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Just wanted to mention that TriMet is starting to receive the new 3600 series buses. I saw one near Albany on Interstate 5 the other day, and a friend of mine has also seen 3602 on Interstate 5 aswell. I believe I saw 3632. I will look into this in more detail tomorrow to find more info.

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TriMet will get 5 electric buses, instead of just 4.

Source: http://www.bizjournals.com/portland/news/2016/12/28/pge-pacific-power-ev-plans-electric-buses-and.html

Portland General Electric (NYSE: POR) noted that TriMet had received a $3.4 million federal grant for four electric buses, along with four depot chargers and an en-route charger.

But the utility said that by installing, operating, maintaining and owning the chargers, PGE will trim TriMet's up-front capital costs and allow for the purchase of a fifth electric bus.

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1 hour ago, MAX BRT said:

TriMet will get 5 electric buses, instead of just 4.

Source: http://www.bizjournals.com/portland/news/2016/12/28/pge-pacific-power-ev-plans-electric-buses-and.html

Portland General Electric (NYSE: POR) noted that TriMet had received a $3.4 million federal grant for four electric buses, along with four depot chargers and an en-route charger.

But the utility said that by installing, operating, maintaining and owning the chargers, PGE will trim TriMet's up-front capital costs and allow for the purchase of a fifth electric bus.

Ugh!!

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Trimet's 3600's hit the road last Wednesday - largely unchanged from the 3500's though they seem to have updated the shift pattern which results in less of that grinding sound that you get from the Gilligs.

 

Thinking they need to seriously reconsider the interior layout now that the added folding safety handholds are being added to the Gilligs - they make the forward facing seats in the Priority Seating Area the least desirable seats in the fleet IMHO.

 

Also saw for the first time a Type 4 and Type 5 trainset coupled - it didn't sound like this functionality was going to be utilized but apparently it is.

IMG_0836.JPG

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2 hours ago, Jared Kam said:

Trimet's 3600's hit the road last Wednesday - largely unchanged from the 3500's though they seem to have updated the shift pattern which results in less of that grinding sound that you get from the Gilligs.

 

Thinking they need to seriously reconsider the interior layout now that the added folding safety handholds are being added to the Gilligs - they make the forward facing seats in the Priority Seating Area the least desirable seats in the fleet IMHO.

 

Also saw for the first time a Type 4 and Type 5 trainset coupled - it didn't sound like this functionality was going to be utilized but apparently it is.

IMG_0836.JPG

Yep, it's about time they got them in service. The grinding noise is because of maintenance I have noticed. The 3600's also have a beeping noise when they turn, which TriMet shouldn't have ordered them with... Drivers don't like that feature

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1 minute ago, OR Transit Fan said:

Yep, it's about time they got them in service. The grinding noise is because of maintenance I have noticed. The 3600's also have a beeping noise when they turn, which TriMet shouldn't have ordered them with... Drivers don't like that feature

All in the name of "safety"...

Honestly, the "fuel saving" shift pattern that TriMet has adopted on the Voith transmissions causes that grinding noise as the shift to second gear comes way too early, but I did note that both the shift to second gear as well as the sluggish acceleration off the block has improved some with this latest batch.  Here's to hoping they don't reprogram these transmissions.

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10 hours ago, Jared Kam said:

All in the name of "safety"...

Honestly, the "fuel saving" shift pattern that TriMet has adopted on the Voith transmissions causes that grinding noise as the shift to second gear comes way too early, but I did note that both the shift to second gear as well as the sluggish acceleration off the block has improved some with this latest batch.  Here's to hoping they don't reprogram these transmissions.

It's not the special gearing that causes grinding, Voith does that, and TriMet's bad maintenance makes it worse. Our Gillig's down here grind a bit, but not nearly as much. Neither do Corvallis Transit System's newer gilligs. TriMet's transmissions shift the same as any other Voith

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On 2/8/2017 at 9:34 PM, OR Transit Fan said:

TriMet's bad maintenance

You're actually saying that an agency that kept its Flxible Metro's in service for over twenty years, and most of that time was without OEM support, has bad maintenance?

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13 hours ago, northwesterner said:

You're actually saying that an agency that kept its Flxible Metro's in service for over twenty years, and most of that time was without OEM support, has bad maintenance?

Did you ever see how they were in such bad shape for their last 5 years or so?? They were really worn out. And back then, buses were actually built to last unlike buses these days. That's why the 1400's - 2100's survived so long. You can already see signs of abuse on their Gillig BRT's

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1 hour ago, OR Transit Fan said:

Did you ever see how they were in such bad shape for their last 5 years or so?? They were really worn out. And back then, buses were actually built to last unlike buses these days. That's why the 1400's - 2100's survived so long. You can already see signs of abuse on their Gillig BRT's

They were really worn out because they were really old, and they were still being used in day base service at an elderly age, something that Tri-Met shouldn't have done. 

As for being built to last, give me a break.

There's a lot of romanticization of high floor bus designs from the 1980s. There shouldn't be. Many of these vehicle types were far inferior to the New Look buses of the 60s and 70s, and weren't built to last. There were some great buses from that era (RTS quality was legendary - though not as good as their predecessors, GM Classics were pretty decent but sold few in the US, the MAN Americana built in small numbers was top quality, etc) and others that really weren't that great (Neoplans, Ikarus, some early Orions, and, yes, 1980s-built Gillig Phantoms).

I would include the Flxible Metro in that group. While some platforms that spanned that time period (see: Phantom, Gillig) went through continuous improvement programs that helped build quality and reliability, others didn't. By the early 1990s, Flxible was in its last days, and certainly wasn't investing in incremental improvements in their manufacturing facility. 

Contrast that with Gillig, whose 1995 Phantoms are much much better buses than 1985 Phantoms. I don't think you could say the same about Flxible Metros. 

You say that due to Tri-Met's "bad maintenance" those buses were bad shape at the end of their life. I say that due to Tri-Met's good to great maintenance, those buses were even operable at the end of their life. 

For your final statement "signs of abuse on their Gillig BRTs," I don't even know what that means. Maintenance abuse? Thats a new term to me. Is this stuff not being repaired at all (deferred maintenance) or being repaired incorrectly?

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A bus from 1990 really worn out in its last five years of service life, five to ten years after everyone else has retired equipment of that vintage? Hmm surprising! The fact they were able to make pull out at all with such an old fleet is amazing itself and proves that their maintenance department is a competent operation and they have enough skill and resources to keep that fleet on the road. 

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37 minutes ago, northwesterner said:

They were really worn out because they were really old, and they were still being used in day base service at an elderly age, something that Tri-Met shouldn't have done. 

As for being built to last, give me a break.

There's a lot of romanticization of high floor bus designs from the 1980s. There shouldn't be. Many of these vehicle types were far inferior to the New Look buses of the 60s and 70s, and weren't built to last. There were some great buses from that era (RTS quality was legendary - though not as good as their predecessors, GM Classics were pretty decent but sold few in the US, the MAN Americana built in small numbers was top quality, etc) and others that really weren't that great (Neoplans, Ikarus, some early Orions, and, yes, 1980s-built Gillig Phantoms).

I would include the Flxible Metro in that group. While some platforms that spanned that time period (see: Phantom, Gillig) went through continuous improvement programs that helped build quality and reliability, others didn't. By the early 1990s, Flxible was in its last days, and certainly wasn't investing in incremental improvements in their manufacturing facility. 

Contrast that with Gillig, whose 1995 Phantoms are much much better buses than 1985 Phantoms. I don't think you could say the same about Flxible Metros. 

You say that due to Tri-Met's "bad maintenance" those buses were bad shape at the end of their life. I say that due to Tri-Met's good to great maintenance, those buses were even operable at the end of their life. 

For your final statement "signs of abuse on their Gillig BRTs," I don't even know what that means. Maintenance abuse? Thats a new term to me. Is this stuff not being repaired at all (deferred maintenance) or being repaired incorrectly?

I personally think Gillig Phantoms have always been great, and yes the RTS was really well built. I think we can agree that they don't build buses like those anymore! As for the BRT's and D40LF's, they just run very rough compared to other transit systems. Their 3000 series Gillig's are identical to our 227 series Gilligs down here in Salem. Ours run quite nice compared to TriMet. Just saying...

Also, TriMet is known to have a dislike towards bus riders

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3 hours ago, OR Transit Fan said:

As for the BRT's and D40LF's, they just run very rough compared to other transit systems. Their 3000 series Gillig's are identical to our 227 series Gilligs down here in Salem. Ours run quite nice compared to TriMet. Just saying...

Maybe it has something to do with the size of Cherriots vs. TriMet? I kind of suspect that TriMet buses see a lot more service, heavier loads, longer days etc. than the local buses in a small city like Salem.

I see that Salem has no bus service on President's Day? A quick check of routes, and they seem to end at 21:30 on weekdays?

Do better next time when trying to compare buses between two completely different transit systems.

Can you provide sources for this apparent dislike towards bus riders?

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34 minutes ago, M. Parsons said:

Maybe it has something to do with the size of Cherriots vs. TriMet? I kind of suspect that TriMet buses see a lot more service, heavier loads, longer days etc. than the local buses in a small city like Salem.

I see that Salem has no bus service on President's Day? A quick check of routes, and they seem to end at 21:30 on weekdays?

Do better next time when trying to compare buses between two completely different transit systems.

Can you provide sources for this apparent dislike towards bus riders?

Ok, compare TriMet with Metro. Metro is much larger than Trimet, yet their bus maintenance is fantastic. Their 1996 Gilligs are still kicking and so are their 1999 D60's.

as for the bus riders suffering, here's some reasons. It has gotten better since the new Gilligs, but TriMet had old old buses that were very problematic. Yet they wouldn't take care of them. They were breaking down all the time. While that was going on Fred Hansen was building that useless WES line. That WES sucks money from the bus service which results in cuts of much needed service. Another reason is because TriMet loves to make themselves look great by opening a new MAX line that was never needed (Orange, green, and yellow lines) They only build them to make themselves look good. Many amenities for MAX riders when many bus stops are not in good shape

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I've heard conflicting reports, are all of the 2100 series coaches now retired?

I know TriMet had kept some around for MAX shuttles during this summer's service disruption. That now seems less necessary with the new 3600 series coaches in service.

If they're gone that's huge, it means TriMet's whole bus fleet is now low-floor. 

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41 minutes ago, rickycourtney said:

I've heard conflicting reports, are all of the 2100 series coaches now retired?

I know TriMet had kept some around for MAX shuttles during this summer's service disruption. That now seems less necessary with the new 3600 series coaches in service.

If they're gone that's huge, it means TriMet's whole bus fleet is now low-floor. 

http://news.trimet.org/2017/02/trimets-payroll-tax-bond-rating-remains-the-highest-of-any-similar-transit-agency/

121 new buses will help fill this void you mention. That would also spell the end for the 2200s and 2300s as they are now the oldest buses.

~Ben

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1 hour ago, rickycourtney said:

I've heard conflicting reports, are all of the 2100 series coaches now retired?

I know TriMet had kept some around for MAX shuttles during this summer's service disruption. That now seems less necessary with the new 3600 series coaches in service.

If they're gone that's huge, it means TriMet's whole bus fleet is now low-floor. 

There's still some at Merlo being saved for this May for the MAX project

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TriMet's budget highlights and proposal of service changes for FY2018:

http://news.trimet.org/2017/03/trimet-releases-fiscal-year-2018-proposed-budget-that-expands-bus-service-improves-system-reliability-and-adds-57-new-buses/

https://trimet.org/betterbus/serviceimprovements-fy18.htm

Includes some new routes, minor changes to existing routes, and... 57 new buses!

~Ben

Edited by Benjamin
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44 minutes ago, Benjamin said:

TriMet's budget highlights and proposal of service changes for FY2018:

http://news.trimet.org/2017/03/trimet-releases-fiscal-year-2018-proposed-budget-that-expands-bus-service-improves-system-reliability-and-adds-57-new-buses/

https://trimet.org/betterbus/serviceimprovements-fy18.htm

Includes some new routes, minor changes to existing routes, and... 57 new buses!

~Ben

The improvements will definitely help! Glad to see TriMet cares more about the bus service these days

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Kudos to TriMet for understanding (and actively promoting!) the importance of service levels.

Portland gets a lot of attention -- maybe even too much attention -- for the planning and real estate aspects of high-quality transit. It's led other transit systems to try and replicate Portland -- minus the service levels. Needless to say, a streetcar or LRT or BRT at 20-30 minute headways isn't very useful. No matter how much the real estate developers froth at the idea of "TOD".

It's encouraging that TriMet itself isn't so imbued with "the Portland effect" that they disregard service levels. Mode will (almost) always take a back seat to coverage, span and frequency.

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1 hour ago, Border City Transit said:

Kudos to TriMet for understanding (and actively promoting!) the importance of service levels.

Portland gets a lot of attention -- maybe even too much attention -- for the planning and real estate aspects of high-quality transit. It's led other transit systems to try and replicate Portland -- minus the service levels. Needless to say, a streetcar or LRT or BRT at 20-30 minute headways isn't very useful. No matter how much the real estate developers froth at the idea of "TOD".

It's encouraging that TriMet itself isn't so imbued with "the Portland effect" that they disregard service levels. Mode will (almost) always take a back seat to coverage, span and frequency.

TriMet says frequency is important, yet they do nothing to increase it. 

The "TOD" is very subsidized in Portland too. There is still very little development especially around the blue line, which they said would get developed 

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I really appreciate that TriMet has a very clearly defined concept of "frequent service": every 15 minutes or better most of the day, every day. On top of that they clearly brand which routes and stops have frequent service.

The only real exception is the early morning and late night hours.

That's much better than the definition King County uses: every 15 minutes or less until 6pm, Monday-Friday. 

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28 minutes ago, rickycourtney said:

I really appreciate that TriMet has a very clearly defined concept of "frequent service": every 15 minutes or better most of the day, every day. On top of that they clearly brand which routes and stops have frequent service.

The only real exception is the early morning and late night hours.

That's much better than the definition King County uses: every 15 minutes or less until 6pm, Monday-Friday. 

I also like the definition of TriMet's, but I know many people feel that true frequent service is at least 10 minutes 

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4 hours ago, OR Transit Fan said:

TriMet says frequency is important, yet they do nothing to increase it. 

The "TOD" is very subsidized in Portland too. There is still very little development especially around the blue line, which they said would get developed 

Takes $$$ to increase service. also takes $$$ to add artic buses and expand yard capacity to handle them.

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