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Some observations from Hartford Division from my trip yesterday. I decided to punt New Haven for another day and a side trip that would've gotten me on a New Britain division route had to be cut due to a Greyhound delay getting in.

  • Began on a 62 from Hartford to Bishop's Corner. West Hartford comes off as an interesting balance and reminded me a lot of Montgomery County, MD. Also, the older D40LF's are still workhorses and the soft seats downstairs are a plus.
  • Took the 153 for a ride on their Gilligs. Great little buses but those routes could use a little more service outside of being hourly around the clock. My ride over almost the entire 153 route got only 5 people including those who got on at Charter Oak Marketplace.
  • The overall execution of CTfastrak is amazing. Between the number of services using the busway and the speeds that they can get between stations, everything was top notch and probably had a better outcome than had it been built as light rail.
  • This trip was also my first ever ride on an LFSA/LFXA.  I cut my transit riding teeth on LFS's but these buses are flat out amazing. Why the X?60 has gotten so many more orders is a tragedy and is an implication that Novabus really, really needs to branch out more. There are top notch vehicles and I'd gladly go back to Connecticut to ride some more!
  • Even the XDE40's that CTfastrak runs (I got a 102 run from New Britain as my only other option was a repainted older D40LF on the 101) are nice. Granted that I may be worn out on the so much more sparse MBTA models, but if CT Transit does anything well it's vehicle specs.
  • I didn't see any regular LFSA's in service. Might they be weekday-only in Hartford or are they just not near Union Station at those times. Minus the 101 it was a parade of New Flyers.
  • Due to some events over at the Convention Center, the dash shuttle was running...with regular CT Transit buses rather than the XDE40's in their own scheme. Might this be a consequence of the typically weekday-only nature of that line?

Verdict: A underrated gem of New England agencies. It'll be interesting to see how things shake out after this New Flyer mega order wraps up, would they dare replace the LFXA's with XD(E)60's when that time comes towards the end of this decade?

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On 1/19/2020 at 7:59 PM, Scrabbleship said:

Some observations from Hartford Division from my trip yesterday. I decided to punt New Haven for another day and a side trip that would've gotten me on a New Britain division route had to be cut due to a Greyhound delay getting in.

  • I didn't see any regular LFSA's in service. Might they be weekday-only in Hartford or are they just not near Union Station at those times. Minus the 101 it was a parade of New Flyers.
  • Due to some events over at the Convention Center, the dash shuttle was running...with regular CT Transit buses rather than the XDE40's in their own scheme. Might this be a consequence of the typically weekday-only nature of that line?

Verdict: A underrated gem of New England agencies. It'll be interesting to see how things shake out after this New Flyer mega order wraps up, would they dare replace the LFXA's with XD(E)60's when that time comes towards the end of this decade?

- IIRC, LFSA are usually on the 31/33/40/42 and 47/50 timetables on weekends. Haven't been in Hartford on a (leisurely) weekend in ages, so I don't know for sure.

- DASH shuttle buses usually depend on the event going on. If large crowds at the Convention Center are expected, then 40 footers will be put on the line (i.e. during ConnectiCon).

 

My guess is XDE60s, if the batteries on the current XDE models don't crap out like they have on other XDE40s of agencies (i.e. those in Brampton). The current state government isn't too worried about the emissions of public transit, so XD60s are possible, too. 

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So based on two photos I saw, it looks like CT Transit is getting 2020 MCI D4500CTs, with 2000 and 2001 delivered at least. I',m not sure exactly what that means for the numbering of the 2020 XD40s (Denoted as 2001-2050 on the wiki), so I'm just mentioning the MCIs here since frankly I have no way of accurately writing that info into the wiki...

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Anyone know what the 400 series Norwalk Transit District buses are? I was tracking the Westport shuttles and there are a TON of em.

 

439, 432, 452, 460, 465, 422, 450, 461, 436

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25 minutes ago, Orion6025 said:

Anyone know what the 400 series Norwalk Transit District buses are? I was tracking the Westport shuttles and there are a TON of em.

 

439, 432, 452, 460, 465, 422, 450, 461, 436

Those would be Ford E-450 cutaways—2017 models. 

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https://www.newflyer.com/2020/06/new-flyer-to-deploy-first-automated-heavy-duty-transit-bus-in-north-america-supporting-connecticuts-pursuit-of-integrated-mobility/
 

Quote

New Flyer to deploy first automated heavy-duty transit bus in North America; supporting Connecticut’s pursuit of integrated mobility
June 22, 2020 | New Flyer

St. Cloud, Minnesota, USA – June 22, 2020: (TSX: NFI) New Flyer of America Inc. (“New Flyer”), a subsidiary of NFI Group Inc. (“NFI”), one of the world’s leading independent global bus manufacturers, announced it will deploy North America’s first automated heavy-duty transit bus with the Connecticut Department of Transportation (“CTDOT”).

The automated driving demonstration project will include the deployment of three forty-foot battery-electric, Xcelsior CHARGE™ heavy-duty transit buses. The zero-emission deployment supports CTDOT’s demonstration project, funded by the Federal Transit Administration’s (“FTA”) Integrated Mobility Innovation (“IMI”) initiative, which supports projects demonstrating innovative and effective practices to enhance public transportation effectiveness, efficiency, quality, safety and transit rider experience.

This marks the first time an automated heavy-duty transit bus will be deployed in revenue service in North America. The project team is led by the CTDOT and consists of New Flyer, New Flyer’s technology partner Robotic Research, and the Center for Transportation and Environment (“CTE”), a nonprofit with extensive experience supporting FTA projects.

“This is an incredible moment for the advancement of automated technology in public transit, and for the continued development of safe, smart, sustainable, and connected mobility across North America,” said Chris Stoddart, President, New Flyer. “For decades, New Flyer has led the public transit industry with innovative firsts. We are proud to work with CTDOT, Robotic Research, and CTE – not only in demonstrating mobility solutions for growing cities – but in showing the world that mitigating climate change, improving safety, and advancing technology can occur in harmony.”

The project is focused on the successful demonstration of automated technology on public roads, collection of relevant data to inform future policymaking, and advancement of Advanced Driving Assist System (ADAS) technology for enhanced safety. The zero-emission electric buses will demonstrate Society of Automotive Engineers (“SAE”) J3016 Level 4 technology with an on-board safety attendant to operate on the CTfastrak bus rapid transit corridor, a dedicated nine-mile-long facility for exclusive use by CTtransit buses.

New Flyer will integrate the Robotic Research automated driving technology into the Xcelsior CHARGE™ buses, CTE will serve as project manager and technical consultant for the program, and New Flyer Infrastructure Solutions™ will support the installation and integration of the electric bus charging equipment. Robotic Research will supply, configure, and support the automated driving systems integrated in the Xcelsior CHARGE™ buses.

The announcement follows New Flyer’s May 2019 launch of an Automated Technology Program and partnership with Maryland-based Robotic Research. For nearly 20 years, Robotic Research has been a leader in autonomous system development and deployment.

New Flyer Infrastructure Solutions™ is dedicated to providing safe, reliable services for smart, sustainable mobility projects. Its full-suite services include support, planning, optimization, and transition to help ensure successful transition to battery-electric mobility, while working closely with leading firms including Siemens, ABB, ChargePoint, Burns & McDonnell and Black & Veatch. For more information, visit newflyer.com/infrastructuresolutions. To learn more about the FTA IMI program, visit transit.dot.gov/imi. To learn more about Robotic Research, visit roboticresearch.com.

New Flyer has been leading innovation in mobility for nearly 90 years, and today supports growing North American cities with sustainable buses, technology, and infrastructure. It also operates the Vehicle Innovation Center, the first and only innovation lab of its kind dedicated to advancing bus technology and providing essential workforce development through electric bus training. New Flyer was the first bus manufacturer in the world to sign on to the Shared Mobility Principles for Livable Cities, and is developing automated bus technology to improve safety in public transit.

 

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