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Sound Transit Receives $1.3 billion U.S. Dept. of Transportation Loan

The Sound Transit Board of Directors will review unfunded portions of the ST2 program, costs increases and savings on active capital projects, contributions toward maintaining agency assets in a state of good repair, operational needs and service levels, capacity for future system expansion, and other financial commitments. Some of the projects suspended during the recession that the Board could consider moving forward include:

  • ST Express bus service hours – 50,000 of 100,000 ST2 service hours still to be implemented
  • Light rail between Kent/Des Moines and South 272nd Street in Federal Way
  • Preliminary light rail engineering and right-of-way acquisition from South 272nd Street in Federal Way to the Tacoma Dome
  • Improvements for accessing Kent Station
  • Improvements for accessing Auburn Station
  • Sounder platform extensions
  • Preliminary light rail engineering between Redmond’s Overlake and downtown areas
  • A permanent multi-modal station at Edmonds
  • Renton HOV improvements

Source: http://www.masstransitmag.com/press_release/12035997/sound-transit-receives-13-billion-us-dept-of-transportation-loan

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One of the new "crash energy management" cars was spotted in Thunder Bay, ON being prepared for shipment to Seattle.  

Here's a picture I took a couple weeks ago at the Lynnwood Transit Center of a 2004 D60LF.

the area around the front sign on ST's new Enviro500s is painted white, instead of the black the older E500s had

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Sound Transit Receives $1.3 billion U.S. Dept. of Transportation Loan

The Sound Transit Board of Directors will review unfunded portions of the ST2 program, costs increases and savings on active capital projects, contributions toward maintaining agency assets in a state of good repair, operational needs and service levels, capacity for future system expansion, and other financial commitments. Some of the projects suspended during the recession that the Board could consider moving forward include:

  • ST Express bus service hours – 50,000 of 100,000 ST2 service hours still to be implemented
  • Light rail between Kent/Des Moines and South 272nd Street in Federal Way

Source: http://www.masstransitmag.com/press_release/12035997/sound-transit-receives-13-billion-us-dept-of-transportation-loan

What routes will be getting those 50,000 hours that yet to be implemented? I hope the hourly routes on weekends get improve to get more frequency on the routes. I think that 550 should have a least 15 minutes frequency during the day on Sundays and holidays.

Is light rail going to Kent/Des Moines and South 272nd Street in Federal Way no matter what happens to ST3?

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Looks like that Sound Transit has another crazy lawsuit for East Link this lawsuit is about Mercer Slough.

http://seattletransitblog.com/2015/01/21/yet-another-east-link-lawsuit/#comments

Mercer Slough if you never heard of this it is around I-90: https://www.google.ca/maps/place/Mercer+Slough+Nature+Park/@47.5864442,-122.1768319,15z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x54906bf669b34ad1:0x2f95c9c5c4f1606b

So, I do not see how electric powered trains will cause more damage to the Mercer Slough than cars on I-90 do currently.

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Looks like that Sound Transit has another crazy lawsuit for East Link this lawsuit is about Mercer Slough.

http://seattletransitblog.com/2015/01/21/yet-another-east-link-lawsuit/#comments

Mercer Slough if you never heard of this it is around I-90: https://www.google.ca/maps/place/Mercer+Slough+Nature+Park/@47.5864442,-122.1768319,15z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x54906bf669b34ad1:0x2f95c9c5c4f1606b

So, I do not see how electric powered trains will cause more damage to the Mercer Slough than cars on I-90 do currently.

Thanks for the discussion, BBF. The way I understand it, Geoffrey Bidwell's concern is that the ecosystem of the entire park, --especially the northwestern corner-- will be permanently compromised because the light rail will essentially wipe out the western edge of the park. Sound Transit contends that they will plant trees to mitigate the damage but Bidwell and company (including Kemper Freeman, Jr.) contend that it will not be enough. So this latest anti-light rail ploy really doesn't have anything to do with I-90 itself doing damage to the slough area. It has to do with the ecosystem.

I'm thinking that it could be just another one of Mr. Freeman's ploys to delay light rail and to make another statement to his continued opposition to light rail and mass transit in general. Others believe it is a legitimate concern. It may well be.

As you probably know, Kemper Freeman, Jr. (prominent Bellevue developer and owner of Bellevue Square and surrounding properties) has for decades has been a transit opponent and has always wanted more freeways instead. He's spent millions trying to quash light rail to the Eastside.

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Just saw the ST new flyer XDE60 at the Federal way transit center today. They don't have the fareboxes installed yet.attachicon.gif20150126_122612.jpgattachicon.gif20150126_122505.jpgattachicon.gif20150126_122449.jpgattachicon.gif20150126_122454.jpg

Glad to see them out. I am wondering why Sound Transit is taking some time getting these buses in service? After two month they should be entering service by now.

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Pierce Transit has not had any artics for nearly 10 years now (9500s that were transferred to KCM and CT). I imagine that they need to go through extensive training and orientation for drivers and mechanics and what not.

Were the 9500s the 2000 and 2004 D60LF operate by KCM?
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No - they were 9500-9509, which were later dispersed to both KCM and CT.

Somehow 9508 is still in service at CT, which is truly unbelievable given the abuse they suffered on the 594 at PT.

Were they the ones when at East Base, some of the driver's refused to take them out as they couldn't get out of their own way when starting from a standing stop? ...from what I can remember, Montlake Flyer stop westbound was the location of specific contention? I only remember driving them a few times when sent over from Bellevue. At Montlake westbound you'd just have to floor it and hope that traffic would let you in without crashing into one another. I can see why motorists complain that buses think they own the road in that type of situation as there really was nothing else you could do but force your way in as there was no way you could even get close to the speed of the flow of traffic so there was really no alternative. Or was it another series of D60LF that I'm thinking of?

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Were they the ones when at East Base, some of the driver's refused to take them out as they couldn't get out of their own way when starting from a standing stop? ...from what I can remember, Montlake Flyer stop westbound was the location of specific contention? I only remember driving them a few times when sent over from Bellevue. At Montlake westbound you'd just have to floor it and hope that traffic would let you in without crashing into one another. I can see why motorists complain that buses think they own the road in that type of situation as there really was nothing else you could do but force your way in as there was no way you could even get close to the speed of the flow of traffic so there was really no alternative. Or was it another series of D60LF that I'm thinking of?

Yes, those are the ones ... both the 1999 and 2000 orders of 9500s came with the same Detroit Series 50 engine.

The Series 50 was overall a piece of junk. Its an inline four cylinder engine with a huge turbo charger to get the vehicle moving. The biggest problem is that with the huge turbo there is a huge turbo lag when you step on the pedal. I worked for a charter company that repowered a ton of coaches with S50s as part of a midlife rebuild. They're pretty much a nightmare to drive because of the turbo lag. They are also a bit underpowered for a 60ft coach. Metro maintenance never wanted the S50 (the 2300s were the first D60s built in years without S50s), and never liked maintaining them in the ST coaches.

However, when I heard about these guys refusing them on the 545 due to the Montlake merge, I couldn't help but laugh. Yes, they are slow. Slower than a Breda? No way....... not even close. And how many years did Bredas on the 255 make that exact same merge?

D60LFs with identical powertrains continue to hold down the fort on the 99 B-Line in Vancouver, which is North America's busiest bus line, with many zones where the bus has to pull out of a travel lane and merge back in to get moving down the street. The headways can be less than every 3 minutes, and most of the time the coaches have crush standing loads (which isn't any help on acceleration). And yet, the operators up there manage to get in and out of traffic (which moves fast!) with minimal difficulty.

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IIRC, it was actually the state patrol who contacted Metro with concerns about the 9500s performance when leaving the Mont lake Flyer Station. I believe that is when they got relegated to use on the 522 and 564 565 566 (and yes I did see one on South Hill in Puyallup once. I don't remember why I did not chase it to the TC. It may have been a combination of traffic and lack of a camera (back in the day before cellphones had good cameras))

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Ah, thanks for the good information as always, northwesterner and busdude.

I do now remember something about the state patrol being involved in that.

Yeah, I was going to mention the Bredas but decided not to because I actually thought they were a teeny bit faster than those D60LF 's.

But I too would not complain as In the early days of EB, we routinely had to use 200 's on the 520 routes and not only did we have to do the Flyer stop merges but one thing I found nerve wracking at times (when traffic was moving at the speed limit) was making the 520 to I-5 merge across 4-lanes of high-speed traffic to exit at Stewart Street when the bus would not do over 42-45 MPH and we had only those little round convex right mirrors where you couldn't tell how fast or really how far away a vehcile in the next lane over was ...so again, it was almost "close yours eyes, put on the right turn signal, and hope for the best" -type of situations where you just kept your foot in it and hoped that everyone got out of the way.

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I've driven 9525 and 9531 and I absolutely HATED driving them. The only good thing about them, the sound from their engines; they have that really throaty grumble-growl sound that screams bus. But trying to get them up to speed... no go. Not to mention, the windshield wipers ran off air pressure and had a knack for not wanting to work.

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I've driven 9525 and 9531 and I absolutely HATED driving them. The only good thing about them, the sound from their engines; they have that really throaty grumble-growl sound that screams bus. But trying to get them up to speed... no go. Not to mention, the windshield wipers ran off air pressure and had a knack for not wanting to work.

Yes, so true, Ty. I certainly agree with the sound of Detroits as I grew up both as a kid riding them and as an operator driving them ...along with air wipers :P The air wipers on those D60LF 's felt out of place as it seemed air wipers went away back in the 70s or 80s ...was it the D900 Flyers the last bus at Metro to have air wipers(?) ...(although I remember reading somewhere that electric wipers were options for some manufacturers even after that ...correct?)

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Yes, so true, Ty. I certainly agree with the sound of Detroits as I grew up both as a kid riding them and as an operator driving them ...along with air wipers :P The air wipers on those D60LF 's felt out of place as it seemed air wipers went away back in the 70s or 80s ...was it the D900 Flyers the last bus at Metro to have air wipers(?) ...(although I remember reading somewhere that electric wipers were options for some manufacturers even after that ...correct?)

Electric wipers were options for many manufacturers for a long time.

Community Transit continued to spec air wipers well into the 2000s. Both the 1999 and 2000 D60LFs are based off CT specs, and came with air wipers. Seems like a throw back and lots of East Base operators complained about them, mostly because they were unfamiliar. One of the hardest things with air wipers is that you have to "park" the wiper when you turn it off. There is a spring loaded position past off in the direction you twist the knob to turn them off. If you don't "park" them when you shut them off, they may not turn back on, without being parked. If you drive with air wipers every day, this becomes second nature. If you drive with air wipers once in a blue moon, you spent a lot of time swearing looking out a wet windshield as you can't figure out why the wiper won't wipe.

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Community Transit continued to spec air wipers well into the 2000s. Both the 1999 and 2000 D60LFs are based off CT specs, and came with air wipers. Seems like a throw back and lots of East Base operators complained about them, mostly because they were unfamiliar. One of the hardest things with air wipers is that you have to "park" the wiper when you turn it off. There is a spring loaded position past off in the direction you twist the knob to turn them off. If you don't "park" them when you shut them off, they may not turn back on, without being parked. If you drive with air wipers every day, this becomes second nature. If you drive with air wipers once in a blue moon, you spent a lot of time swearing looking out a wet windshield as you can't figure out why the wiper won't wipe.

First Transit drivers will probably be able to get the windshield wipers operation faster compared to KCM drivers, no offence @roamer and @RapidRideTy.

Also will the 1999 and 2000 D60LF be retired when the double deckers buses start service for ST?

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First Transit drivers will probably be able to get the windshield wipers operation faster compared to KCM drivers, no offence @roamer and @RapidRideTy.

No offense taken, BBF. However, I drove my share of buses with air wipers ...100, 200, 500, 700, 1100, 1600 -series plus all the Metropolitan carry-overs and the fill-in junkers we had to drive in the 1970 's all had air wipers

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My Orion with its Sprage Air Push II wiper motors (biggest pieces of shit ever put on a bus, you have a metal body and piston assembly, and the valve assembly is made with a plastic body, with plastic valves, and a copper end cap holding it all together. guess what starts to leak after the first use, and guess what's getting harder to find these days) the wipers will automatically park when you turn them off, I don't have to rotate the knob to a park position.

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When those CT guys can drive a Breda through downtown without wetting themselves, then they can talk... B)

As for which coaches got the electric wipers first, I'm not sure. Heck, most of the info I get comes from everyone else on the board.

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When those CT guys can drive a Breda through downtown without wetting themselves, then they can talk... B)

As for which coaches got the electric wipers first, I'm not sure. Heck, most of the info I get comes from everyone else on the board.

First Metro coaches with electric wipers would have been the 1978 1400-series MAN Articulated diesels. The 900-series trolleys and 1600-series Flyers, which came later, still had air wipers. Everything else, electric wipers, save the ST 9500s.

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I got promoted before the Series 50 engines arrived at Metro and only got to drive one once (9534). But I frequently rode them on the 522, and there were several which I had taken off the road first thing after I got to work due to low power. There was a particularly memorable southbound midday trip to work when 9503 had a seated load and topped out climbing Lake City Wy past NE 95 St at 12 MPH and the southbound grade to the apex of the I-5 Ship Canal Bridge at 14 MPH.

To get any reasonable acceleration out of them you have to load them up against the hill holder or parking brake for 4 - 5 seconds before releasing.

The Bredas (which I drove for several years) were faster off the line even though they were significantly heavier. The 6V92TA engine and Z-F 5 speed tranny loaded up much faster.

The following are my opinions: there are tricks to maintaining Series 50 engines that nobody at Metro knows, because the 9500s at CT uniformly run better than Metro's. Metro maintenance was/is prejudiced (9530 and 9536 are still running) against them and they haven't gotten the attention they need, as is frequently the case with mechanical orphans.

Electric wipers were available on GM fishbowls at least as far back as 1968.

9500 - 9506 were first assigned to South Base when they came to Metro for service on the 577 and occasionally saw use on the 564 & 565.

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The series 50 was an underpowered engine to begin with for an articulated coach. Its my understanding that the PT units (9500-08), by 2005 when they were transferred out had already accumulated nearly 500,000 mi, in their near daily use on the 574/594. Because of the underpowered and fairly high maintenance engine (counterbalance shafts that go after 125k miles, engines replaced every 250k) I'm actually amazed they lasted as long as they did at metro and CT after they were re-assigned.

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What's odd is the turbo lag is definitely noticeable in the both the ST and CT D60LF's. However if you go back to the D60's CT had which were also S50's seem to have minimal turbo lag in comparison. They felt like they got going more like the CT D40LF's. Perhaps it has something to do with the turbo sizing between the 95 D60's and 98 and up D60LF's.

S

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