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  • 1 month later...
On 9/4/2020 at 11:36 AM, Erin Mishkin Jr. said:

All buses from 6162 to 6261 are retired and more of the XD40's are earning license plates.

There need to be a couple of changes added to the XD40 roster. The first thing is that 20400 exists and it has license plates numbered M 224593. 20413 does not exist because Pace didn't earn buses ending with 13's since the previous century. All buses 20400-20412 20414-20460 20462-20474 are currently in service, 20461 and 20475-20485 have yet to be seen entering service. These are the following buses that I have got their license plate numbers: 20407 with 225260, 20409 with 225284, 20411 with 225282, 20414 with 225280, 20415 with 225279, 20420 with 225187, 20424 with 225183, 20429 with 225178, 20434 with 225168, 20443 with 225254, 20444 with 225255, 20446 with 225257, 20447 with 225198, 20449 with 225200, 20450 with 225251, 20451 with 225190, 20452 with 225191, 20453 with 225192, 20457 with 225196, 20459 with 225189, 20460 with 225188, 20462 with 225264, 20463 with 225263, 20465 with 225272, 20466 with 225271, 20468 with 225269, 20469 with 225267, 20470 with 225266, and 20471 with 225265.

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  • 1 month later...

New updates: All 85 XD40's will go to West Division, all NABI buses are confirmed retired, and nearly all XD40's have license plates. Plate numbers are 2 posts above but more plates are as follows: 20405 225259, 20407 225260, 20408 225262, 20409 to 20412 225284 to 225281 (numerical order going down), 20414-20419 225280 to 225275 (numerical order going down), 20420-20432 225187 to 225175, 20433-20439 225167-225174, 20441-20446 225252 to 225257, 20447-20449 225198-225200, 20450 225251, 20451-20457 225190 to 225196, 20458 225274, 20459-60 225189-225188, 20462-63 225264-225263, 20464 to 20468 225273 to 225269, 20469 to 20471 225267-225265, 20475 226273.

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Five new wheelchair-accessible 2022 Chrysler Voyagers are now parked at Harvey TC for Pace's forthcoming Via Transportation-operated Connect microtransit service. They're partially wrapped in a livery not unlike that of many similar Via services. They each bear their window stickers, and have the last six digits of their VINs written on the left rear window, and Maryland temporary license plates are placed on their dashboards.

paceconnect_voyager-rear.thumb.JPG.970a84be908c37d84b1a8cff07a00ac5.JPGimage.thumb.png.6e3df39e5e752ba51c10f85887f46d30.pngimage.thumb.png.397521026cb2f2113834654303fc191d.png

plate T1351776 - VIN ending 224382
T1351780 - 203333
T1351783 - 147596
T1351795 - 224454
T1351801 - 224374
 

From following a similar rollout on my native Detroit's SMART Flex service, I'm pretty familar with how this whole Via van thing goes, so here's what I surmise is happening here:

These vans are owned by a company called Voyager Global Mobility (VGM), which leases the vans to Via, who in turn lends them to the independent contractor "driver partners" who drive them in service. They were purchased from FR Conversions, a Westminster, Md.-based wheelchair upfit company (hence the plates), and will probably be given Illinois plates (most likely with FP 2xxxxx serials - not transit or municipal) in the coming weeks. They won't have fleet numbers printed on the exterior, so the license plates will be the primary identifiers for each unit. I figure they'll be based at Harvey TC for this "zone," and perhaps at Rosemont CTA for the airport zone.
 

I speak from experience when I say that these Via microtransit rollouts are usually bad news in the long-run for a transit agency. They're convenient when they work, but are often unreliable; drivers are often inexperienced, and rides are often completely unavailable, with lengthy wait times common too. They nonetheless get hyped-up and overprioritized by transit agencies across the States. Here in Detroit, they're beginning to somewhat lead to fixed route cuts, and while a Pace exec offered a similar view, time will tell how this affects Pace.

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  • 1 month later...

The XD40 bus numbered 20459 has been involved in a major fire today and it appears that the unit is now retired, due to major fire damage. Rest in peace 20459. Photo below I took yesterday, July 2nd, 2022, at Harlem & Archer where the bus was on the 307 on a rainy Sunday morning.

IMG_5346.JPG

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  • 1 year later...

With the downfall of ElDorado National, I have to wonder what direction will Pace ultimately go with regards to future transit bus orders. I know they have a batch of New Flyer XD40s, so they may wind up placing another order for Xcelsiors in the future. Because there isn't any other 30' bus manufacturer out there, I would have to guess that they'll have to place an order of 29' Gillig Low Floors to eventually replace out the 30' ElDorado EZ Rider IIs from 2006 to 2011, plus the 2012 Orions when those go up for retirement.

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