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New Flyer has received a grant amount of $375,000 to work with the St. Cloud Technical & Community College. According to New Flyer spokesman Brent Brockman, it will be used to train employees on the skill set needed to produce a new line of medium-sized buses. The factory last year began a $4.9 million expansion to accommodate the line.

New Flyer has estimated it will add about 160 employees to handle the MiDi bus expansion. The MJSP grant will allow existing and new employees to produce the so-called MiDi bus, which has a low floor and is used for medium-duty transit and community shuttle services.

Source: http://www.masstransitmag.com/news/11298913/new-flyer-receives-375000-grant-to-train-employees-to-make-new-bus

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This would make a nice replacement for San Diego MTS' Aero Elite C5500 shuttle buses if New Flyer makes a CNG version. I know that Westport is working on a ISB G motor which would be perfect for a bus like the Midi. I think it is a nice bus, though sportworks needs to work on a bike rack, though I am confident a bike rack will be made for one.

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Many of the midi buyers are definitely still feeling burned. The main avenue for selling these things is going to have to be cash-strapped TAs that need something that isn't as expensive as a 30ft Gillig.

USF Bull Runner in Tampa, FL has 2 SLF230s left. The other 6 have been replaced by a pair of Blue Bird HFs and 4 used 30ft Gilligs.They're not touching the NFI MiDi with a 10 foot pole. The other small TA to the north of Tampa that uses midis, PCPT, is going to stick with ElDo EZ-Riders.

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Speaking of the MiDi, I actually wonder if ABQ RIDE may consider purchasing a few to replace the SLFs that serve the D-Ride downtown circulator. While most of ABQ RIDE's SLFs were replaced by the 2009 DE40LFRs, a few of them, including the D-Ride fleet, were retained.

However, considering that ABQ RIDE's overall experiences with the SLF have been pretty bad (which is why most were taken out of service in 2009), ABQ RIDE may still feel there is some risk in any product where Dennis is involved.

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Thanks for chiming in here.

I'm guessing that any problems the SLFs were built with have long ago been addressed and won't affect the MiDi. Still, getting burned once is making these TAs cautious and thats the reality.

Gillig parts are easy to get ahold of. That's what makes second hand vehicles very popular versus something like MiDi. Buy a retired 12-year old unit for $10k on auction, overhaul it, replace the engine and tranny when they blow, run 'em for another 10 years... and you'll still spend less than you would on a MiDi for a heavier duty vehicle.

The main nail in the coffin for Bull Runner's SLFs, and the lingering burn effect, is that it's damn near impossible to source parts for them (which makes them very expensive). No small transit agency wants to worry about going through the added cost and stress of waiting months for replacement parts that have to be sourced from around the world when they can spend a bit extra for Gillig and never have to worry about it. The New Flyer MiDi is a product that is ultimately from the same company, which brings up alarm bells for fear of history repeating itself.

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Gillig parts are easy to get ahold of. That's what makes second hand vehicles very popular versus something like MiDi. Buy a retired 12-year old unit for $10k on auction, overhaul it, replace the engine and tranny when they blow, run 'em for another 10 years... and you'll still spend less than you would on a MiDi for a heavier duty vehicle.

The main nail in the coffin for Bull Runner's SLFs, and the lingering burn effect, is that it's damn near impossible to source parts for them (which makes them very expensive). No small transit agency wants to worry about going through the added cost and stress of waiting months for replacement parts that have to be sourced from around the world when they can spend a bit extra for Gillig and never have to worry about it. The New Flyer MiDi is a product that is ultimately from the same company, which brings up alarm bells for fear of history repeating itself.

I see! I assume NFI is planning to produce and readily distribute parts for their MiDi but I'd like to hear more from them about that.

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I see! I assume NFI is planning to produce and readily distribute parts for their MiDi but I'd like to hear more from them about that.

That's the million dollar question right now: How well will Flyer support the vehicle beyond the initial purchase?

Blue Bird still supports their ULFs - neither of the local TAs running them have problems getting parts, even though it's been years since they were discontinued. Thomas dropped SLF support hard when they stopped manufacturing them and Alexander Dennis did not much of anything to pick up the ball.

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That's the million dollar question right now: How well will Flyer support the vehicle beyond the initial purchase?

(snipped)

On their website, New Flyer promises "Lifetime Customer Care" for MiDi buyers:

"Like all New Flyer vehicles, the New Flyer MiDi® is supported by the industry’s most comprehensive service and support network. With aftermarket parts, field services and technical support, training, publications and comprehensive product warranties, New Flyer is committed to providing you with the Best Bus Value and Support for the life of your bus."

http://www.newflyer.com/index/midi

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That's the million dollar question right now: How well will Flyer support the vehicle beyond the initial purchase?

Blue Bird still supports their ULFs - neither of the local TAs running them have problems getting parts, even though it's been years since they were discontinued. Thomas dropped SLF support hard when they stopped manufacturing them and Alexander Dennis did not much of anything to pick up the ball.

That's the million dollar question right now: How well will Flyer support the vehicle beyond the initial purchase?

Blue Bird still supports their ULFs - neither of the local TAs running them have problems getting parts, even though it's been years since they were discontinued. Thomas dropped SLF support hard when they stopped manufacturing them and Alexander Dennis did not much of anything to pick up the ball.

Are you talking about Pasco County's PCPT and Hernando County's THE Bus? Thanks!

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Are you talking about Pasco County's PCPT and Hernando County's THE Bus? Thanks!

Talking PCPT and USF Bull Runner. Not sure what THE Bus's situation is right now.

PCPT has 15 Blue Bird ULFs and 8 ElDo EZ-Rider II BRTs in the primary fleet. 6 Blue Bird AAFE's are slated for retirement by 2015, to be replaced by either ElDo or Gillig. USF has 9 Blue Birds (3 ULF and 6 AAFE), 4 Thomas SLFs (all reserve spares), 2 ElDo EZ-Rider II BRTs and 7 Gilligs. USF has recently taken a liking to used Gillig products, as they don't use DEF (DEF is universally bad for circulator services). The Thomas fleet will be gone as soon as they can grab 4 more 30ft Gilligs (likely from HART, when the 2002s retire).

The SLF is based on the Dennis Dart chassis, which is quite common in other parts of the world, so I don't know if parts are hard to get, but rather expensive.

This. You have to find a supplier from outside of the US/Canada that has compatible parts, which is a time-consuming process. When you do find one, you're likely to get gouged on the price. International shipping also takes considerably longer, so you're looking at vehicles perpetually out of service while waiting for parts. In short, it's a mess that small TAs don't want to have to deal with.

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USF has recently taken a liking to used Gillig products, as they don't use DEF (DEF is universally bad for circulator services).

DEF is bad for circulator services because of the slow speeds and frequent stops?

Sounds like CNG and all electric will have an extra selling point when it comes to circulators--assuming TAs can't buy used forever. Diesel hybrids I assume will use DEF.

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Here is an agency moving from cutaways to a handful of EZ Rider IIs.

NFI is probably eager to talk to TAs like that about their MiDi.

http://www.news-jour...977cda7bf9.html

"Due in part to the increased use of city transportation, Longview Transit has purchased two new ElDorado EZ Rider II buses, one of which arrived in Longview on Dec. 31 and will hit the streets in February.

“The current plan is to replace these one at a time,” said Director of Maintenance James Torres.

Torres added that he has been asked to prepare a proposal to replace most of the buses used.

The 102-inch-wide, 31-foot-long bus costs about $325,000. The International class buses used now by Longview Transit cost about $215,000. Because the buses are built to order, the second bus should arrive in Longview in late 2014."

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Talking PCPT and USF Bull Runner. Not sure what THE Bus's situation is right now.

According to the Hernando County's Transit Development Plan (TDP) at http://www.hernandocounty.us/mpo/pdf/2012%20TDP%20Progress%20Report%20-%20FINAL.pdf , THE Bus has 3 Blue Bird AAFE's, 2 Ultra LF's and 3 Arboc Spirit of Mobility as fixed route buses.

PCPT has 15 Blue Bird ULFs and 8 ElDo EZ-Rider II BRTs in the primary fleet. 6 Blue Bird AAFE's are slated for retirement by 2015, to be replaced by either ElDo or Gillig. USF has 9 Blue Birds (3 ULF and 6 AAFE), 4 Thomas SLFs (all reserve spares), 2 ElDo EZ-Rider II BRTs and 7 Gilligs. USF has recently taken a liking to used Gillig products, as they don't use DEF (DEF is universally bad for circulator services). The Thomas fleet will be gone as soon as they can grab 4 more 30ft Gilligs (likely from HART, when the 2002s retire).

And according to Pasco County's TDP at http://www.pascocountyfl.net/DocumentCenter/View/3576 , PCPT has actually 12 each of the Ultra LF's (7 X 35ft. and 5 X 30ft.) and EZ Rider II's, and the four 2009 buses of among the latter are not BRT's, as illustrated by bus no. 34879 at PCPT 30 courtesey of Ferret111. Hope these information helps!

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Buzz2kb, thats impressive :o

All Florida public transit agencies are required by FDOT to put out an updated TDP on a yearly basis and a new TDP every 5 years. Most transit agencies will come up by searching for "*name* TDP"

According to the Hernando County's Transit Development Plan (TDP) at http://www.hernandoc...20-%20FINAL.pdf , THE Bus has 3 Blue Bird AAFE's, 2 Ultra LF's and 3 Arboc Spirit of Mobility as fixed route buses.

And according to Pasco County's TDP at http://www.pascocoun...enter/View/3576 , PCPT has actually 12 each of the Ultra LF's (7 X 35ft. and 5 X 30ft.) and EZ Rider II's, and the four 2009 buses of among the latter are not BRT's, as illustrated by bus no. 34879 at http://www.flickr.co...57629297179408/, courtesey of Ferret111. Hope these information helps!

The Hernando one is out of date. This is the most recent, though the fixed route inventory hasn't changed (para van replacement, but that's about it).

You're right on the PCPT bus counts... counted 84-86 as ULFs when they're AAFE's. Same with the BRTs - I always forget the '09s have the standard front. My mistake.

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All Florida public transit agencies are required by FDOT to put out an updated TDP on a yearly basis and a new TDP every 5 years. Most transit agencies will come up by searching for "*name* TDP"

The Hernando one is out of date. This is the most recent, though the fixed route inventory hasn't changed (para van replacement, but that's about it).

You're right on the PCPT bus counts... counted 84-86 as ULFs when they're AAFE's. Same with the BRTs - I always forget the '09s have the standard front. My mistake.

PCPT's buses 84-86 are actually rear-engine Xcel 102's!

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  • 1 month later...

Press release from New Flyer includes the following:

"The first official MiDi® contract for a single 30-foot bus has been awarded by Autobus Robert Paquette, a transportation provider based out of Quebec, Canada. This single bus order is currently being manufactured and is expected to be delivered in the second quarter of 2014.

Keolis Canada, a passenger transport service provider in the Montreal area has awarded a contract to purchase five (5) Xcelsior® 40-foot heavy duty buses in addition to eight (8) 30-foot MiDi® buses. The five (5) Xcelsior® buses are anticipated to be delivered in the second quarter of 2014 and the eight (8) MiDi® buses are anticipated to be delivered in the third quarter of 2014."

http://www.newflyer....s-app/story.162

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  • 2 weeks later...

Re: The BUS. They're going to follow Bull Runner's lead with Gillig hand-me-downs from other state agencies.

Pending FTA and Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Board of Directors approval in April, HART will be transferring 3 retired 2002 30ft Gillig vehicles to Hernando County The BUS. 2226-2228. Hernando County Board of County Commissioners have already approved the transfer on their end.

Source: http://www.gohart.or..._03-17-2014.pdf, pages 8-11.

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