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Orion VIII

Houston METRO

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Neoplan Atrics - Which routes?

I'll be in Houston in late February / early March - where is the best place to find the Neoplan Artics?

From a friend of mine:

The Eastwood or TMC Transit Centers at evening rush... I see the 4400 series artics running on the 68 line in the evening...

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There was a trip on the 53 - Briar Forest that routinely used artic 4571. Dunno if that has changed since the 23rd.

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There was a trip on the 53 - Briar Forest that routinely used artic 4571. Dunno if that has changed since the 23rd.

Must have been some sort of school tripper since HISD's Westside HS is near the 53 because that route normally uses 40' buses.

Anyhoo, I asked two other friends of mine and they BOTH are saying to either check the Eastwood TC or the TMC Transit Center.

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Thank you for the recommendations. I'll check them out when I get down to Houston.

Where is the TMC Transit Center?

Must have been some sort of school tripper since HISD's Westside HS is near the 53 because that route normally uses 40' buses.

Anyhoo, I asked two other friends of mine and they BOTH are saying to either check the Eastwood TC or the TMC Transit Center.

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Thank you for the recommendations. I'll check them out when I get down to Houston.

Where is the TMC Transit Center?

Here. Of course, METRORail can also get you to this location besides the buses listed that actually go there and may have a bus bay at this location. Good luck!

p.s. There's two other buses NOT listed that do go to the TMC Transit Center. They are: 402 - Quickline Bellaire and the 426 - Swiftline.

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Without further ado, here's the Houston METRO version of the EPA 2010 Orion VII 3G hybrid bus. FYI, we're getting 100 of them and delivery of these buses is underway.

IMG_0470.jpgIMG_0469.jpgIMG_0468.jpgIMG_0463.jpg

Enjoy!

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Nice shots, not a fan of that Stop thing on the engine door. Are there any photos of the interior?

Houston order #1370 is for 100 buses total but it is split, #1370A is for 90 units and #1370B is for 10 units. This usually indicates a specification change. Perhaps the last 10 of the batch will be painted for Blueline service or will have a different specification than the rest. The other possibility is that the 10 units are an option, but I doubt this as you stated the order was for 100 units and METRO board documents back this up as well.

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Nice shots, not a fan of that Stop thing on the engine door. Are there any photos of the interior?

Houston order #1370 is for 100 buses total but it is split, #1370A is for 90 units and #1370B is for 10 units. This usually indicates a specification change. Perhaps the last 10 of the batch will be painted for Blueline service or will have a different specification than the rest. The other possibility is that the 10 units are an option, but I doubt this as you stated the order was for 100 units and METRO board documents back this up as well.

No interiors just yet BUT I can ask somebody from METRO if they can do that for me. I'll also see if I can ask for a "street side" photo - just for the heck of it.

Adding insult to YOUR injury :blink: , that Stop thing IS on just about every last 40' bus METRO has - including ALL of the Orions we have so far.

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Actually, I'm not fan of Houston's version of this bus in general. The rear door doesn't align with the windows like the NYC models, so it looks like the door is not tall enough and overall it looks odd. The rear looks awesome, but that big "STOP" just ruins the hell out of it. Thankfully I don't live in Houston so this transit fan doesn't have to see those odd looking buses everyday.

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Actually, I'm not fan of Houston's version of this bus in general. The rear door doesn't align with the windows like the NYC models, so it looks like the door is not tall enough and overall it looks odd. The rear looks awesome, but that big "STOP" just ruins the hell out of it. Thankfully I don't live in Houston so this transit fan doesn't have to see those odd looking buses everyday.

Looks fine to me. At least it doesn't look too over-the-top.

I could care less how it looks, if you ask me. As long as there's one getting to my stop so I can get where I wanna go, I'm satisfied with that.

Adding insult to YOUR injury, that Stop thing IS on just about every last 40' bus METRO has - including ALL of the Orions we have so far - EXCEPT the certain D40LFs operated by First Transit.

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Looks fine to me. At least it doesn't look too over-the-top.

I could care less how it looks, if you ask me. As long as there's one getting to my stop so I can get where I wanna go, I'm satisfied with that.

Oh, please. As a transit fan we all want to have awesome looking buses and we all have our own favorite models. Don't even try that "I could care less how it looks" come on lets be "for real" now.. :blink:

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Oh, please. As a transit fan we all want to have awesome looking buses and we all have our own favorite models. Don't even try that "I could care less how it looks" come on lets be "for real" now.. :blink:

I wasn't joking when I said that but thanks anyway for noticing.

Any further "discussions" should be done via PM.

Thank you!

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The 5800s are supposedly in service, though I haven't seen one yet. Though I did spot 4009 out of Kashmere, the same garage the 5800s are at, in service on the 81 route. Good to see a 1996 bus still out there.

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The 5800s are supposedly in service, though I haven't seen one yet. Though I did spot 4009 out of Kashmere, the same garage the 5800s are at, in service on the 81 route. Good to see a 1996 bus still out there.

Yes, the 5800s ARE indeed in service. Kashmere is getting the first batch (5800-5819) and if you really did see any on the 81, you're starting to see some of West's batch coming in (5820-5849). Kashmere doesn't operate the 81 route. Polk and West take control of that route.

BTW, Polk will be getting 5850-5879 while Fallbrook will get 5880-5899.

Buses like 4009 need to go - NOW - cuz I'm starting to get tired of seeing buses like that. I have seen the 5800s in person but haven't ridden one yet.

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Yes, the 5800s ARE indeed in service. Kashmere is getting the first batch (5800-5819) and if you really did see any on the 81, you're starting to see some of West's batch coming in (5820-5849). Kashmere doesn't operate the 81 route. Polk and West take control of that route.

BTW, Polk will be getting 5850-5879 while Fallbrook will get 5880-5899.

Buses like 4009 need to go - NOW - cuz I'm starting to get tired of seeing buses like that. I have seen the 5800s in person but haven't ridden one yet.

4009 is one of several buses that came to West from Hiram Clarke in 2010 and was recently shipped out to Kashmere where I thought it would meet a swift end. It was probably on the 81 as a standby spare replacing a disabled Hybrid (one can only dream). 4001 was spotted Friday on the 82 so they are definitely getting their miles in. They are in GREAT shape for 15 year old buses, much better than the minis, the artics, or the Neopods that were retired at the same age. Even after these 100 Orions are delivered there should still be a few 40-41xx buses left. Perhaps 30-40.

I'm not a fan of the 36 or 4600 Orions. They sound like groaning electric cars. No personality at all. Maybe the 5800s sound better.

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4009 is one of several buses that came to West from Hiram Clarke in 2010 and was recently shipped out to Kashmere where I thought it would meet a swift end. It was probably on the 81 as a standby spare replacing a disabled Hybrid (one can only dream). 4001 was spotted Friday on the 82 so they are definitely getting their miles in. They are in GREAT shape for 15 year old buses, much better than the minis, the artics, or the Neopods that were retired at the same age. Even after these 100 Orions are delivered there should still be a few 40-41xx buses left. Perhaps 30-40.

I'm not a fan of the 36 or 4600 Orions. They sound like groaning electric cars. No personality at all. Maybe the 5800s sound better.

I'll have to disagree (SOMEWHAT) with how many of the 40xx-41xx series METRO needs to keep. The latter 40xx-41xx series (for example: buses like 4070=>Kashmere and/or maybe even 4116=>Polk) may need to stay until METRO gets more new buses but buses like 4001 and 4009 need to go - NOW! I say about 10 - 15.....depending on how many miles they're gotten before METRO gives them the pink slip from active service.

The reason WHY the artics are not in the best shape possible is because they're used MORE than how they need to be used. They should only be used during the peak hours - NOT all day. Doesn't make sense to me.

Currently, 4009 is at Kashmere and it must have been on the 81 WHILE it was STILL at West BEFORE it went to Kashmere. You're right that 4001 may have been on the 82 but for the record, Polk Garage owns THAT particular bus.

Even though you're not a fan of the Orions - well - at least the 36xx and 46xx series hybrids, I AM a fan of those buses but I'm leaning more towards liking the 58xx series buses - even though I haven't ridden one yet - just because they look a little different. Yes, they do sound better IMHO and sound differently upon takeoff - unlike the 36xx and 46xx Orions.

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I'll have to disagree (SOMEWHAT) with how many of the 40xx-41xx series METRO needs to keep. The latter 40xx-41xx series (for example: buses like 4070=>Kashmere and/or maybe even 4116=>Polk) may need to stay until METRO gets more new buses but buses like 4001 and 4009 need to go - NOW! I say about 10 - 15.....depending on how many miles they're gotten before METRO gives them the pink slip from active service.

The reason WHY the artics are not in the best shape possible is because they're used MORE than how they need to be used. They should only be used during the peak hours - NOT all day. Doesn't make sense to me.

Currently, 4009 is at Kashmere and it must have been on the 81 WHILE it was STILL at West BEFORE it went to Kashmere. You're right that 4001 may have been on the 82 but for the record, Polk Garage owns THAT particular bus.

Even though you're not a fan of the Orions - well - at least the 36xx and 46xx series hybrids, I AM a fan of those buses but I'm leaning more towards liking the 58xx series buses - even though I haven't ridden one yet - just because they look a little different. Yes, they do sound better IMHO and sound differently upon takeoff - unlike the 36xx and 46xx Orions.

4009 is at Polk now. I rode and videoed it on the 88 this evening. It was at Polk when it was on the 81, but I guess the transfer was so sudden that they didn't remove the "K" sticker. They have fashioned a bootleg P on the front and back of the bus to show it's now based out of Polk. It's gone from Hiram Clarke to West to Kashmere to Polk in about a year's time.

And the last few artics are only used during the rush hours. I haven't seen an artic in base service in almost two years. And they haven't been used on weekends in at least three or four years. And these are the transits I'm talking about. The suburban artics (with the exception of the Hiram Clarke 445x and 446x buses) have never been used in base service and none on the weekends, EVER. They are just terrible buses. Are there even any 4500s left, I haven't seen one in at least nine months.

Edit - Metro is getting 100 buses. They have about 30 minis, 35 to 40 artics, and I guess about 100 40-41xx buses. The minis and artics will be wiped out. That means maybe 30 or 40 40-41xx buses will go. I'm sure all of the 1996s will go (4000-4029). But there will be a nice fleet of 1997 and 1998s left and hopefully consolidated in two garages.

412, 4115, 4116, and 4147 are in pretty heavy rotation on Polk routes.

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4009 is at Polk now. I rode and videoed it on the 88 this evening. It was at Polk when it was on the 81, but I guess the transfer was so sudden that they didn't remove the "K" sticker. They have fashioned a bootleg P on the front and back of the bus to show it's now based out of Polk. It's gone from Hiram Clarke to West to Kashmere to Polk in about a year's time.

And the last few artics are only used during the rush hours. I haven't seen an artic in base service in almost two years. And they haven't been used on weekends in at least three or four years. And these are the transits I'm talking about. The suburban artics (with the exception of the Hiram Clarke 445x and 446x buses) have never been used in base service and none on the weekends, EVER. They are just terrible buses. Are there even any 4500s left, I haven't seen one in at least nine months.

Edit - Metro is getting 100 buses. They have about 30 minis, 35 to 40 artics, and I guess about 100 40-41xx buses. The minis and artics will be wiped out. That means maybe 30 or 40 40-41xx buses will go. I'm sure all of the 1996s will go (4000-4029). But there will be a nice fleet of 1997 and 1998s left and hopefully consolidated in two garages.

412, 4115, 4116, and 4147 are in pretty heavy rotation on Polk routes.

Once I get the updated fleet listing, it'll tell me in full who has what. I need to have something in front me to fill me in on who has what.

Yes, there ARE 45xx series artics left. According to what I have (dated 8/1/2011), there's only seven (7) left and West has ALL of them. They have 4581-5484; 4586-4588.

Yes, METRO is getting 100 buses and the delivery of those Orions in underway.

Actually, METRO has the following left:

  • 25 of those "minis" left.
  • 32 of the artics=>(25 of the 44xx series artics and 7 of the 45xx series artics).
  • 98 of the 40xx/41xx series D40LF buses.

PLEASE note that those are total ACTIVE in the fleet. The artics and the minis WILL be wiped out cuz even I think there's no need for them anymore.

Whatever bus moves are taking place, I won't know until I get an updated fleet listing so I guess our eyes will have to do the talking. If you want, I can actually e-mail you the listing that I get. Just PM me with that request and I can make it happen.

Thanks!

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Once I get the updated fleet listing, it'll tell me in full who has what. I need to have something in front me to fill me in on who has what.

Yes, there ARE 45xx series artics left. According to what I have (dated 8/1/2011), there's only seven (7) left and West has ALL of them. They have 4581-5484; 4586-4588.

Yes, METRO is getting 100 buses and the delivery of those Orions in underway.

Actually, METRO has the following left:

  • 25 of those "minis" left.
  • 32 of the artics=>(25 of the 44xx series artics and 7 of the 45xx series artics).
  • 98 of the 40xx/41xx series D40LF buses.

PLEASE note that those are total ACTIVE in the fleet. The artics and the minis WILL be wiped out cuz even I think there's no need for them anymore.

Whatever bus moves are taking place, I won't know until I get an updated fleet listing so I guess our eyes will have to do the talking. If you want, I can actually e-mail you the listing that I get. Just PM me with that request and I can make it happen.

Thanks!

I will definitely take that fleet listing. I want to confirm how many of the 1996 buses are left. I'm thinking 4001, 4009, 4012, 4023, 4027, and 4029 as those are the only ones I've seen in the past month. And it's looking like there will be 55 of the early D40LFs left if the order is a one for one bus replacement and there's no expansion. Hopefully they'll hold on to 70 of them though.

I also tried to find a 5800 after jury duty today but I didn't see any. Usually Metro will parade around their newest stuff so it was puzzling to see a bunch of 29s, 33s, and 36s.

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