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ABQ RIDE

Valley Metro (Phoenix)

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11 hours ago, 3we said:

I saw two pass each other on Rural Road - so it looks like #72 would be a choice, along with Southern Ave. Hayden/McClintock would be an option, but I haven't seen any there. Since they are not Express buses, Sunday/Holiday operation would be expected as much as any other bus.

I've managed to spot and picture RPTA XN40 bus 6818 on the 72 at Scottsdale Road at Indian School Road.  Picture to follow.

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On 12/20/2018 at 7:37 PM, ABQ RIDE said:

Unfortunately, we still don't know who was awarded the West Valley RPTA operations.  I know it was supposed to be awarded today, but I wonder if there was a delay or potentially an award protest.

Total Transit  925 points

Transdev        888.2 points

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Updated fanning notes on Valley Metro from my December trip:

I've finally spotted artics from City of Phoenix in regular service in the form of 2008 New Flyer D60LF and 2016 New Flyer Xcelsior XD60 8089.  Both are pictcured near the 19th Ave/Montebello light rail station on route 19.  

VM-r019-8059-1.JPGVM-r019-8059-2.JPGVM-r019-8089-3.JPGVM-r019-8089-4.JPG

Over to the RPTA side, I've spotted New Flyer Xcelsior XN40 bus 6818 at the Scottsdale Road/Indian School Road intersection on route 72.  This is possibly the first transit fan picture of this particular batch of XN40's.  Meanwhile, I can also confirm that route 112 in Mesa is a hotbed for New Flyer D40LFA's, as depicted by bus 7003.  Finally, all six-day routes in Mesa/Gilbert are now in the hands of purple-liveried Gillig LF 40ft. CNG buses, as illustrated by bus 6808 on route 128.  I've spotted similar buses on seven-day routes 30, 40, 61, 81, 108, 156 and 184 in my two visits as well.

VM-r072-6818.JPGVM-r112-7003-1.JPGVM-r112-7003-2.JPGVM-r128-6808-2.JPG

In Tempe, I'm able to picture a few unique New Flyer L40LFR's on the FLASH circulator.  Bus 6669 is in the current City of Tempe green-based livery, while buses 6670 and 6671 are still in the previous Valley Metro livery.

VM-FLASH-6669-1.JPGVM-FLASH-6669-2.JPGVM-FLASH-6669-3.JPGVM-FLASH-6669-4.JPGVM-FLASH-6670-1.JPGVM-FLASH-6670-2.JPGVM-FLASH-6670-3.JPGVM-FLASH-6671.JPG

A couple update on the Orbit circulators: Eldorado National EZ-Rider II BRT CNG bus 1627 is the final bus for the latest batch.  It is spotted on the Orbit Jupiter service at the Tempe Transportation Center, and it is my first time to spot such buses outside the Mercury route.  I am also able to picture Ford E-Series cutaway 1576 on the latest addition to the Orbit family, the Satrun route.  A final East Velley/RPTA bus is Ford E-Series cutaway 1588 dedicated to the Mesa downtown BUZZ service.  

VM-OJupiter-1627.JPGVM-OSasturn-1576.JPGVM-BUZZ-1588-4.JPG

Updates on the non-Scottsdale circulators:  I've spotted IC Bus/Eldorado National AeroElite and Ford E-Series/Eldorado National AeroTech cutawats on the GUS (Glendale Urban Shuttle) services in Glendale.  IC bus D10 is spotted on the GUS1, the only seven-day service of the family, while Ford D30 is on the GUS3.  (Note: The GUS vehicles carries fleet numbers starting with 6354D, I simply refer them as Dxx's)

VM-GUS1-D10-1.JPGVM-GUS1-D10-3.JPGVM-GUS3-D30-1.JPGVM-GUS3-D30-3.JPG

Meanwhile, City of Phoenix Ford E-Series cutaways 1508 and 1512 are spotted on the ALEX (serving the Ahwatukee area) and SMART (serving the Sunnyslope area).  Like the MARY route spotted during my September visit, no route names are displayed on the vehicles, only the direction of travel.  Finally, I've spotted IC Bus/Eldorado National AeroElite cutaway 1576 and Arboc Spirit of Liberty low-floor bus 1620 on the Avondale ZOOM routes.

VM-PALEX-1508-1.JPGVM-PSMART-1512.JPGVM-ZoomN-1596-1.JPGVM-ZoomN-1596-2.JPGVM-ZoomS-1620.JPG

Vehicles on the recently restructured Scottsdale Trolley routes merit a special mention here.  The 68th Street/Camelback  and Miller/Hayden routes are now interlined.  Gillig LF 29ft. CNG bus 4521 and 35ft. sister bus 4514 are spotted on these routes.  The latter bus is spotted at the Mustang Transit Center, which is better described as a superstop.  They are sister buses of 4520 and 4515 on the old Camelback and Miller Road routes I've spotted at Scottsdale Community College during my September visit. 

Also spotted at the same location is bus 4513, a Gillig LF 35ft. hybrid carrying the conventional battery cover but otherwise outfitted in a trolley replica package, featuring trolley decorations even on the battery cover.  Meanwhile, former Neighborhood route trolley replica 4503 is spotted on the brand new Mustang Trolley route.

VM-S68CM-4521.JPGVM-SMLHD-4514.JPGVM-SMLHD-4513-3.JPGVM-SMLHD-4513-1.JPGVM-SMLHD-4513-2.JPGVM-SMLHD-4513-4.JPGVM-SMSTG-4503-1.JPG

Finally, 29ft. Gillig LF CNG trolley replicas 4518 and 4519 are the new order on the Old Town Trolley route (The renamed Downtown route).  I believe these and similar buses at Trinity Metro at Fort Worth, Texas are the only Gillig Trolley Replica CNG buses built so far.  By now, the only variant of the Scottsdale Trolley I haven't pictured is the 29ft. hybrid.

VM-SOLDT-4518-1.JPGVM-SOLDT-4519-2.JPGVM-SOLDT-4519-4.JPGVM-SOLDT-4519-3.JPG

After the December visit, I've pictured every single all day bus and circulator routes of this agency, with only a couple commuter routes and the upcoming Peoria circulator to be pictured.

Bonus pictures here are the Terminal to Rental Car Center shuttles at the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX).  The service is run with Eldorado Nation Axcess with non-BRT bodies, with multi-colored buses 543 and 566, together with silver-liveried buses 606 and 615 featured here

PHX-T2-543-1.JPGPHX-T2-543-2.JPGPHX-T3-566-1.JPGPHX-T2-615.JPGPHX-T4-606.JPG

Here are my Valley Metro and PHX Rental Car shuttle galleries:

Valley Metro (Phoenix)

PHX Rental Car Shuttle

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A few more questions on the operational picture at Valley Metro:

1. Which routes are the City of Phoenix artics usually found on?

2. Are the RPTA artics pretty much commuter buses these days?

3. Which local routes can I expect to see a RPTA artic these days?

4. Are the D60LFA's at RPTA chiely commuter buses these days as well?

5. Are the non-Rapid/circulator fleet at the Transdev Phoenix North and the non-Orbit fleet at the RPTA Tempe garages 100% New Flyer?

6. What kind of buses will be used on the proposed POGO circulator bus route in Peoria?

7. Are the City of Phoenix Gillig LF 40ft. CNG buses predominantly based at the Transdev Phoenix South garage, and what is the Phoenix South/West split of these buses?

8. Finally, what are the best routes to find a 5600-series Gillig LF 40ft. diesel bus (I did not spot any in either of my visits)?

I'll appreciate any insights on the above queries.

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On 1/6/2019 at 11:58 AM, Buzz2kb said:

A few more questions on the operational picture at Valley Metro:

4. Are the D60LFA's at RPTA chiely commuter buses these days as well?

5. Are the non-Rapid/circulator fleet at the Transdev Phoenix North and the non-Orbit fleet at the RPTA Tempe garages 100% New Flyer?

Actually, with the delivery of the XN60s and the retirement of the 60-BRTs, the Mesa-based D60LFAs can often be found on local routes now, chiefly the 61-Southern and possibly the 45-Broadway, with the XN60s mostly operating the express routes.

Also, all 2016 Gilligs and two 2017 Gilligs are at Tempe.

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On 1/6/2019 at 11:58 AM, Buzz2kb said:

A few more questions on the operational picture at Valley Metro:

1. Which routes are the City of Phoenix artics usually found on?

2. Are the RPTA artics pretty much commuter buses these days?

3. Which local routes can I expect to see a RPTA artic these days?

4. Are the D60LFA's at RPTA chiely commuter buses these days as well?

5. Are the non-Rapid/circulator fleet at the Transdev Phoenix North and the non-Orbit fleet at the RPTA Tempe garages 100% New Flyer?

6. What kind of buses will be used on the proposed POGO circulator bus route in Peoria?

7. Are the City of Phoenix Gillig LF 40ft. CNG buses predominantly based at the Transdev Phoenix South garage, and what is the Phoenix South/West split of these buses?

8. Finally, what are the best routes to find a 5600-series Gillig LF 40ft. diesel bus (I did not spot any in either of my visits)?

I'll appreciate any insights on the above queries.

I'll take my stab on a few of these questions.

1.) City of Phoenix artics are usually found on routes 3, 7, 12, 17, 19, 29, 35, 41, 50, and 70. I've also seen them on the 16 and 44 (but they don't run as regularly on these routes).

5.) I believe Transdev Phoenix North's non-Rapid/circulator fleet is all New Flyer (D40LF, D60LF, C40LFR, and XD60). 

7.) I believe the majority of the Phoenix Gillig LF's CNG are at the Transdev Phoenix South Garage. The numbering goes from 5121-517X, and then 517X-5200 are at Phoenix West, 5201-5240 are at Phoenix South, and I'm not exactly sure of the split of 5241-52XX (where X is an unknown number). If I had to guess Phoenix South has about 70% of the total Gillig CNG fleet with Phoenix West at about 30%.

8.) I've only seen a handful of 5600s Diesel Gilligs but I believe they can be found on any Phoenix West local route. I've seen them on the 3, 13, 17, 29, and 41. They're replacing the Phoenix West D40LF 6500s (kind of funny that the 5600s replace the 6500s) and the 6500s can also still be found on these routes.  

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On 1/6/2019 at 11:58 AM, Buzz2kb said:

6. What kind of buses will be used on the proposed POGO circulator bus route in Peoria?

 

25-foot cutaway.

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With the RPTA having local route XN40's in service, I noticed that the rear destination signs on the top panel, top right, despite the four circular vents going down the left side. If Phoenix gets local route XN40's (which could be possible since I read an article that jointly, the two could get up to 396 XN40's), with the four circular vents vertically on the left side, would it be ideal to have the rear destination sign moved to the panel, bottom center?

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6598 has the new annunciator setup. This was observed while riding it on 81S. I wonder if the new installs are on older buses first...

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Surprisingly, 6501 is still in service, and has the new voice of the new annunciator, however, the sign's text was not working.

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21 hours ago, The XDE60 said:

New license plate on 5007 - used to read GA-09502, now reads GA11701.

Do these get changed out because the paint burns off?

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Saturday auction:

6421/6425/6443 $900 each

6439/6452 $700 each

8031 $950

8033 $1150

8034/8036 $900 each

8047 $600

Scottsdale 5011 $9250

Scottsdale 5013 $8000

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6822 was observed on 81N on my way to work.

Oddly, it has the 4ONE Aries seating, pull cord stop requests and the new annunciator setup.

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While looking at this Saturday's commercial vehicle auction catalog, oddly there are NO Valley Metro or City of Phoenix buses on the catalog.

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19 hours ago, The XDE60 said:

While looking at this Saturday's commercial vehicle auction catalog, oddly there are NO Valley Metro or City of Phoenix buses on the catalog.

Look again on Friday. I find they sometimes pop-up closer to auction time.

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Apparently, the new XN40s for service expansion is to accommodate proposed service changes in October of this year. The 77 Baseline is proposed to be extended to Gilbert Road. Service expansions are planned on the 104 and 128. Either the 81 or the 96 is proposed to be routed to serve the Price Corridor. 

Since the 77 will probably get more Mesa-based buses if the extension is approved plus the additional buses needed on the 128, I wouldn't be surprised if some of the trips on the 104 are shifted to Tempe. Alternatively, they could move the 2009 C40LFRs back to Mesa.

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Looking at some recent Valley Metro documents, the Peoria POGO will in fact be operated by Total Transit/ValuTrans, not First Transit as previously suggested by an online news article. This makes sense, since even the Tempe yard is a long distance from northern Peoria.

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Yeesh! When I saw 5616 on the 41W (out of service), you may think it'd be diesel - but it had an alternative fuel plate.

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