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My guess is that Nova had the price advantage here due to their experience in the use of stainless steel, while the stainless steel version of the Xcelsior is still a new product that hasn't seen mass production yet. I'm a bit surprised that Gillig was not present in the RFP though.

Not just about the stainless steel portion but also, you have to factor in whether or not METRO's delivery schedule can be met.

Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing more Novas around here.

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I'm disappointed El Dorado couldn't meet the Metro's specs, but I'm more surprised they couldn't meet their delivery schedule, especially when they hardly ever bid on major transit agencies bus contracts.

Perhaps they don't have as much production capacity as New Flyer, Gillig, or Nova.

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Houston is going to continue to be a good place to see a variety of buses--including one of the best places to see the last generation of NABIs

That is true but for those who like those older D40LFs that we have, their days are numbered as this Nova order will eliminate 100 of those D40LFs.

Don't forget that METRO is also getting 10 more D4500CT diesels. This will increase our commuter bus fleet to 391.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Ridership on the Upswing After Houston’s Bus Network Redesign

http://usa.streetsblog.org/2016/01/04/ridership-on-the-upswing-after-houstons-bus-network-redesign/

"In August, Houston debuted its new bus network, reconfigured to increase frequent service, expand weekend hours, and improve access to jobs.

The implementation was contentious at times, and when we last checked in on the results — two months after the changes took effect — bus ridership was down 4 percent overall but up dramatically on weekends. That was to be expected, wrote transit consultant Jarrett Walker, who worked on the project, because it takes some time for people to adjust to changes and familiarize themselves with the new routes.

Now, after just two more months, METRO is reporting that bus ridership has climbed above previous levels. November totals were up 4 percent compared to the previous year.

“The upswing in ridership on the New Bus Network launched on Aug. 16, 2015 is immensely gratifying,” said METRO Board Chairman Gilbert Garcia in a press release. “The countless hours of researching routes, community meetings and input, planning changes, and redirecting and training our staff is paying off and we’re confident that trend will continue to grow.”

In October, Walker said he would expect ridership to increase about 20 percent by two years after the redesign, provided good management by the local transit agency. We’ll see, but the returns after just a few months are promising.

These results should be encouraging to cities like Columbus that are considering similar changes.

Metro is also getting ready to roll out a new transfer policy expected to boost ridership more. Previously, riders paying with cash did not get free transfers. Under the new policy, tickets will be good for a free transfer for up to three hours."

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I wonder how old this is because for example, the three hour transfer window for Q-Card holders such as myself is already in effect and has been for quite some time now.

Even as we speak, Houston METRO is getting ready for the January 24th service which may cause more tweaking to routes under the New Bus Network.

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  • 4 months later...
Behold! The newest MCI D4500CT model for Houston METRO. A total of 10 were purchased solely for fleet expansion. With this order in, METRO now has 391 MCI Commuter coaches including 122 D4500CTHs.
 
Soon, METRO will receive 100 buses from NovaBus - 80 LFS 40' models and 20 LFSA 60' models which will see service early next year.
 
Enjoy!

MCI Bus 5249 a.jpg

MCI Bus 5249 b.jpg

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Source: http://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/articles/news/2016/11/29/178961/new-metro-electric-bus-starts-rolling-this-weekend/

"Starting this Sunday, riders on Metro’s #63 Fondren route will see something new. The transit agency is trying out an all-electric bus.

The bus is manufactured by Proterra, a California-based company that produces zero-emission vehicles. Metro says it will test the bus for 90 days to see if it would work here in Houston. As for why they chose the Fondren route,  Metro CEO  Tom Lambert says that’s so they can charge the bus at the nearby Missouri City Park and Ride.  He adds they will actively seek rider feedback during the testing period.

Metro’s fleet currently has over 1,200 buses. Some run on clean diesel, others are hybrids, and there’s a few that run on compressed natural gas."

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1 minute ago, MAX BRT said:

Source: http://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/articles/news/2016/11/29/178961/new-metro-electric-bus-starts-rolling-this-weekend/

"Starting this Sunday, riders on Metro’s #63 Fondren route will see something new. The transit agency is trying out an all-electric bus.

The bus is manufactured by Proterra, a California-based company that produces zero-emission vehicles. Metro says it will test the bus for 90 days to see if it would work here in Houston. As for why they chose the Fondren route,  Metro CEO  Tom Lambert says that’s so they can charge the bus at the nearby Missouri City Park and Ride.  He adds they will actively seek rider feedback during the testing period.

Metro’s fleet currently has over 1,200 buses. Some run on clean diesel, others are hybrids, and there’s a few that run on compressed natural gas."

 

 

and enjoy!
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/2/2016 at 7:45 AM, MAX BRT said:

Those are usually expensive and time-consuming to install, but obviously they do have something in place. Thanks!

Maybe so but I can bet the installation was done way before the bus arrived since it was known that Proterra wanted their bus here for demo purposes.

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  • 5 weeks later...

That's not the only order Houston METRO will be dealing with.  Soon we'll be getting even more MCIs - 139 to be exact.

EDIT:  It's not on the MCI website yet (just checked) but it may be there soon.

1 hour ago, ABQ RIDE said:

Looks like Houston METRO has awarded New Flyer an order for 100 XD40s:

https://newflyer.com/rss/798-houston-awards-new-flyer-a-contract-for-100-xcelsior®-buses

I wonder if they will be stainless steel.

Even it they wasn't, it's great that Houston is joining the Xcelsior family.

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