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Portland TriMet

488 posts in this topic

9 hours ago, OR Transit Fan said:

I also think if they actually would also start switching over to a Hybrid bus fleet, that would attract riders too. Or even CNG.

 

But trimet is too focused on rail that they refuse to address the issues with their bus service.

Last I had heard, adding a hybrid drive system adds roughly $200-250,000 to the purchase price of a coach. CNG also adds to the price as well, not quite as much but still does. and with CNG you also have to spend millions per garage installing a CNG fueling station (Compressors, Dryer, pressurized storage, new dispensers, methane detection and ventilation for indoor shop facilities, training for mechanics, etc.) for environmental impacts that honestly are somewhat debatable at this point with modern DEF/DPF technologies. One benefit is that fuel prices are lower, however that is compensated for additional higher cost for parts. The environmental impact of a particular model of bus does not generate or encourage ridership, the service, frequency, and span however do. As for a "focus" on rail, they have a lot invested in rail operations, and I would imagine that its also a significant portion of the ridership so it only makes sense that they focus on that. Plus politically it sounds good and if that's where most of your ridership is at that's what gets the attention. It does remind me of the "Bus Riders Union" case in LA where a disgruntled group of people, as I recall mostly minorities at the time successfully sued LACMTA under Title VI for discrimination as they were investing heavily in suburban rail service, at the neglect of bus service for minorities. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bus_Riders_Union_(Los_Angeles)

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11 hours ago, M. Parsons said:

There's what, two manufacturers out there, Axion and Luminator? And an amber LED sign is pretty much industry standard. What's so wrong with what Trimet specs? The Bailos signs from the timeframe of the 2500's were problematic, but, that's not inherently Trimet's fault.

There's nothing wrong with the new British Hanover signs that they are getting now, but they really should have replaced the Balios signs on the 2500's.  They're replacing signs on the MAX trains to new digital signs, and I'd say that knowing where a bus is going is pretty important.  Heck, even replacing the Balios signs with Luminator signs from the 2200's they are retiring would be an improvement...

TriMet goes with the white LED headsign, and then go with amber for the rest of the bus.  What is the price difference?  When you see a bus with all white LED signs, I'd say it looks significantly more modern and sharp.  Just my opinion on that one though...

I definitely get that there is a certain level of marketing CNG and Hybrid as "clean" technology, though they also marketed the "bio-diesel" thing too...maybe they just have to market more on the clean diesel piece?  It is strange that in an area that prides itself on being "green" that we haven't seen more in terms of eco-conscious buses.  But yes, as I work in Salem seeing their struggles with CNG now is pretty sad.  Sadder yet that their staff couldn't get their ducks in a row to get new XD40's purchased this year.

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11 hours ago, OR Transit Fan said:

No need to get foul here...

TriMet has 8 hybrid buses. The maintenance knows how to maintain them. Thy are a proven technology, and electric buses aren't a solid technology yet.

Cherriots is very happy with CNG buses, and they do save a lot of money with them. The tanks are much much much cheaper to replace than to buy a new bus. CNG is also very proven. Don't know why you implied Cherriots having to "inspect and replace tanks"

Last time I heard, replacing all the CNG tanks on a 40 ft Transit was in the $30,000 range. That's a LOT of money to be spending on an old bus.. And as with any pressure vessel they do need to be inspected on a regular basis, although they shouldn't have to be replaced too often. Typical lifespan of the carbon fiber tanks these days is 18-20+ years. Early steel and aluminum tanks were only 15-18 years.

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1 hour ago, busdude.com said:

Last time I heard, replacing all the CNG tanks on a 40 ft Transit was in the $30,000 range. That's a LOT of money to be spending on an old bus.. And as with any pressure vessel they do need to be inspected on a regular basis, although they shouldn't have to be replaced too often. Typical lifespan of the carbon fiber tanks these days is 18-20+ years. Early steel and aluminum tanks were only 15-18 years.

30,000 is not a lot compared to a new bus. Cherriots has extremely good maintenance and I can see those buses lasting another 5-10 years easily. Heck, we had 30 year old RTS buses until 2012!

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17 minutes ago, OR Transit Fan said:

30,000 is not a lot compared to a new bus. Cherriots has extremely good maintenance and I can see those buses lasting another 5-10 years easily. Heck, we had 30 year old RTS buses until 2012!

Your cost/benefit ratio starts to decline heavily when a bus reaches the end of its useful life. Sure $30,000 is change compared to the price of a new bus, but than when you factor in $20,000 to replace an engine, $15,000 for a transmission, now you're in it for $65,000 now add the additional downtime for the vehicle for these repairs as they crop up, having to explain to the FTA why your buses are out of service so much, possibly not making pull outs because of so many vehicles on the deadline - oh and this doesn't count all the other routine repairs that older vehicles need more and more of as things just break due to age and wear. A bus can last as long as parts are available and someone is willing to sink the money and time into it, it just gets to a point after about 15-18 years that its really just time to send it down the road, and if you have not planned a replacement, that $65k is going to come due fast if it hasn't already and you're still going to wind up replacing the bus after sinking all the money into it.

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39 minutes ago, OR Transit Fan said:

30,000 is not a lot compared to a new bus. 

But that's not how capital project financial planning is done.

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23 hours ago, OR Transit Fan said:

I also think if they actually would also start switching over to a Hybrid bus fleet, that would attract riders too. Or even CNG.

Yeah... I'd really love to see a source for the claim that the propulsion system has any impact on ridership.

As anecdotal evidence, I've lived in cities with diesel buses, Los Angeles with CNG (America's Largest Fleet of CNG buses) and Seattle with hybrids (the pioneer of the technology). While I appreciate that the agencies are adopting technology to make the air cleaner... I choose to ride based on how fast and frequent the route is.

 

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44 minutes ago, rickycourtney said:

Yeah... I'd really love to see a source for the claim that the propulsion system has any impact on ridership.

As anecdotal evidence, I've lived in cities with diesel buses, Los Angeles with CNG (America's Largest Fleet of CNG buses) and Seattle with hybrids (the pioneer of the technology). While I appreciate that the agencies are adopting technology to make the air cleaner... I choose to ride based on how fast and frequent the route is.

 

Well, to be fair I didn't mean it would attract large amounts of riders. 

Not only do they reduce emissions, but Hybrids and CNG buses are also much quieter. Sure they may be a expensive to buy, but there is a pay back by running them.

Although Seattle is now getting different seats, the new ones aren't half bad. They're still comfortable compared to TriMet's hard plastic seats.

But you have to think, why did they put more expensive, padded, nicer seats on the Type 5's and not the buses? 

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9 hours ago, OR Transit Fan said:

Well, to be fair I didn't mean it would attract large amounts of riders. 

Not only do they reduce emissions, but Hybrids and CNG buses are also much quieter. Sure they may be a expensive to buy, but there is a pay back by running them.

Although Seattle is now getting different seats, the new ones aren't half bad. They're still comfortable compared to TriMet's hard plastic seats.

But you have to think, why did they put more expensive, padded, nicer seats on the Type 5's and not the buses? 

It could have something to do with federal regulations, or it could simply be the rail division fleet manager picking that, while the bus division fleet manager picked something else.

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Thought I'd share these photos. Apparently TriMet sent down a bus with volunteers to testify at a hearing at the Oregon State Capitol here in Salem on June 6th and 7th. They sent 3507, which they parked at the downtown transit mall. 

TriMet In Salem-a.jpg

TriMet 3507-a.jpg

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1 hour ago, OR Transit Fan said:

Thought I'd share these photos. Apparently TriMet sent down a bus with volunteers to testify at a hearing at the Oregon State Capitol here in Salem on June 6th and 7th. 

For what? So, called privatization of TriMet? 

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2 hours ago, Blue Bus Fan said:

For what? So, called privatization of TriMet? 

No, not for that, which isn't even true. So please don't spread that, it has been debunked already. 

What was going on were hearings for the proposed transportation package which unsurprisingly has funding for transit throughout the state.

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6 hours ago, OR Transit Fan said:

Thought I'd share these photos. Apparently TriMet sent down a bus with volunteers to testify at a hearing at the Oregon State Capitol here in Salem on June 6th and 7th. They sent 3507, which they parked at the downtown transit mall. 

TriMet In Salem-a.jpg

TriMet 3507-a.jpg

King County Metro's union does something like this once a year where they take a Metro bus down to Olympia for the day with off duty operators and staff so they can speak with their representatives.

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