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MAX BRT   

Spotted a new Nova LFS Articulated bus for Houston heading south on I-81 approaching Syracuse this afternoon. It was not numbered.

I love these kind of miles-away-en-route-to-delivery spottings! B)

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Chris H   

How many Nova artics does Metro have currently in use? I will be going to Houston in mid-November and I would like to know where the best places to find them. Texas Medical Center transit center a good place to find the Novas?

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How many Nova artics does Metro have currently in use? I will be going to Houston in mid-November and I would like to know where the best places to find them. Texas Medical Center transit center a good place to find the Novas?

19 as of this post with more on the way and going into service. Only two garages will get them: Hiram Clarke (1510-1540) and West (1541-1579).

If you have time during the morning and evening rush hours, I have seen some either parked or driving by on the 163 - Fondren Limited along Congress Street (start looking near Minute Maid Park). The 163 was the first route to get the artics.

If you wanting to see any at the TMC Transit Center, it'll depend on how many buses the West Garage has by that time, in service and how often they'll run the artics. The 2 - Bellaire is one of the routes slated to have the artics - since it stops/starts the route there at the TMC Transit Center. Other rotues (getting the LFSAs) including the 4 - Beechnut (it also stops at the TMC Transit Center), 25 - Richmond (weekends only), 46 - Gessner (Saturdays only), and the 65 - Bissonnet (this bus can be seen at the Wheeler Station as it starts the route there).

Good luck when you get here. :)

Edited by HoustonMETROFan

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MAX BRT   

Article from KUHF:

Metro Says Getting More People To Ride The Bus Is Its Top Goal

Metro board members have now come up with preliminary numbers on how to allocate public resources, as it balances how to increase ridership, and how to give maximum coverage to existing riders.

After lengthy discussion the board voted to recommend to its planning staff that 80% of resources should be put toward the goal of getting more people on the bus.

Transit consultant Jared Walker says the problem with some of Metro's existing bus routes is that they're expensive to run and don't have that many riders.

"Mostly it's about driving back into very hard-to-serve areas where the development design does not lend itself to running a straight and efficient transit route. And so the question is really how many of those people are you ready to risk inconveniencing."

Metro has faced declining bus ridership since 2000, although it's seen some gains over the last year.

As for why people don't ride the bus, Metro says one of the biggest complaints has to do with the frequency of service. The agency is now studying whether it can offer more reliable service by altering some of its routes.

Metro board member Christof Spieler stresses the process is only in the early stages.

http://app1.kuhf.org/articles/1385056632-Metro-Says-Getting-More-People-To-Ride-The-Bus-Is-Its-Top-Goal.html

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MAX BRT   

95 45ft Clean Diesel Commuter Buses with 30 options. Scheduled delivery of 70 buses in FY2014, 25 buses in FY2015 and 30 option buses for FY16.

The solicitation required bidders to submit Requests for Approvals (RFAs) for METRO to review and approve technical issues and exceptions to the specifications before submittal of bids. Two (2) bus manufacturers submitted RFAs: MCI and Prevost

One (1) bid response was received and publicly opened in the 2nd Floor Conference Room, 1900 Main, Houston, Texas on October 22, 2013. The bid received was from MCI. Prevost did not submit a bid because they could not manufacture a Buy America compliant bus in time to meet METRO’s delivery schedule.

METRO will pay 57.4 million for the firm order of 95 coaches. Total bid amount, including options, is roughly 76 million dollars.

Sounds like Prevost is already busy.

I'll be sorry to hear it when the Vikings are gone. What rare buses they are.

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It looks like this order will replace the NFI Vikings.

95 45ft Clean Diesel Commuter Buses with 30 options. Scheduled delivery of 70 buses in FY2014, 25 buses in FY2015 and 30 option buses for FY16.

The solicitation required bidders to submit Requests for Approvals (RFAs) for METRO to review and approve technical issues and exceptions to the specifications before submittal of bids. Two (2) bus manufacturers submitted RFAs: MCI and Prevost

One (1) bid response was received and publicly opened in the 2nd Floor Conference Room, 1900 Main, Houston, Texas on October 22, 2013. The bid received was from MCI. Prevost did not submit a bid because they could not manufacture a Buy America compliant bus in time to meet METRO’s delivery schedule.

METRO will pay 57.4 million for the firm order of 95 coaches. Total bid amount, including options, is roughly 76 million dollars.

Sounds like Prevost is already busy.

I'll be sorry to hear it when the Vikings are gone. What rare buses they are.

Yes, it does look like they'll replace the Vikings we have (less than 90 are still active) and even I say that they need to be replaced anyways. It may be sad to see them go but all good things must come to an end. I already ridden one so I'm happy to at least hop aboard those rare buses.

Speaking of Prevost - I'm thinking they wasn't gonna have their buses here is because they would need to assemble one to EXACTLY meet (if not exceed) METRO's needs, etc.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. :P

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Yes, it does look like they'll replace the Vikings we have (less than 90 are still active) and even I say that they need to be replaced anyways. It may be sad to see them go but all good things must come to an end. I already ridden one so I'm happy to at least hop aboard those rare buses.

Speaking of Prevost - I'm thinking they wasn't gonna have their buses here is because they would need to assemble one to EXACTLY meet (if not exceed) METRO's needs, etc.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. :P

Do you know when this year the Vikings will be retired? As im planning on coming down to Dallas and Houston in Oct.

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Do you know when this year the Vikings will be retired? As im planning on coming down to Dallas and Houston in Oct.

That's something that METRO must answer (I'll ask anyway for confirmation). Those are old buses so my speculation would be yes because not only is METRO wanting to get 95 more D4500CTs (diesels instead of hybrids) but they may (if they feel like it) go for the option of getting 30 more for 2016..

70 will come this year and 25 will come next year and (again) if they want to go for this option order, 30 more will come in 2016.

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That's something that METRO must answer (I'll ask anyway for confirmation). Those are old buses so my speculation would be yes because not only is METRO wanting to get 95 more D4500CTs (diesels instead of hybrids) but they may (if they feel like it) go for the option of getting 30 more for 2016..

70 will come this year and 25 will come next year and (again) if they want to go for this option order, 30 more will come in 2016.

There is about 89 left if that is correct then if only 70 are coming this year there will be some left but hard to find pretty much thanks for your answer.

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There is about 89 left if that is correct then if only 70 are coming this year there will be some left but hard to find pretty much thanks for your answer.

There are exactly 89 Vikings left active (that was already said via Facebook messenger) and it may very well be hard to find any left active once the new MCIs come in.

Sent from my SPH-D710VMUB using Tapatalk

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There are exactly 89 Vikings left active (that was already said via Facebook messenger) and it may very well be hard to find any left active once the new MCIs come in.

Sent from my SPH-D710VMUB using Tapatalk

Good to know. Will be down there next month to try and find one.

http://newflyer.com/...ston_award_nabi

Just FYI that things are going, IMHO, in the right direction in regards to buses we already have needing replacement soon. Enjoy!

Congrats to Metro Transit riders and NABI! Very interesting that Houston wanted the stainless steel "structure"

Are other Houston Metro buses built of stainless steel?

Very interesting. I didn't even know about this NABI order. I only recall the WMATA BRT order signed pretty recently. I will have to go there sometime next year to check them out.

Meanwhile, I will be checking out the DART units this year... (plus, I need to get my last DART RTS rides before they dwindle too much)

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Good to know. Will be down there next month to try and find one.

Very interesting. I didn't even know about this NABI order. I only recall the WMATA BRT order signed pretty recently. I will have to go there sometime next year to check them out.

Meanwhile, I will be checking out the DART units this year... (plus, I need to get my last DART RTS rides before they dwindle too much)

You should be able to find some during the morning and/or evening rush hour period (the Vikings).

Surprising, about the NABI order, isn't it? :P:P The first ones will come in during the summer (diesels first). The URL should tell you the rest. :)

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You should be able to find some during the morning and/or evening rush hour period (the Vikings).

Surprising, about the NABI order, isn't it? :P:P The first ones will come in during the summer (diesels first). The URL should tell you the rest. :)

Is there any particular corridor where they run the Vikings? Or do they show up practically everywhere?

Also, from the looks of things, it should be 85 40-LFW Gen III diesels and 180 40-LFW Gen III CNGs by 2016

--Dr. C

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Is there any particular corridor where they run the Vikings? Or do they show up practically everywhere?

Also, from the looks of things, it should be 85 40-LFW Gen III diesels and 180 40-LFW Gen III CNGs by 2016

--Dr. C

Park & Rides only (see METRO website for P&R routes). It'll depend on how often you'll see them during the AM and PM rush.

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Park & Rides only (see METRO website for P&R routes). It'll depend on how often you'll see them during the AM and PM rush.

Right, but what I mean is which Park & Ride corridor? That's why I asked about corridors, because I expect them on P&R routes. And Metro seems to group them into corridors.

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Right, but what I mean is which Park & Ride corridor? That's why I asked about corridors, because I expect them on P&R routes. And Metro seems to group them into corridors.

As I'm looking on METRO's website, I suspect they're on the following corridors: Greenway/Uptown, Gulf, North, Southwest, and maybe TMC. The route 261 has the Vikings operating that route.

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As I'm looking on METRO's website, I suspect they're on the following corridors: Greenway/Uptown, Gulf, North, Southwest, and maybe TMC. The route 261 has the Vikings operating that route.

Sent from my SPH-D710VMUB using Tapatalk

Thanks this will be a big help to me!

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I did find no shortage of Vikings last week during the peak hours. Quite a few on the Gulf/TMC line (297 I think?) and several on Gulf Corridor Lines and I believe one or two on the 202 Kuykendahl.

As for the Nova LFSAs, I did see them on 65 Bissonet, 163 Fondren, and 25 Richmond. I happened to catch it on the 25 Richmond. It was a surprise finding them there, as the 2 and 65 were the main ones I saw them on. The 163 caught me off guard too.

Also, did not realize that Houston had D40LFs with DD50s at all... I thought all of them had Cummins.

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