was a KCM DE60LFR on route 36, along with a couple of Orions, Phantoms (diesel and trolley) and DE60LFs.

In addition to the buses, Amtrak #468 was replacing a Sounder F59PHI on the north line. The north line trains had 3 cars as well, instead of 2.

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Trip Report - Last Day route 475 (Olympia-University Place)

I decided to take a final ride on the 475 this afternoon. After getting off work early, I boarded an IT 605 (with coach 991) and proceeded to head down to Olympia. The Olympia Express service in general needs not only more service but a total redesign. the coach was less than half full, but it was only mid-afternoon. The coach had low back cushioned transit seating which was not quite the level of comfort I had gotten used to on ST Express. Traffic today was pretty bad, the coach was running about a half hour late by the time it got to Olympia, after a somewhat lengthy detour in Lacey to serve a P&R and transit center (and having to fight all the traffic to do so). I got off at the capitol campus with the intent of getting a 485 passing through, followed by its return on the 475, however the 485 takes a slightly different way into Olympia, so I only caught it on its return (and barely at that). After that I started to make my way north to the transit center, and I got pictures of the Twin Transit Olympia-Centralia bus (cutaway bus...) which does not serve the Olympia Transit Center, just makes a loop by the capitol campus. I also saw a brand new IT Gillig hybrid in service, it was so new and fresh into service it had not even been decaled yet. Finally, I made it to the transit center in time to get pictures of Mason Transit and shortly thereafter Sound Transit (I wish I was able to get the two together) in Olympia. The 475 finally came (around 20-25 min late with coach 8035) for the return trip to University place. I was the only rider on this trip, and final rider of this route. The trip went fast, I was somewhat surprised not more people used it to get from Oly-Lakewood, seeing as its two other stops were the South Tacoma Sounder Station, and University Place Town Center (I'm not sure if it even has any P&R space). Not to mention the main "stop" was behind a building and off the main street, I'm not surprised there was few riders from there. After that I took a route 2 to downtown Tacoma, with a small detour that sent the bus in circles around TCC transit Center and a short wait downtown for a 594 to return me to Lakewood Station.

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Brand New IT Gillig LF Hybrid #421

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Former ST now PT #8044 at the Capitol Campus on route 475

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Twin Transit route 41 in Olympia

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Intercity Transit in Olympia

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Mason Transit at Olympia Transit Center

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Pierce Transit (Ex sound Transit) and Leased to and wrapped for Sound Transit #8021 at Olympia Transit Center.

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Sound Transit in Olympia. I wonder how much longer it will be until they start collecting tax there and providing more than grant funded service?

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Last Day and Last Trip on Demonstration route #475 from Olympia to University Place. I was the last rider.

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End of the line for the 475. I'm not sure what's going to happen with the 3 buses (8035 8043 8044) painted for it and equipped with WiFi.

And of course I have a lot more photos here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/busdudedotcom

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Something new for me, Twin Transit. Caught them in Chehalis/Centralia. They have a different way of displaying the route/destination. The route number is a little placard behind the door. The destination sign says the destination, minus the route number. There is no vehicle number on the front or right side of the coaches that I saw.

14370115225_294588c988_n.jpgTwin Transit Glaval #26 by zargoman, on Flickr

14183483029_0e6900423b_n.jpgTwin Transit Eldorado Aerotech unknown # by zargoman, on Flickr

14366786171_f4a37d7643_n.jpgTwin Transit Startrans Unknown # by zargoman, on Flickr

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Something new for me, Twin Transit. Caught them in Chehalis/Centralia. They have a different way of displaying the route/destination. The route number is a little placard behind the door. The destination sign says the destination, minus the route number.

The last two buses pictured have a very unusual bike rack.

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That almost looks like a first generation bike rack. I think I saw that type of bike rack on KCM's older buses from years ago.

I don't remember that type of bike rack being used at Metro but believe it or not, the very first bike rack that Metro used was actually on the rear of the bus!

I can't remember all the details but it resembled a cow catcher on a old locomotive and drivers called it that. From my recollection, it was an experiment at East Base in the late 70s (?) and put on some of the 40' AMG coaches that were assigned to a route or routes that stopped at the South Kirkland P&R and Montlake Flyer Stop (presumably to serve UofW?). I have a faint recollection of working a 255 and laying over inside the new housing project at that time (now called Kirkland Heights --?) and going back to inspect the rack after making a road relief.

That experiment didn't last long and it seemed a period of time passed before they started experimenting on putting the racks on the front of the bus. From what I can recall, some of the reasons for discarding those rear racks were mechanics and service workers having hassles accessing the engine compartment, the length increasing the rear overhang of the bus contributing to "swing" accidents, and there were also a few accidents of motorists running into the rack.

Is anybody old enough to remember those rear racks and can fill me in on additional details or correct my recollections?

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I don't remember that type of bike rack being used at Metro but believe it or not, the very first bike rack that Metro used was actually on the rear of the bus!

I couldn't remember if it was KCM or another agency, but I definitely recall the bus being from a system in Washington State.

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I remember when I was a kid, Kitsap Transit had bike racks that held the bike by the frame. There were bungee cord like straps that secured it. That would have been on the old Ford/Diamond cutaways that they had in the mid 90's.

One other thing I noticed about Twin Transit is that the Aerotechs are gas, not diesel. I don't think I've seen one of those before.


This photo (not mine) https://www.flickr.com/photos/johnmightycat/6042717633/ shows the old buses after they got new racks

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