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I saw 1113 being used on a route 20 run which is odd as those are for rapid services. Oh well and no pic. I guess these buses are assigned as extras or if a d60lf is broken. Or maintenance assigned that bus for that particular run and/or route.

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3501 buses are not being used for Rural service anymore, due to overcrowding. Nowadays, Rural service uses East County Division D40LF. 3501-3505 are now at Copley Park along with the 3400 cutaways. Copley Park does all Minibus and Access buses.

Chula Vista Transit will eventually be transferred over to South Bay Division, since the renovations have been completed. The new yard is big enough to accommodate CVT buses as well as XN60 Rapid buses for South Bay BRT, which will debut in 2016. There are still some negotiations to be done, but it could happen as early as January.

MTS will award a Denver based firm for a new website, as their old one is a bit outdated, especially compared to RapidMTS.com. I would expect the new site to be technologically advanced for both PC/Mac/Linux/Chromebook etc as well as Mobile devices such as iOS and Android to name a few. I do not know if they will develop their own CMS or use an off the shelf platform such as Drupal, Wordpress, or Joomla.

Not much going on, but the 2001 C40LF have not been retired, and they must be delaying their retirement as they have to train new drivers on these old buses. Gillig might not have been able to deliver on time, or who knows when there will be new Gillig buses. Supposedly 901 is at IAD, but I have a feeling that Kearny Mesa will probably get that batch, but they might not need as many buses, since some routes have been outsourced and Route 15 is replaced with Rapid Route 215, so not a 1:1 replacement will be necessary.

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The first batch of 901 Gilligs are now in service, but I don't know how many were ordered? A busfan buddy named Jake rode 901 on Route 20, and another spotted it doing a deadhead, either back home or I think it was probably for a school tripper or something like that. 901's are out of Kearny Mesa Division and I believe they have identical specs to the current Gilligs out of Imperial Ave and South Bay division. South Bay should get more Gillig's to replace their C40LF buses, and they supposedly have 14 they need to replace from 2001 (2601-2614). I somehow predicted that 901 would be the numbers on the KMD Gillig's, which I was shocked as some thought they would start at 827, but I think they did that for practical reasons. 901 were also the numbers of the last Fishbowl buses that San Diego Transit now MTS ordered for their fleet which were replaced by C40HF, or something like that. Apparently, many of those buses were sold up north to various Canadian cities, but when the time comes for these Gillig buses they will probably not go up north, and would likely end up scrapped or sold at Transit Sales, and from then on, be used as a shuttle of some kind.

NABI 60-BRT are having a reputation of being junk, and some drivers hate them and others love them, and if it was up to them, they would not drive them or order them. Drivers do enjoy the C40LF and LFR with ZF ecomat though. Gilligs are mixed bag, and there are drivers and even passengers who hate them.

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https://www.flickr.com/photos/southerncalifornian/15848605186/

So Cal Metro has a picture of 901 doing route 2 which goes to Normal Heights via 30th St and Adams Ave on Sundays. It is assigned to KMD, and license plate is 1416834. 901 has been doing various routes, and there should be more by next year, as early next year is when the 1801's should be retired. I know IAD is using some of their 1801's as a training bus, but those training buses have already been retired. I believe the specs are the same as the 2013 Gilligs out of Imperial ave division such as ISL G, and ZF Ecolife. Maybe someone could clarify on how many did MTS order and numbers and what not.

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The rest of the 901 Gilligs now have White LED signs instead of Orange. I believe that Luminator offers the Horizon SMT signs in white. MTS has been using the Horizon signs since 2005, and the Gilligs use signs similar to the 2012 C40LFR and 2013 Xcelsior XN60 Rapid buses. I believe the South Bay equivalents should also have these new signs, but I wonder if they are using these Gilligs to try out the white signs or they are switching over for white on new buses. MTS uses TwinVision on most Cutaways (Some cutaways use Mobilite), buses built before 2005, and some contractor buses such as the Blue Bird Commuter buses have them. Luminator is used on 2005 and up C40LF, C40LFR, and XN60 rapid buses.

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Hmm, sorry about that! Here's 902, spotted this morning on the 150 at VA Medical Center. I also saw 904 on the 31. d2fdac880254d4f39792db249d2418d7.jpg

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Got a ride on 902 on Route 20 which is my home route. Rode it from the Transit station to a stop by my house. This one seemed to have a good sound, and not sure if the driver was pushing it hard, or if MTS is trying different gearing. This bus had the white destination signs, which I believe that all new MTS buses will have. I did panic a little in the the beginning, but I don't think it will detract from the video.

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http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/Rapid-Buses-to-Give-WiFi-a-Try-on-Select-Routes-286438141.html

By Fall 2015, MTS will have wifi on 6 Rapid buses for routes 215, 235, and 237. This will be a 6 month trial once it's implemented, and after 9 months, MTS will ask customers to see if it is something that they should implement. If all goes well, then it could go live in Fall 2016. The goal of this is to attract new riders and help with trip planning, which those who use smartphones or data enabled tablets can do.

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2001 New Flyer D60LF San Diego MTS 1903 Route 20 t:

Have some more of this bus but the hvac was on and a short takeoff is good for now, unless you want the footage.

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KMD Gillig's are at 901, but I rode 908 on my way home for pleasure at Carmel Mountain, and it had an interesting seat layout, probably in response to customer complaints. Both left and right wheelchair areas now have 4 seats, (3 seats plus one jump seat similar to XN60 Rapid buses). Also, behind the right wheelchair/disabled space are 3 perimeter seats, which seem to have opened the bus, this is in lieu of the farther spaced stroller and cart seats, but the perimeter seats behind the wheelchair area are also for carts and strollers, but this might not work for those, considering how big strollers are getting. The larger wheelchair areas, are good, since those in oversized power chairs and mobility scooters have extra room, but the Gilligs are a tight fit for some reason. The rear layout is unchanged from the current Gillig layout.

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NABI #1012 on Route 20 going to RB Station. Quiet bus in the front, but in the back without HVAC they make this noise similar to a v8 engine. They are also quiet in the back, but not as much as the front. These buses are commonly used on routes 7, 20, 50, and 150 which the last 3 are Express routes, while route 7 is the only Local route to use these buses.

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http://sdmts.com/Planning/documents/JANServiceChanges_2015_WEB.pdf

Just some service changes, some major, some minor. Routes like Rapid route 237 and Express route 170 will have some reduced trips, due to low ridership. Route 921 is reduced to UTC, but you can transfer on Routes 30, 41, 150, SuperLoop and Rapid Route 237. I guess this is being done to increase ridership on Route 237, but earlier last year when they had a public feedback at a Board meeting for Rapid routes, having route 921 go to UTC and not UCSD was a debated topic among UCSD students who live in Mira Mesa. Weekend service on 921A will continue to serve UCSD.

Biggest change however, is that the Blue Line trolley will finally go low floor by the end of this month, and this means that the Siemens-Duewag D2's are most likely going away. Only the front and rear car will be low floor as the middle will continue to be the SD100, as MTS does not have enough low floor cars to go 100% LF. It will be easier if you are in a wheelchair as the S70's you can press a button on the door and a ramp will deploy. There is still ongoing construction on the Blue line for Traction Power stations, and a Palm Ave, Beyer Blvd, Iris ave, and San Ysidro are still undergoing some changes to better accommodate the new to Blue Line LF cars, though there will be temp platforms. Schedule will remain the same for the time being. Green and Orange have already migrated to LF, but not all are 100 percent LF, due to the lack of LF cars. Maybe in the future we shall see more LF S70's to allow a fully low floor fleet. It is sad to see the U2's possibly go away, but I would not mind seeing the vintage Trolley get a U2 car and have it preserved, but some are in a museum, and others in Argentina.

Ridership is doing good on Rapid Routes 215 and 235. Both routes are meeting their ridership goals for the most part, and growth is organic, and not cannibalizing other routes. Wifi is a common complaint and the trial that I have posted, should satisfy those longing for it. Route 237 is not meeting ridership goals, but morning ridership is doing ok, but the evening and afternoon have problems. Reduced service might put more people off of Route 237, but this route was vehemently opposed by the riders of former Route 880 now 270, who did not think it would be a worthy replacement to that route. Hopefully, more people catch on.

Other various changes, and I was to post an announcement earlier, but now it is here.

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U2 cars are being discontinued on January 26, and this marks an end of an era. I have not ridden them in a while, but get your rides in, as that date is when the S70 cars will be used on the Blue Line with a SD100 car in the middle of the 3 car trainset.

Edit: U2's are being reduced in service on Wednesday, January 21, per MTS facebook page.

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U2 cars are being discontinued on January 26, and this marks an end of an era. I have not ridden them in a while, but get your rides in, as that date is when the S70 cars will be used on the Blue Line with a SD100 car in the middle of the 3 car trainset.

Edit: U2's are being reduced in service on Wednesday, January 21, per MTS facebook page.

Will MTS have enough light rail cars to get same amount of trains when the U2 cars get retired?

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No, but the plan for now is to run the s70 as the front and rear car and have a sd100 in the middle. MTS has been doing this on the orange and green line but they have enough for some low floor only sets, but not the entire fleet. There are plans to extend the blue line to UCSD, la jolla and University towne center and that will require mts to buy more s70's, but the sd100's aren't going anywhere for a while at they are in good condition and provide much needed capacity.

Read that a s70 was being tested on the blue line.

S70 fleet is up to 4065 with 4065 used under a trial by siemens to test a limited distance battery in case the power goes out.

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2008 NABI BRT #1012 on Route 20 to RB Transit station. Quiet bus especially with the HVAC on, but it really has a loud Meritor axle sound, which gives it an interesting sound.

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S70 trains are being tested on the Blue Line in preparation for the January 26, when they finally debut. Construction is still underway on a few Blue Line Stations (Beyer Blvd, Palm Ave, Iris Ave, and San Ysidro). This new renewal will renovate the stations, as some of them still have their original shelters.

http://www.keepsandiegomoving.com/Libraries/Trolley-doc/Blueline_map_v1-14-15.sflb.ashx

http://www.keepsandiegomoving.com/Libraries/Trolley-doc/TrolleyRenewalTimeline_v1-14-15_2_1.sflb.ashx

http://www.icontact-archive.com/53tHymf7jTJXUv3npxWb9KC20MUlXxS7?w=3

Also, 6 new Power substations are planned to be installed, but apparently, they can start service with just 10 of the 16 required.

I still think there might be problems with the new low floor cars on the blue line, as there are not as many seats as the S70 design is more geared towards standing, while the older high floors are geared towards people sitting down. Then again, at events such as Comic Con, it is generally standing room only anyways.

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S70 trainsets are already being operated on the Blue Line, but the middle train is indeed a SD100, but I do wish to ride a U2.

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Some new technological advances are coming to MTS bus including Orbital DCM's for South Bay Division and East County, though the Blue Bird Commuter buses used for Rapid Express routes 280 and 290 already have this system, so the rest of the transdev buses will get it. This project has been a year in the making, and some East county buses already have this technology along with real time stop information via MTSGo. This radio has been used in Imperial Ave and Kearny Mesa Division buses for quite some time, but it has taken a while for South Bay and East County to get it, due to the extra amount of buses and those divisions are getting bigger, and the need for driver traning.

Stay tuned in 6 weeks, as Automated Stop Announcements similar to the XN60 Rapid buses are being deployed, though that will take around 6 months. I am not sure if KMD and IAD will get it first, but I think that all the buses will be getting this technology. The current SpeakEasy will continue to be available incase of issues, or if the driver needs to make a quick announcement that is not covered by that system.

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