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Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority

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Now at the halfway point of this exposition, I find myself in San Francisco, California. But I will start south of the Bay Area in Santa Clara County and its transit system, VTA. VTA operates 82 bus lines and an extensive Light Rail service spanning 42 miles across three lines. VTA also operates a Bus Rapid Transit line, Route 522 that uses a mix of Gillig Advantages & New Flyer D60LFs covered in a full body wrap. VTA’s bus fleet consists of Gillig Phantoms, Advantages, & New Flyer D60LFs.

My way to VTA came by Dumbarton Express, which operates between Union City & Palo Alto/Mill Creek Business Park and uses Flxible Metro Cs & Gillig Phantoms (More on this later)

Pictured is coach #151, boarding passenger on the second run of the morning:

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Stanford University operates a free shuttle between Palo Alto Transit Center & the University for students using the CalTrain commuter service. Here is Gillig Advantage #3208 outside the station:

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VTA operates approx. 35-40 New Flyer D60LFs, the majority on their heaviest line, Route 22 that travels between Palo Alto to Eastridge via Downtown San Jose. Here is #2333 on layover:

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Some of the 2300 series are also wrapped for Route 522 service, here is #2312 after disembarking passengers:

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Photographed at Mountain View Transit Center is VTA Advantage #1044, shortly before its run on Route 52. Mountain View also connects to the VTA Light Rail & CalTrain Commuter rail:

WCT3369.jpg

Among the systems that connect with VTA is AC Transit. Route 217 operates as a connection for VTA passengers wanting to transfer to BART trains at its most southern station, Fremont BART.

Here is Van Hool A300K #5046 at the Great Mall Light Rail Station:

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VTA operates a batch of 35 foot Gillig Advantage for small and medium density routes, here is #2104 boarding passenger destined for Eastridge Transit Center:

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Among the oldest vehicles in VTA’s fleet are 1997 & 1998 Gillig Phantoms. Here is 9844 & sister coach 9845 on Routes 66 & 68 respectively:

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Videos:

Dumbarton Express Flxible Metro C #151: Cummins M11/ZF Ecomat Transmission\

Santa Clara VTA New Flyer D60LF #2333: Cummins ISL/Allison B500R

Santa Clara VTA Gillig Advantage #1007: Cummins ISL/Voith D864.3

Santa Clara VTA Gillig Phantom #9844: Cummins M11/Voith D863.3

Santa Clara VTA Light Rail: Kinki Sharyo Low Floor Car #904

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I always thought this was a neat system to follow.

It was presumably much better when they operated Flxible Metros (which I missed the chance to photograph as well...)

Good to see that the Dumbarton Express still has some, though.

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Videos:

Dumbarton Express Flxible Metro C #151: Cummins M11/ZF Ecomat Transmission\

Santa Clara VTA New Flyer D60LF #2333: Cummins ISL/Allison B500R

Santa Clara VTA Gillig Advantage #1007: Cummins ISL/Voith D864.3

Santa Clara VTA Gillig Phantom #9844: Cummins M11/Voith D863.3

Santa Clara VTA Light Rail: Kinki Sharyo Low Floor Car #904

For posterity's sake -- the Phantom has a B400R5, and the Flxible has a Voith D863.

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Is there any proof that the Grumman Flxible 870s (the 1600 series) the VTA had operated back in 1981 used the 6V92TA Detroit Diesel engine? I am assuming so since the 6V71N is not as desirable there if you consider the state of CA aims for lower emissions, and the 6V92TA was usually preferred there instead of the 6V71N when the former engine became available for ordering.

~Ben

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Is there any proof that the Grumman Flxible 870s (the 1600 series) the VTA had operated back in 1981 used the 6V92TA Detroit Diesel engine? I am assuming so since the 6V71N is not as desirable there if you consider the state of CA aims for lower emissions, and the 6V92TA was usually preferred there instead of the 6V71N when the former engine became available for ordering.

~Ben

I don't think the 6V71N passed California emissions at that time -- everyone was getting turbocharged engines. SCVTA (and the previous variants going back to SCCTD) never bought any new buses with a 6V71.

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Santa Clara, Calif.’s Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) awarded New Flyer Industries Inc. a contract for 50 (100 equivalent units or EUs) Xcelsior diesel-electric hybrid 60-foot articulated heavy-duty buses.

The contract for the buses contains a firm order of 29 buses (58 EUs) with options for an additional 21 buses (42 EUs). To date, New Flyer has built and distributed 40 60-ft diesel buses to VTA's fleet of approximately 450 active buses.

http://www.metro-magazine.com/news/story/2013/07/new-flyer-to-deliver-50-xcelsiors-to-calif-transit.aspx

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Farewell to their D60LF.

Eventually. There are only 29 in the first order, but there are 40 D60LFs. Also, they're over a year away.

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These artics are to be the first ever with BAE Hybridrive:

"An order for 29 New Flyer buses by the Valley Transportation Authority in Santa Clara, Calif. takes the HybriDrive brand series hybrid electric driveline by BAE Systems into articulated transit vehicles for the first time."

http://www.fleetsand...-hybrid-artics/

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These artics are to be the first ever with BAE Hybridrive:

An order for 29 New Flyer buses by the Valley Transportation Authority in Santa Clara, Calif. takes the HybriDrive brand series hybrid electric driveline by BAE Systems into articulated transit vehicles for the first time.

http://www.fleetsand...-hybrid-artics/

I don't think speeds on our streets are ideal for the series hybrids, as speeds can be pretty high. I recall they have not been working that well in Toronto, but maybe they're doing better now with Lithium Ion?

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I don't think speeds on our streets are ideal for the series hybrids, as speeds can be pretty high. I recall they have not been working that well in Toronto, but maybe they're doing better now with Lithium Ion?

Bus_Medic is our CPTDB expert. He has said that things have improved with lithium ion and software changes, etc. but he remains skeptical of BAE Hybridrive.

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Looks like the Xcelsior hybrid artics on order for late 2014 delivery are for future BRT routes:

http://busride.com/2013/10/vta-delves-into-bus-rapid-transit/

Santa Clara/Alum Rock

The Santa Clara/Alum Rock BRT project will provide limited-stop service for 7.2 miles, from the Eastridge Transit Center to the Arena Station in downtown San Jose. BRT buses will travel the route in a mixed-flow capacity that features a dedicated bus-only lane in the median separated from traffic on Alum Rock Avenue, and rely on transit signal priority throughout the route to improve travel time. Modern hybrid BRT buses will operate during the peak times with service every 10 minutes to 11 specially enhanced stations.

The total cost for the Santa Clara/Alum Rock Bus Rapid Transit Project is $114 million, $90 million of which will come from the State of California’s Proposition 1B funding. The remaining $24 million comes through a dedicated local funding source for VTA capital projects known as the 2000 Measure A Transit Improvements Program. Construction begins this fall.

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SAN JOSE, Calif. — Line 22, the only bus route that runs 24 hours in the Santa Clara (Calif.) Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) system, becomes an unofficial shelter each night, with riders taking the two-plus hours trip from East San Jose to Palo Alto before heading back again, according to the Daily Times.

VTA officials make clear that homeless have just as much right to ride as anyone as long as they obey the rules such as no smoking, eating or drinking, the Times reported.

For the full story, click here.

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A major shame that there isn't sufficeint resources to aid these people in a time a need.

I do however must give a comendation to VTA for being so welcoming as they are.

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SAN JOSE, Calif. — Line 22, the only bus route that runs 24 hours in the Santa Clara (Calif.) Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) system, becomes an unofficial shelter each night, with riders taking the two-plus hours trip from East San Jose to Palo Alto before heading back again, according to the Daily Times. VTA officials make clear that homeless have just as much right to ride as anyone as long as they obey the rules such as no smoking, eating or drinking, the Times reported. For the full story, click here.

AKA the Hotel 22.

A major shame that there isn't sufficeint resources to aid these people in a time a need.

I do however must give a comendation to VTA for being so welcoming as they are.

A tiny apartment is over $1000 per month....at least the VTA buses have cushioned seats and the 22 is a long route.

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A major shame that there isn't sufficeint resources to aid these people in a time a need.

I do however must give a comendation to VTA for being so welcoming as they are.

I agree.

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Has there been any confirmed dates for the retirement of the VTA's 1997-1999 Gillig Phantoms?

The lower 9700s have been retired, or at least, I have not seen one for a long time. Occasionally, I see a high 9700 in service.

The 9800s and 9900s are in service all the time. The new 4000s will be here soon (there were pictures on Facebook from the Gillig factory a few weeks ago), but I don't know how many there are.

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The lower 9700s have been retired, or at least, I have not seen one for a long time. Occasionally, I see a high 9700 in service.

The 9800s and 9900s are in service all the time. The new 4000s will be here soon (there were pictures on Facebook from the Gillig factory a few weeks ago), but I don't know how many there are.

Okay. I might have to hurry and ride a '97 before they are gone.

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