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ABQ RIDE   

Today, I decided to give ABQ RIDE a call, and I spoke with the Ops manager asking her about the fleet plans, and she said that most likely the 400-series Thomas/Dennis SLF232Gs will likely be replaced before the 300-series Neoplan AN440A CNGs.

FYI, I gave her the suggestion to replace them with some 35-foot buses. While an order hasn't been placed yet, she said she will consider my suggestion. No decision has been made whether they will be diesel, CNG, or diesel-electric hybrids, nor has a number range been assigned for them.

If ABQ RIDE takes my suggestion for 35-foot buses, however, there is no guarantee the order will go to New Flyer again, since ABQ RIDE's options with New Flyer only include 40-foot and 60-foot buses. Gillig, Orion, or NABI are also options. Maybe even ElDorado might bid with either the EZ Rider II or Axess.

Anyway, I can't wait to see what happens.

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ABQ RIDE   
Shocking. :(

Well, most of the 400s have already been taken out of service ever since the 900 series New Flyer DE40LFRs have entered service in 2009; those buses are currently being stored at the Daytona Transit Facility collecting dust. Besides the three 400s used on the D-Ride, the only routes that believe that still use 400s are the 1 Juan Tabo (alongside a few 300s), 12 Constitution Commuter (the later morning run), and 34 San Pedro Commuter, with occasional usage on the 2 Eubank, 31 Wyoming, and 51 Atrisco/Rio Bravo in place of a 900 for the 2 and 31, and in place of a 300 for the 51.

The 400s have always been ABQ RIDE's worst buses in terms of reliability and performance, which is why I am not surprised that ABQ RIDE plans to eliminate them before the 300s.

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ABQ RIDE   

Just this week, ABQ RIDE has been using bus 436 (a diesel-powered SLF235) on the 140/141 San Mateo route, thus bringing it out of retirement. 436 was stored in 2008 after all 700-series New Flyer DE40LFRs arrived, due to the fact that Mayor at the time Martin Chavez said the bus was "not green enough" (although this could be debatable since 436 is a 35-foot medium-duty bus while the 700-series are 40-foot heavy-duty buses despite their hybrid drivetrain).

I wonder what was the reason for bringing it back into service. I wonder if ABQ RIDE upgraded the farebox to the GFI Genfare Odyssey to match the rest of the fleet and to accept the magstripe passes.

Sorry, I don't have any pics.

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ABQ RIDE   

Here is the first photo on the web of ABQ RIDE bus 436:

800px-ABQ-RIDE_436.jpg

Notice the difference in length, the rooftop HVAC, the rear window, and differently styled side windows.

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ABQ RIDE   

Rapid Ride was only the beginning, however, it looks like ABQ RIDE is now planning a true BRT route along Central Avenue, where the buses have their own dedicated lanes:

http://www.cabq.gov/transit/news/mayor-ric...ve-bus-service/

I wonder what the new BRT route will be called. Also, I think the perfect buses for the route would be the New Flyer XDE60. I suggested it to director Bruce Rizzieri.

While I no longer live in Albuquerque, I still follow ABQ RIDE and support them.

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MAX BRT   

I love visiting ABQ and I expect this is good news for the city. I am excited about the transit possibilities BRT can provide citizens in many North American cities.

Rapid Ride was only the beginning, however, it looks like ABQ RIDE is now planning a true BRT route along Central Avenue, where the buses have their own dedicated lanes:

http://www.cabq.gov/transit/news/mayor-ric...ve-bus-service/

I wonder what the new BRT route will be called. Also, I think the perfect buses for the route would be the New Flyer XDE60. I suggested it to director Bruce Rizzieri.

While I no longer live in Albuquerque, I still follow ABQ RIDE and support them.

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ABQ RIDE   

I spoke with ABQ RIDE planner Doug Goff last week, and he told me that ABQ RIDE is strongly considering the New Flyer Xcelsior to replace the remaining 400-series Thomas/Dennis SLF232Gs. He said the plan is for 40-foot buses, however, it hasn't been decided yet whether the new buses will be diesel, CNG, or diesel-electric hybrids.

I actually wonder, with the plan being for 40-foot buses, I wonder what will happen to the D-Ride. The D-Ride uses the smaller 400s due to their ability to make tighter turns around Downtown Albuquerque. However, since the Xcelsior weighs less than the DE40LFR, perhaps it could be able to make tighter turns than a 700 or 900-series bus.

Considering that very few routes in the ABQ RIDE system still use the 400s, I wonder which routes will these new buses be assigned. The last time I was in ABQ, the only routes that got 400s besides the D-Ride were the 1 Juan Tabo, and occasionally the 2 Eubank, 31 Wyoming, and 51 Atrisco/Rio Bravo. The 300-series Neoplans are here to stay for now, apparently, however, I woudn't be surprised if ABQ RIDE limits their use more and use the Xcelsiors more often.

Mr. Goff said the plans aren't final yet, however, he said that the Xcelsior is the model ABQ RIDE is leaning towards. He also said they will probably be numbered the 1200-series (where the 12 stands for 2012).

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MAX BRT   

Thats cool. I would love to ride an XDE40 the next time I'm in ABQ. Does ABQ ride have reliable service from the airport?

As for the turns, don't artics turn tighter than 40 ft. buses?

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ABQ RIDE   
Thats cool. I would love to ride an XDE40 the next time I'm in ABQ. Does ABQ ride have reliable service from the airport?

As for the turns, don't artics turn tighter than 40 ft. buses?

Yes, artics turn tighter, but I don't know if ridership justifies artics on the D-Ride. Artics are only used for the Rapid Ride routes, and probably also for the future BRT service.

There are three routes to the Albuquerque International Sunport (50, 222, and 250), the latter two being Rail Runner connection routes. The 50 runs every 30 minutes on weekdays, and every hour and ten minutes on Saturdays.

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MAX BRT   
Yes, artics turn tighter, but I don't know if ridership justifies artics on the D-Ride. Artics are only used for the Rapid Ride routes, and probably also for the future BRT service.

There are three routes to the Albuquerque International Sunport (50, 222, and 250), the latter two being Rail Runner connection routes. The 50 runs every 30 minutes on weekdays, and every hour and ten minutes on Saturdays.

I love that its called the "Sunport". Has a beautiful terminal building too.

I love that its called the "Sunport". Has a beautiful terminal building too.

How many Thomas/Dennis SLF232Gs need replacing?

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ABQ RIDE   
I love that its called the "Sunport". Has a beautiful terminal building too.

How many Thomas/Dennis SLF232Gs need replacing?

All (except 436) were built in 2001, and since they are considered medium-duty buses, they are elgible for replacement by FTA standards. The 300-series Neoplans are actually older (built in 1996), however, even to this day they are more reliable than the SLFs.

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MAX BRT   
All (except 436) were built in 2001, and since they are considered medium-duty buses, they are elgible for replacement by FTA standards. The 300-series Neoplans are actually older (built in 1996), however, even to this day they are more reliable than the SLFs.

Sounds like we're talking about 35 buses. 36 counting 436.

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ABQ RIDE   
Sounds like we're talking about 35 buses. 36 counting 436.

Well, most of the 400-series SLFs were actually parked in 2009 when the 900-series New Flyer DE40LFRs arrived. The next order is supposed to replace the remaining SLFs that are stil being used. I was told the next order will be about 20 buses.

BTW, ABQ RIDE was in fact going to sell the parked SLFs to Santa Fe Trails in Santa Fe, however, when ABQ RIDE sent their testing bus, Santa Fe Trails was unable to start it, and thus the deal fell apart.

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ABQ RIDE   

It has been a while since I made a post about ABQ RIDE, however, I think now is the time to make an official single thread. If possible, could the moderators here merge the previous ABQ RIDE threads?

Anyway, today I have found this document about new ABQ RIDE buses:

http://cabq.legistar.com/Gateway.aspx?M=F&G=ALBU&ID=12841.pdf

It states that ABQ RIDE is looking to buy two 40-foot CNG buses and three 60-foot diesel buses. I'm a little surprised that the plans for the 60-foot buses are diesel instead of hybrid, considering ABQ RIDE operates 18 DE60LFs and 6 DE60LFRs. Don't know what the 40-foot CNG buses will be used for, since two buses is not enough to cover for neither the 300-series Neoplans nor the 400-series Thomas/Dennis SLFs.

Perhaps an option for the 40-foot CNG buses (which I suggested to ABQ RIDE Director Bruce Rizzeri) would be to piggyback on the Valley Metro RPTA contract with New Flyer. Since this is a small order, piggybacking probably makes the most sense here. Gillig may also be a possibility since they now offer CNG buses, and most TAs of ABQ RIDE's size are generally loyal Gillig customers. ABQ RIDE was going to buy Gillig Hybrids in 2007 to replace the old RTS fleet through a piggyback by San Joaqin RTD, but the order was cancelled in favor of ABQ RIDE tendering their own contract, which New Flyer won.

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Ramirez   

Question about the Neoplans in ABQ Ride, how did ABQ Ride get them?

1) These were rejects because LACMTA did not find them road worthy (or diffrent issues?)

or

2) They were a piggyback order from LACMTA's 1995 order

I've heard both, but im not sure which one is right.

Any answers are appreciated!

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ABQ RIDE   

Question about the Neoplans in ABQ Ride, how did ABQ Ride get them?

1) These were rejects because LACMTA did not find them road worthy (or diffrent issues?)

or

2) They were a piggyback order from LACMTA's 1995 order

I've heard both, but im not sure which one is right.

Any answers are appreciated!

I believe they were rejects due to a change in LACMTA specifications. I could be wrong, though.

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MAX BRT   

Any news on the 400-series Thomas/Dennis SLF232Gs? Still around?

What about news on the proposed BRT on Central Avenue? Has it been approved?

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ABQ RIDE   

Any news on the 400-series Thomas/Dennis SLF232Gs? Still around?

What about news on the proposed BRT on Central Avenue? Has it been approved?

I think there might still be some SLFs operating on the D-Ride Downtown Shuttle. I don't live in Albuquerque anymore, so I can't say for sure. As for the BRT, it is still being proposed.

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MAX BRT   

Thanks, ABQ

Found the following from the minutes of the Transit Advisory Board (Feb 2013) regarding new buses.

"Bruce (Rizzieri) said the City has been approved to use the Minnesota Department of Transportation Contract. Bruce signed his portion the other day. Hopefully, the purchase will occur by June 2013. The cost/money will determine the number of buses approved and spare parts.

Bruce said the City is getting away from the hybrid electric. The new buses will be Compressed Natural Gas. He said the City tries to standardize as much as possible. He has a responsibility with the ordinance looking for the lowest price with the type of bus. He must follow City/Federal cost comparison standard specifications."

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ABQ RIDE   

Thanks, ABQ

Found the following from the minutes of the Transit Advisory Board (Feb 2013) regarding new buses.

"Bruce (Rizzieri) said the City has been approved to use the Minnesota Department of Transportation Contract. Bruce signed his portion the other day. Hopefully, the purchase will occur by June 2013. The cost/money will determine the number of buses approved and spare parts.

Bruce said the City is getting away from the hybrid electric. The new buses will be Compressed Natural Gas. He said the City tries to standardize as much as possible. He has a responsibility with the ordinance looking for the lowest price with the type of bus. He must follow City/Federal cost comparison standard specifications."

Interesting. Gillig, perhaps?

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MAX BRT   

Interesting. Gillig, perhaps?

I only know that SFMTA bought Xcelsiors from a Minnesota contract, but those are hybrids. According to an SFMTA document, both New Flyer and Gillig were on the approved list.

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