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Nabinut

San Diego MTS

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Nabinut   

Heading south for my next stop is the city of San Diego and its system, MTS. MTS runs service in most of San Diego County with NCTD (North County Transit District) which I will get to later. MTS operates several different types of New Flyers (D40LF, C40LF & D60LF) and a small batch of NABI 60BRTs acquired in 2008. Complementing the San Diego Trolley service, the majority of service act as feeder routes into Trolley Stations across the system. MTS also operates express service from Downtown and points north using 45 foot coaches from Blue Bird.

New Flyer C40LF #1506 in morning sunlight entering Broadway at 3rd promoting the San Diego Padres Baseball team:

WCT3079.jpg

New Flyer #2209, one of several buses acquired when MTS took over other smaller systems operates at the end of Route 923, one of two lines that serves the San Diego International Airport:

WCT3082.jpg

1832, the second to last order purchased in the old San Diego scheme has just pulled away from a Downtown stop on Route 2, one of several lines with a 15 minute or better daily headway

WCT3080.jpg

New Flyer 2852 shows off the new MTS Scheme of white over red at the Euclid Avenue Trolley Station. 2852 is part of the latest batch of New Flyer C40LFs in hit the streets:

WCT3085.jpg

New Flyer D40LF 6010 & 8120 at the El Cajon Transit Center. Both buses were acquired by MTS from one of the many smaller systems that ran in different areas of San Diego County:

WCT3087.jpg

While at El Cajon, I was surprised to see 8040, a Gillig Phantom sitting in the parking lot adjacent to the station. Unknown of what route it was on, this bus seems to have been another acquired coach:

WCT3091.jpg

8136 is pictured here staged at the San Diego State University terminal and Trolley Station, a major transit hub for city and rural based lines:

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New Flyer C40LF #303 pictured here at Fashion Valley Green Line Station out of service. 303 was one of the first NFIs in the new scheme :

WCT3095.jpg

NABI 60BRT #1007 in gorgeous sunlight leaving the University Town Centre stop on its way to Downtown San Diego via UCSD & Interstate 5. 1007 is one of 26 purchased by MTS in 2008:

WCT3097.jpg

New Flyer GE35LFR #501 assigned to the Route 201 “Super Loop” serving the U.C San Diego campus and the V.A Medical Center. They are the first Gasoline Electric buses in the system:

WCT3098.jpg

Blue Bird Express 4500 #8509 pictured at the Escondido Transit Center on Route 810. #8509 is one of a handful of Blue Birds purchased for the 800 series express lines:

WCT3101.jpg

Videos:

New Flyer C40LF #1804: Cummins G Gas Plus/Allison B400R:

New Flyer C40LF #401: Cummins ISL-G/Allison B400R

New Flyer D40LF #8111: Cummins ISL/Allison B400R:

New Flyer GE35LFR #504: Ford Triton V10/ISE Thundervolt:

NABI 60BRT #1006: Cummins ISL-G/Allison B500R:

New Flyer D60LF #1909: Detroit Diesel Series 50/Allison B500R

Blue Bird Express 4500 #8509: Detroit Diesel Series 60/Allison B500R:

Music video of MTS & NCTD:

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Nabinut   

I didn't see but I was gone before afternoon rush really got started. However, I think the 2800s helped knock most of them off including the service cuts

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SDMTS will replace the 26 1500-series C40LFs with an equal number of C40LFRs this summer, according to the latest board agenda (p. 28-34, which include the contract order/specs). This fulfills year 3 of their 5-year contract with New Flyer. I assume the general specs will be the same as the last C40LF order (ISL-G + ZF), but it looks like MTS is going with frameless windows for this batch, so it'll probably look similar to the GE35LFR fleet. In the meantime, the 1997 C40LFs are the only MTS buses left with the Series 50G (which is becoming somewhat rare in general, damn repowers). The routes I've seen them on the most lately are the 6, 8/9, 10, and 88, and occasionally 30 and 41, although I have a UCSD/UTC area bias, since that's where I live. Here's a recent video I made of #1518 on the 30:

One curious thing about this is whether it applies to 1527, the CNG hybrid. If the tanks weren't replaced when they converted this bus, they'll be 15 years old soon and thus render the bus legally inoperable. Anyone know the status of this bus?

Did you see any New Flyer C40s in service?

Haven't seen any since I moved here in September -- except at the Transit Sales International lot in Riverside in December, where there were a fair number, although I'm not sure how many. 5386420799_de32abf6da_b_d.jpg

While at El Cajon, I was surprised to see 8040, a Gillig Phantom sitting in the parking lot adjacent to the station. Unknown of what route it was on, this bus seems to have been another acquired coach:

These are 1995 models with Detroit S50, and there are supposedly only 3-4 left. They run the Santee routes (832 and 834). I caught one of these last month, and the seating upholstery is similar to other MTS buses of the mid-90s, suggesting these might be MTS originals. In any event, they form a small, final outpost of non-New Flyers in the far reaches of MTS-land. I have a video I can upload soon if anyone's interested.

5386434975_f9e860b4fa_b_d.jpg

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Returning back to an old topic...

MTS C40LF #2801 appears to have been fitted with LED headlights. Are there any others like this?

Yeah, some of the 2005 and newer buses (300s, 400s, 2700s, 2800s), but I haven't been able to figure out the logic behind which ones have them and which ones don't. Unit number hasn't been a good predictor of headlight type, for example.

Here's 405, from flickr user So Cal Metro (who has an amazing collection of MTS photography):

2662864595_e7f1f721ee_b_d.jpg

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ieko   

They've probably decided to go with LED's from now on, so whatever happens to be in the shop will get them.

That's interested though, I'm very interested in this -- when we had the Xcelsior come down I didn't get to see the LED lights at night so perhaps I'll take a trip to see these in action.

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Introducing MTS C40LFR 601

Whoa...

Guess I have to get more serious about getting my last rides on the 1997 C40LFs!

Also, weird front turn signal style. Is this standard on C40LFRs now?

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Whoa...

Guess I have to get more serious about getting my last rides on the 1997 C40LFs!

Also, weird front turn signal style. Is this standard on C40LFRs now?

That New Flyer C40LFR looks great with a the restyled look on the bus.

Those turn signals are options as some transit operators request special headlight and turn signal light adjustments so that the bikes on bike rack won't interfere the visibility from the bus's headlight.

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ieko   
Whoa...

Guess I have to get more serious about getting my last rides on the 1997 C40LFs!

Also, weird front turn signal style. Is this standard on C40LFRs now?

It's standard now I think -- our new C40LFR's are coming with them as well. Although we're piggy-backing on MTS's order.

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Nabinut   
Hmm... Trying to find these coaches on the Blue Bird website and can't find anything for them. Are they still available and being built!?

I don't think so. These were fairly brand new when I rode them (circa 2007) and I've only seen some bought by Homeland Security in Los Angeles. They may be one of a kind.

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97SCT   

how many 1981 GM Fishbowls were bought new by San Diego MTS? so far i am thinking 62 (901-962)..........

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how many 1981 GM Fishbowls were bought new by San Diego MTS? so far i am thinking 62 (901-962)..........

AFAIK, you are correct. I just checked the WIKI and see they are not listed in there however. They were wheelchair lift equipped and Detroit Diesel 6V92TA engines.

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They look great in that livery. Congrats to San Diego and their new C40LFRs!

EDIT: Just noticed the front lights layout is a bit different on these model-The orange blinker lights are located on top of the headlights instead being next to them like all the other LFRs.

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AMG   
how many 1981 GM Fishbowls were bought new by San Diego MTS? so far i am thinking 62 (901-962)..........

I'm pretty sure there were 65 -- 901-965.

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ieko   
They look great in that livery. Congrats to San Diego and their new C40LFRs!

EDIT: Just noticed the front lights layout is a bit different on these model-The orange blinker lights are located on top of the headlights instead being next to them like all the other LFRs.

Yeah, that's standard now.

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