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They have already been testing the XDE60's in the tunnel.  Also, two trackless trolleys were repainted in Silver Line colors and moved from North Cambridge to Southampton for the rush-hours South Stat

The MBTA is committed to going eventually to battery electric buses - both the Silver Line Waterfront and Harvard trackless operations will very possibly be replaced by those in the 2020's.

Spotted this morning..    

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It's actually a 20-bus option added to the earlier order for 40 XDE40's.

This look like the end for the RTS in The Hub.

Doubtful - there are approximately 100 RTS's left in service and only 60 new buses coming in at this time. The T does not have enough spare buses that would allow all of the RTS's to be retired, especially with the Neoplan AN460LF CNG buses crapping out pretty badly these days.

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I am not sure that the buses are in service. They may have done one trip for a photo opportunity but my impression is that it will still be another month or so before they enter service. They are still doing training for the operators at the Charlestown division where the XDE40 buses will be going.

Bus 1402 was actually used last weekend in a charter for the Boston Street Railway Association. Photos are attached of the charter. It is actually a very nice riding bus.

MBTA 1402 - Interior - 09NOV14.jpg

MBTA 1402 - Lechmere Stn - 09NOV14.jpg

MBTA 1402 - Rear View - 09NOV14.jpg

MBTA 1402 - VIN - 09NOV14.jpg

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I can confirm that the Xcelsiors are in revenue service. I rode on 1405 on the 104 yesterday and saw two on the 92 and 93 today. Someone also posted a photo on MassDOT's Twitter page of 1402 on the 111.

The T issued an RFP for 325 40-foot hybrid and CNG buses today. I am not sure how many will be hybrid or CNG. These will replace the remaining RTS, the C40LFs, and all of the NABIs. There will be another RFP in the near future for 44 60-foot buses to replace the CNG AN460LFs.

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Seashore and swtat thanks for your contributions! Wow big potential order for NFI, Gillig, and Nova to get excited about.

As for bus 1402, I would prefer aluminum wheels but it is a badass looking bus. Interesting that they have no "hybrid" markings. I bet its a smooth ride. I don't think I've ever been able to ride a BAE hybrid yet. :(

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The contact is going to be awarded on low bid...also, there's a possible 200 additional option on it...low bid may favor either Nova Bus or NFI...I don't think Gillig will be interested in it.

How many buses have to be delivered in a single year? I seem to recall that Gillig generally doesn't compete if they have to produce more than 80 buses in a year. Don't quote me on that though, its not verified officially but does seem to be a good rule of thumb.

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How many buses have to be delivered in a single year? I seem to recall that Gillig generally doesn't compete if they have to produce more than 80 buses in a year. Don't quote me on that though, its not verified officially but does seem to be a good rule of thumb.

Gillig completed an order for 160 buses for PAT in Pittsburgh in 2003 and a subsequent order of 92 buses in 2006. Those are the only 80+ bus orders I'm aware of.

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Looks like the MBTA may become the launch customer for the New Flyer XE60.

"The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) in Boston will receive funding to develop and deploy five 60-foot articulated New Flyer battery-electric buses on the MBTA Silver Line Bus Rapid Transit System. The new zero-emission buses will have improved performance on ice and snow-covered roads."

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Looks like the MBTA may become the launch customer for the New Flyer XE60.

"The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) in Boston will receive funding to develop and deploy five 60-foot articulated New Flyer battery-electric buses on the MBTA Silver Line Bus Rapid Transit System. The new zero-emission buses will have improved performance on ice and snow-covered roads."

Wow! (and whats up with the bit about improved performance on ice and snow--because of traction control?)

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In a few years later. MBTA will need to replace the Neoplan trolley buses with NFI XT40 or something else?

Why ??? The Neoplans are only 11 years old. The electric motors in trolleys last longer than an average diesel bus. With a mid life refurbishment, trolley buses can easily last 30 years. The Flyer E800 buses that the Neoplans replaced lasted almost 30 years so I would expect the Neoplans to do the same.

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Why ??? The Neoplans are only 11 years old. The electric motors in trolleys last longer than an average diesel bus. With a mid life refurbishment, trolley buses can easily last 30 years. The Flyer E800 buses that the Neoplans replaced lasted almost 30 years so I would expect the Neoplans to do the same.

Exactly - the Neoplan TT's appear to be doing fine and the North Cambridge staff has a great reputation for keeping their fleet well-maintained. SEPTA seems to be having many more problems with their New Flyer electric buses than the MBTA is having with this fleet. Also, the coaches have relatively low mileage totals due to the frequent diesel bustitutions of the lines associated with road construction projects. I wouldn't be surprised if these end up being the last Neoplan transit buses running in North America.

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Glad to see a system that still operates RTS

Speaking of the RTS, where is the best place to see them in Boston? Which T station would be best to spot them or which parts of town can I see the RTS. Are they running all day or only used during peak/rush hour service? I will be in Boston in mid-May and would like to see and ride the RTS.

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