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ATUQ contract for 509 hybrid buses goes to Nova Bus


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Nova won this one. Exciting to me to see the province invest so heavily in hybrid buses!

Montreal will get 203 of the 509 buses. Longueuil will get 100 and Laval 77.

The other transit agencies involved in the purchase are Quebec City, Lévis, Gatineau, Trois Rivières, Sherbrooke and Saguenay.

Anyone know who is supplying the hybrid powertrain for these buses?

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STM and AVT have awarded the next wave of buses to be built for all 9 major Quebec TA's to NOvabus (as if they would go to someone else). According to the press release, buses are to be delivered from 2014 to 2016. What will happen in 2013? Anyways, the STM is getting 203 of these buses and the rest spread out between the other 8 major Quebec TA's (STL, RTL, STO, RTC, Saguenay, Sherbrooke, Levis, STTR). This leave New Flyer in the dust as usual, and the possibility of no other bus manufacturer to ever have a chance a making buses of any of these 9 transit systems. I am personally disgusted with the committee that makes the selection process (AVT, ATUQ and STM) and the people that make the bus specifications favorable to Novabus ALL THE TIME! Quebec is a corrupt province as we all know and we award contracts to companies in advance that we want to see win regardless of a fair selection process. A call for tenders in this province is just a cover and waste of time for everyone involved.

Press release from the STM

http://www.stm.info/...a-co120704A.htm

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I heard they were saying series hybrid, so I'm guessing BAE Systems.

Interesting! The series hybrid is likely the right choice for city buses that stop frequently. BAE claims 40% fuel savings in that scenario and serious maintenance savings can be expected as well. I believe there is no transmission to service and the brakes will last much longer because of the regenerative braking.

Has Nova offered the BAE hybrid powertrain before?

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Also of note is the STM has taken an option for additional articulated buses from the previous contract. The STM press release states it's 55 buses over the next two years, however the Gazette states it's 10 for this year and 35 for next year.

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.

New Flyer got screwed over, that's what happened.

I can understand the Province of Quebec wanting to keep their local factories busy. It means jobs and jobs are vital. I would assume that is their right if it is their money.

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This is regarding the article, but both times I rode the 747, there was no air conditioning on, and it was a hot ride.

Also, it was interesting to see a New Flyer Xcelsior with Girardin on the back of it. Glad I got pictures. Guess they will be rarities unless some of the smaller agencies continue ordering them!!

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.

I can understand the Province of Quebec wanting to keep their local factories busy. It means jobs and jobs are vital. I would assume that is their right if it is their money.

Exactly. Nova will put a lot more people in Quebec to work building those buses than New Flyer would have.

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. I can understand the Province of Quebec wanting to keep their local factories busy. It means jobs and jobs are vital. I would assume that is their right if it is their money.

i agree, just like Winnipeg/Brandon with all NFIs..............Ontario would be full of Orions IF Orions are not pieces of craps............and to be frank Nova is building a much better bus than NFI, i will keep my eyes open to see when those Xcelsiors in Sorel going to fall apart...........

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Nobody should be surprised about this news, in fact our supervisor in charge of training told me that he would bet on Nova winning this contract. I just hope that they will offer a/c on these buses... you know, seeing as how the rest of the civilized world has it on their buses?

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This is regarding the article, but both times I rode the 747, there was no air conditioning on, and it was a hot ride.

I was surprised about the lack of air conditioning. But I admire folks and communities that go without, because it is so energy efficient and financially sound! (Also one of my pet peeves is being cold in the summer--because of air conditioning being up so high, frequently when I don't need it at all.) Stay strong Montreal!

But as the world warms, it gets harder to go without a/c. And I know how important a/c is for those who are no longer in good health.

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STM and AVT have awarded the next wave of buses to be built for all 9 major Quebec TA's to NOvabus (as if they would go to someone else). According to the press release, buses are to be delivered from 2014 to 2016. What will happen in 2013? Anyways, the STM is getting 203 of these buses and the rest spread out between the other 8 major Quebec TA's (STL, RTL, STO, RTC, Saguenay, Sherbrooke, Levis, STTR). This leave New Flyer in the dust as usual, and the possibility of no other bus manufacturer to ever have a chance a making buses of any of these 9 transit systems. I am personally disgusted with the committee that makes the selection process (AVT, ATUQ and STM) and the people that make the bus specifications favorable to Novabus ALL THE TIME! Quebec is a corrupt province as we all know and we award contracts to companies in advance that we want to see win regardless of a fair selection process. A call for tenders in this province is just a cover and waste of time for everyone involved.

Press release from the STM

http://www.stm.info/...a-co120704A.htm

A quick question for you Steve....

IF it was found that Nova won the contract fair-and-square, by meeting all of the requirements, being cheaper, etc.....

Would you still feel that way about the contract going to Nova?

Dan

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This is regarding the article, but both times I rode the 747, there was no air conditioning on, and it was a hot ride.

Also, it was interesting to see a New Flyer Xcelsior with Girardin on the back of it. Glad I got pictures. Guess they will be rarities unless some of the smaller agencies continue ordering them!!

I think you have rode one of the 29-XXX series with no a/c, the 30-XXX series have it and only 8 of them.

That depends on the private companies, most are continuing to order Nova. Keep in mind they are one to one on ordering buses.

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I'm trying to be objective here but its hard after a day of driving a 2010 Nova which handles exactly like a 2002. I'm talking here about the suspension and rattles. The 2/3-1/3 front door was not the best idea. The large patio door is too heavy and tends to shake and rattle a lot as well as being long to open.

The 2008s seem to have held up a lot better, most have a fairly smooth ride. If it wasn't for the Topodyn transmission program, these would be the best buses in the fleet.

I must confess I was a bit disappointed that Nova won this contract. This comes from the lack of variety in our fleet (ALL Novas at the STM) I'd love to drive something different for a change. Also the grass always looks greener elsewhere (like at NFI) but who knows, maybe they did make the right choice. They could possibly order a couple of NFIs as part of an evaluation program (like NYC MTA does before large orders)

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Having experience driving both 2008 New Flyer D40LFR's and 2008 Nova LFS's with two different transit agencies, I'd give my preference to the New Flyer product.

The New Flyer product is more versatile, has less rattles and handles much better. It has faster and smoother acceleration and deceleration due to the alison transmission and has room for more seated passengers. The Nova LFS rattles and shakes over every small crack in the road, doesn't handle very well and has rough acceleration and deceleration due to the ZF transmission. The seating configuration also means more standees.

While I prefer the New Flyer product, there are benefits to both.

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This is regarding the article, but both times I rode the 747, there was no air conditioning on, and it was a hot ride.

Also, it was interesting to see a New Flyer Xcelsior with Girardin on the back of it. Glad I got pictures. Guess they will be rarities unless some of the smaller agencies continue ordering them!!

The 747 uses buses from 2010 (29-149 to 29-156) and 2011 (31-001 to 31-008) save for a few non-shuttle model 2010s making the runs on it. Only the 2011s have AC and is part of the test by the STM. Perhaps you got one of the 29s....

I was surprised about the lack of air conditioning. But I admire folks and communities that go without, because it is so energy efficient and financially sound! (Also one of my pet peeves is being cold in the summer--because of air conditioning being up so high, frequently when I don't need it at all.) Stay strong Montreal!

But as the world warms, it gets harder to go without a/c. And I know how important a/c is for those who are no longer in good health.

I am sure they make energy efficient/earth friendlier AC units that are less damaging to the atmosphere. AC is an incentive and at that, an excellent one to get people off from cars and onto buses. If the buses can't offer that, then motorists go back to something that does have AC - their car!

I'm trying to be objective here but its hard after a day of driving a 2010 Nova which handles exactly like a 2002. I'm talking here about the suspension and rattles. The 2/3-1/3 front door was not the best idea. The large patio door is too heavy and tends to shake and rattle a lot as well as being long to open.

The 2008s seem to have held up a lot better, most have a fairly smooth ride. If it wasn't for the Topodyn transmission program, these would be the best buses in the fleet.

I must confess I was a bit disappointed that Nova won this contract. This comes from the lack of variety in our fleet (ALL Novas at the STM) I'd love to drive something different for a change. Also the grass always looks greener elsewhere (like at NFI) but who knows, maybe they did make the right choice. They could possibly order a couple of NFIs as part of an evaluation program (like NYC MTA does before large orders)

Well, the 2/3 door was cause of the wheelchair ramp. A sacrifice had to be made but I do agree those doors jitter around on bumps of all kinds. Also makes a funny whiny sound when they open sometimes.

I'm trying to look at the order without prejudice. Nova now does make a solid product.

I am sure the staff at Anjou would enlighten you on that matter... :P

--

I am disappointed that Nova won this contract and I agree with Steve, I am sure there were some dirty dealings involved. Looks like game over for another round, but can we please ditch that stupid effin Topodyn crap? Sure it saves on fuel but it makes buses horribly slow like 28-080. Go ride that bus and you'll get a whole new meaning of pain and misery.

Also, I would prefer we used the Allison hybrid system since it's proven on our 2008 hybrids. But no, we are getting BAE despite we are testing one bus now with it and testing has not concluded. Also, I am sure they have no AC so way to go ATUQ...idiots. :angry:

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A quick question for you Steve....

IF it was found that Nova won the contract fair-and-square, by meeting all of the requirements, being cheaper, etc.....

Would you still feel that way about the contract going to Nova?

Dan

IF Nova would have won this contract fair and square... yes, I wouldn't be upset BUT we know that 99.9% that some back dealings were done between the gov't and Novabus to have NOva win this contract regardless to whomever else bid. Quebec is a corrupt province and I don't need to give proof, as we all and have heard the news over the last few years. Side deals are the norm here... What pisses me off is that they actually tell the public and people that know nothing that they will have a fair call for tenders and all that BS. Next time, just do the straight bid to NOva and don't waste NFI's time or any other manufacturer!!!

I'm trying to be objective here but its hard after a day of driving a 2010 Nova which handles exactly like a 2002. I'm talking here about the suspension and rattles. The 2/3-1/3 front door was not the best idea. The large patio door is too heavy and tends to shake and rattle a lot as well as being long to open.

The 2008s seem to have held up a lot better, most have a fairly smooth ride. If it wasn't for the Topodyn transmission program, these would be the best buses in the fleet.

I must confess I was a bit disappointed that Nova won this contract. This comes from the lack of variety in our fleet (ALL Novas at the STM) I'd love to drive something different for a change. Also the grass always looks greener elsewhere (like at NFI) but who knows, maybe they did make the right choice. They could possibly order a couple of NFIs as part of an evaluation program (like NYC MTA does before large orders)

Robert gets it because he's also a bus driver in this Province and knows first hand of the JUNK NOva keeps sending us in Quebec. This is one of the stranges bus manufacturers ever.... I don't get how a company can one year make a horrible bus, then make a fantastic bus and then go back to crap! WTF! What's wrong with Nova!? Why can't they be consistent on making a good product? In Quebec, this is the history of the LFS quality; the 1st gens (1995-2000) have many problems, especially tranny one's and are hated by drivers. Even the good one's aren't the best LFS's to drive compaired to other years. From 2001 to 2004 was PURE GARBAGE! Nova officially made its worst LFS product between these years. These buses have no power, no torque, no speed and the list goes no.. From 2005 to 2007, they made PURE GOLD! These buses mainly made in 05 and 06 are solid fast buses with tons of power and no complains about them whatsoever. These buses are loved by all the drivers (at least where I work). The 2008 and 2009 units were also pretty good. A lil touch under the previous years, but solid as well. Now in 2010 and 2011, Nova took a big step back in terms of quality. These buses were made cheap with no considerations on the impact on drivers that have to suffer driving them all day. The seats and suspension are the biggest problems and continue to be. Nova even admitted they mess up on the suspensions and did them on the cheap. The adjustments made to fix the 2010's suspensions didn't really do much. The 2012's have only the advantage of accelerating a little faster from stops but the cheapness remains in the build of the bus. This is not to mentions the horrible brake retarder on all the 3rd gens! It makes the people think they we don't know how to drive! Now if Nova made buses like they did back in 2005, I'd never say a bad thing about them becuase those were how buses should be made, but we all know the new buses will be just as crappy and the last ones we got.

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Robert gets it because he's also a bus driver in this Province and knows first hand of the JUNK NOva keeps sending us in Quebec. This is one of the stranges bus manufacturers ever.... I don't get how a company can one year make a horrible bus, then make a fantastic bus and then go back to crap! WTF! What's wrong with Nova!? Why can't they be consistent on making a good product? In Quebec, this is the history of the LFS quality; the 1st gens (1995-2000) have many problems, especially tranny one's and are hated by drivers. Even the good one's aren't the best LFS's to drive compaired to other years. From 2001 to 2004 was PURE GARBAGE! Nova officially made its worst LFS product between these years. These buses have no power, no torque, no speed and the list goes no.. From 2005 to 2007, they made PURE GOLD! These buses mainly made in 05 and 06 are solid fast buses with tons of power and no complains about them whatsoever. These buses are loved by all the drivers (at least where I work). The 2008 and 2009 units were also pretty good. A lil touch under the previous years, but solid as well. Now in 2010 and 2011, Nova took a big step back in terms of quality. These buses were made cheap with no considerations on the impact on drivers that have to suffer driving them all day. The seats and suspension are the biggest problems and continue to be. Nova even admitted they mess up on the suspensions and did them on the cheap. The adjustments made to fix the 2010's suspensions didn't really do much. The 2012's have only the advantage of accelerating a little faster from stops but the cheapness remains in the build of the bus. This is not to mentions the horrible brake retarder on all the 3rd gens! It makes the people think they we don't know how to drive! Now if Nova made buses like they did back in 2005, I'd never say a bad thing about them becuase those were how buses should be made, but we all know the new buses will be just as crappy and the last ones we got.

2001-04 are the Cummins ISC, agree about it and they are slow!

2005-early 07, Cummins ISL, those ones are one of the better engine without the emission technology.

Mid 07-early 10, Cummins ISL, the EGR and Diesel Particular filter makes it so much worst on slow takeoff and you need someone to burn off the exhaust system from the ceramic filter.

Mid 10-current, Cummins ISL, same thing as I mention above except with the DEF, it tends to perform much better! A lot of leaking issues from the DEF!

How horrible are your brake retarders? Are they respond slow? The Voith are usually not bad from my experience on the brake retarder!

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Nova's seem to be popular with airport shuttles.

I rode one going to and from Calgary's airport, the bus goes on the highway as well as on rough city roads. The ride is horrible, the bus feels like it's going to fall apart. And on the highway the bus was swaying side to side, and the wind noise was loud. I could see that there was a space at the front of the bus where the front door hinge is, making the wind noise worse.

And Halifax got some for their new airport service. They have no luggage racks, and the bus has a hard time maintaining speed going uphill. The bus went from 110 to 80 going up some small hills on the highway.

Although i have a feeling that TTC's 79XX/8000 series do much better on the Highway Rocket than an LFS anyday. The ride is much better, and has lots of power, and dont swerve all over the road as much. That's just my observation.

I'm not sure if these transit buses are suitable for running on the highway. It gets the job done, but i question the safety with a full load of passengers.

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IF Nova would have won this contract fair and square... yes, I wouldn't be upset BUT we know that 99.9% that some back dealings were done between the gov't and Novabus to have NOva win this contract regardless to whomever else bid. Quebec is a corrupt province and I don't need to give proof, as we all and have heard the news over the last few years. Side deals are the norm here... What pisses me off is that they actually tell the public and people that know nothing that they will have a fair call for tenders and all that BS. Next time, just do the straight bid to NOva and don't waste NFI's time or any other manufacturer!!!

Robert gets it because he's also a bus driver in this Province and knows first hand of the JUNK NOva keeps sending us in Quebec. This is one of the stranges bus manufacturers ever.... I don't get how a company can one year make a horrible bus, then make a fantastic bus and then go back to crap! WTF! What's wrong with Nova!? Why can't they be consistent on making a good product? In Quebec, this is the history of the LFS quality; the 1st gens (1995-2000) have many problems, especially tranny one's and are hated by drivers. Even the good one's aren't the best LFS's to drive compaired to other years. From 2001 to 2004 was PURE GARBAGE! Nova officially made its worst LFS product between these years. These buses have no power, no torque, no speed and the list goes no.. From 2005 to 2007, they made PURE GOLD! These buses mainly made in 05 and 06 are solid fast buses with tons of power and no complains about them whatsoever. These buses are loved by all the drivers (at least where I work). The 2008 and 2009 units were also pretty good. A lil touch under the previous years, but solid as well. Now in 2010 and 2011, Nova took a big step back in terms of quality. These buses were made cheap with no considerations on the impact on drivers that have to suffer driving them all day. The seats and suspension are the biggest problems and continue to be. Nova even admitted they mess up on the suspensions and did them on the cheap. The adjustments made to fix the 2010's suspensions didn't really do much. The 2012's have only the advantage of accelerating a little faster from stops but the cheapness remains in the build of the bus. This is not to mentions the horrible brake retarder on all the 3rd gens! It makes the people think they we don't know how to drive! Now if Nova made buses like they did back in 2005, I'd never say a bad thing about them becuase those were how buses should be made, but we all know the new buses will be just as crappy and the last ones we got.

On the RTL Novas, is the retarder activated when the brakes are applied or when the accelerator is released?

STM classics - retarder activated by braking - worked very well (if ever retarder gave trouble, we could turn it off)

1st gens - retarder activated by braking - very often too strong and bus made a jolt (could be turned off in case of malfunction) This series was modified so that the retarder is activated by releasing the accelerator and the "OFF" switch was removed

2nd and 3rd gen - retarder activated when accelerator is released - no "OFF" switch exists.

On 3rd gens you can practically stop the bus without touching the brakes. To have a smooth stop, the brakes must be applied during the last few feet of the stop once the transmission has downshifted to 1st gear. If you apply the brakes at the same time as the transmission downshifts, the bus will jolt.

As Steve said, the 05-07 series have the smoothest takeoff and the smoothest deceleration (this series is the least likely to jolt when stopping) The quality of 08s is not bad either, its the new red ISL that makes this series less desirable, at the STM the red ISL/ZF combo is not as smooth as previous generations.

Nova, in my opinion took a big step backwards with the 3rd gens. Our 30-000s (2010s) literally feel like they're falling apart when driving. Its about as bad as 1st gens. I spoke to the bodywork mechanic, and he told me that they are garbage. the bolts that hold the interior together are too cheap and literally brake with the vibrations. It really feels like the bus has no suspension. I know that the state of Montreal streets doesn't help, but it doesn't explain why older buses are holding up better. It took 9 years since the 1st LFS to make a good vehicle. If they keep improving on the 3rd gen, we should have an acceptable product by 2017 :D

What is sad is that in my 12 year career, the quality of the buses I drove and the comfort for the drivers and the passengers did not improve. I went from driving mostly classics (even the old GM classics, even though very sluggish, were very comfortable) to driving mostly 3rd gens. It is not normal that a bus built in 1995 (last STM classics) had a more comfortable ride and a better driver ergonomics than a bus built in 2012 which has no suspension and have the farebox stuck to the the driver's seat. If buses keep getting worse, I'll consider going back to driving the Metro!

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On the RTL Novas, is the retarder activated when the brakes are applied or when the accelerator is released?

When brakes are applied but I believe it's when the acclerator is released for the 3rd gens. I had a 2012 yesterday and I can't remember... :wacko:

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