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Ann Arbor, MI – Ann Arbor Transportation Authority added 11 new clean diesel-electric hybrid buses to its fleet in March 2013. The total number of hybrids in service will be 52, bringing the fleet to 59% hybrid – - the highest percentage of operating hybrids in the U.S.

http://www.fleetsand...p-alt-fuel-use/

For photos of the AATA fleet from 2011, click here: http://www.cptdb.ca/...or&fromsearch=1

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I just visited Ann Arbor today. Below is #461, a 2011 40-foot hybrid Gillig BRT, operating route #7. #461 was the first of ten Gillig BRTs that were delivered to the AATA in 2011.

AATA_461.jpg

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A student pass program is saving the public school district tens of thousands of dollars annually and increasing ridership on AATA.

Also encouraging is a 0.7-mill tax proposal on the May 6 ballot in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township. If approved, it would pay for a 44 percent expansion of AAATA services, while costing the owner of a $200,00 home an extra $70 a year.

http://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2014/04/high_school_student_ridership.html

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More buses campaign to expand the AATA is a big winner!

http://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2014/05/early_election_results_show_vo.html

"The AAATA board voted in January to adopt a five-year transit improvement plan calling for more than 90,000 hours of additional fixed-route bus service in the county's urban core, including about 57,000 in Ann Arbor, more than 8,500 in Ypsilanti, more than 9,400 in Ypsilanti Township, and 15,000 in Saline, Pittsfield Township and Superior Township through purchase-of-service agreements.

The new tax will fund the implementation of that plan, which includes expanding hours of bus service on nights and weekends, putting more buses on the road and implementing new and redesigned routes, along with more frequent trips, improved bus stops, new park-and-ride lots, and expanded dial-a-ride services.

The majority of improvements will be phased in over a few years, starting this August with later hours of operation on just about every route, and more frequent trips on some routes. There also will be a new route in the Ypsilanti area this year.

In May 2016, a major redesign of the service in Ypsilanti and on the west side of Ann Arbor, including new and redesigned routes, is to be implemented."

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http://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2014/11/aaata_board_agrees_to_pay_586k.html#incart_story_package


"The board voted unanimously Thursday night to approve the purchase of 24 low-emission conventional buses and three hybrid-electric buses.


This is the first in a series of bus purchases the AAATA plans to make over the next five years.


The buses will be used for new and expanded services as well as to replace older buses in the agency's fleet.


Up to 60 new buses will be purchased from Gillig LLC over the next five years. Until now it had been uncertain whether the agency would be willing to pay extra for hybrids."

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The #360-#374 new flyer buses that were built in 1995 are actually D35LF buses just to let you know and I've ridden on several of those buses when I was a kid. They also have american seating 6466 seats on them. 

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Due to a dispute between the Wayne County Airport Authority and the operators of the Airride service, Airride buses now no longer serve the Kensington Hotel near Briarwood Mall in order to continue to provide hourly-headway service to DTW.

http://www.theride.org/Service-Alerts-Articles/ArtMID/3341/ArticleID/1113/AirRide-service-between-The-Kensington-Hotel-and-DTW-to-be-discontinued-Thursday-May-19

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Yesterday evening around 19:30, I was driving back home from Ann Arbor and spotted a cutaway coming up NB S State St and turned right on Eisenhower, probably heading back to HQ. The interesting thing was that it had a headsign (displaying NOT IN SERVICE) and a bike rack, and was branded TheRide (fixed route) instead of A-Ride (paratransit/DAR). I wonder if TheRide has started using cutaways on low ridership routes. From where that coach was coming from, it could have been the 61 Airport-Avis Farms or the 67 Platt-Michigan.

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Around 10 AATA 2003 Low Floors are now part of Lorenz Bus Service's transit fleet. I'm assuming these are primarily for the MN State fair shuttles, but given that they're newer units I suppose they could pop up on some of their other contracts as well. Here's some pics from during the Fair:

48604025272_614c6760ce_t.jpg  48603883701_30f4c285bb_t.jpg  48604041327_431790de01_t.jpg  48605355877_dfd017af3a_t.jpg  48605365287_41e6ced366_t.jpg  48605364662_9decf51a4f_t.jpg  48645864823_73ab7b443f_t.jpg 

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On 10/18/2019 at 9:16 PM, Matt C said:

FYI - The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority is switching to NovaBus. First units arrive in late 2020.

Whaaa??

Would love to see more info on this development.

Minus those weird Chance Opus minibuses circa 2003, AAATA has been head over heals for Gillig since ~1998. Gilligs, Gilligs, Gilligs, Gilligs, Gilligs and more Gilligs. It's been a 100% Gillig fleet for several years and they seem to be very proud of that.

I will emphatically welcome Novabuses to Washtenaw County -- but must say I'm still having trouble wrapping my head around it. How many? Diesel or hybrid? Any idea what, internally, triggered this change? Or maybe it was just a low-bid thing -- and staff at AAATA is grumbling that they can't buy more... Gilligs.

My sense is that, up the road in Lansing, recent Nova arrivals are thriving at CATA. If this is the beginning of a Nova sweep in Michigan, I will be jumping up and down.

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On 10/20/2019 at 12:06 PM, Border City Transit said:

Whaaa??

Would love to see more info on this development.

Minus those weird Chance Opus minibuses circa 2003, AAATA has been head over heals for Gillig since ~1998. Gilligs, Gilligs, Gilligs, Gilligs, Gilligs and more Gilligs. It's been a 100% Gillig fleet for several years and they seem to be very proud of that.

I will emphatically welcome Novabuses to Washtenaw County -- but must say I'm still having trouble wrapping my head around it. How many? Diesel or hybrid? Any idea what, internally, triggered this change? Or maybe it was just a low-bid thing -- and staff at AAATA is grumbling that they can't buy more... Gilligs.

My sense is that, up the road in Lansing, recent Nova arrivals are thriving at CATA. If this is the beginning of a Nova sweep in Michigan, I will be jumping up and down.

They are getting 40.. 8 each year from 2020-2024. This should replace 40 Hybrid Gilligs. Matt Carpenter their CEO used to work with Canadian agencies, I’m sure that had something to do with it. That and the new red white and blue stepped stripe scheme that is in a zig zag like CATA’s. I’m not thrilled to be losing Gilligs to an oddball manufacturer. Several years ago when they were evaluating options other than New Flyer after a spat over suspension issues they demo’d an early low floor NOVA... it burned up during testing and that ended that. AAATA purchased its first Gilligs in 1999 FWIW.

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8 hours ago, ns8401 said:

They are getting 40.. 8 each year from 2020-2024.

Thanks for the info!

 

8 hours ago, ns8401 said:

I’m not thrilled to be losing Gilligs to an oddball manufacturer.

Hmm... it's a big departure from Gillig, that's for sure. But I don't know if it's fair to call Nova an oddball manufacturer. That might be applicable to El Dorado or BYD or Proterra... whereas Nova is an "alpha" supplier to major systems such as CTA, MTA New York City Transit, Houston METRO, MTA Maryland, plus dozens more in Canada (and not just Québec anymore!)

 

8 hours ago, ns8401 said:

That and the new red white and blue stepped stripe scheme that is in a zig zag like CATA’s.

Eek. I'm anxious ("bad anxious") to learn what that looks like. CATA has exactly -no- paint scheme on their new Novas, allegedly as they await a new brand palette. We'll see.

I like TheRide's light blue circle-echo thing on the later Gilligs; I can see it looking sharp on a Nova. I hope they don't get too fancy... lest it end up a gaudy, complicated mess (e.g. the ridiculously overwrought 'green zebra' wrap on pre-2019 Xcelsiors down the road at DDOT...)

 

8 hours ago, ns8401 said:

Several years ago when they were evaluating options other than New Flyer after a spat over suspension issues they demo’d an early low floor NOVA... it burned up during testing and that ended that.

Ha. Certainly, such a dramatic failure would cause any buyer to, um, lose interest. I've heard various accounts of that same incident.

However, that was 20 years ago -- the product has improved and evolved significantly since then. I'm sure the Novas will take some getting used to. After all, TheRide has been 100% Gillig for ~10 years. Personally, though, I am more than over Gilligs and their severe exteriors, cramped interiors, rough rides and poor visibility. I used to drive Gilligs, too, and found them awkward and user-unfriendly.

Yes, now that you mention it, I think the first Gillig LF I ever rode anywhere was in Ann Arbor circa 1999 -- AATA was among the first to operate them. I took a short ride from Blake Transit Center to UM Med Center... and recall being very underwhelmed. Especially compared to the bright, spacious and cheerful New Flyers that ruled the fleet at the time.

What I'm curious about is eventual 35-foot buses. It's hard to think TheRide will convert completely away from shorter vehicles for lower-ridership routes on tight residential streets. Maybe that will be their chance to re-up on Gilligs... Or, maybe they'll switch that segment of the fleet to an "actual" oddball manufacturer. I can imagine full-size Novas on the main routes... and 30-35 foot Proterra EVs on the 27 and 33.

In any case, will watch closely for the new fleet in A2!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Border City Transit said:

Thanks for the info!

 

Hmm... it's a big departure from Gillig, that's for sure. But I don't know if it's fair to call Nova an oddball manufacturer. That might be applicable to El Dorado or BYD or Proterra... whereas Nova is an "alpha" supplier to major systems such as CTA, MTA New York City Transit, Houston METRO, MTA Maryland, plus dozens more in Canada (and not just Québec anymore!)

 

Eek. I'm anxious ("bad anxious") to learn what that looks like. CATA has exactly -no- paint scheme on their new Novas, allegedly as they await a new brand palette. We'll see.

I like TheRide's light blue circle-echo thing on the later Gilligs; I can see it looking sharp on a Nova. I hope they don't get too fancy... lest it end up a gaudy, complicated mess (e.g. the ridiculously overwrought 'green zebra' wrap on pre-2019 Xcelsiors down the road at DDOT...)

 

Ha. Certainly, such a dramatic failure would cause any buyer to, um, lose interest. I've heard various accounts of that same incident.

However, that was 20 years ago -- the product has improved and evolved significantly since then. I'm sure the Novas will take some getting used to. After all, TheRide has been 100% Gillig for ~10 years. Personally, though, I am more than over Gilligs and their severe exteriors, cramped interiors, rough rides and poor visibility. I used to drive Gilligs, too, and found them awkward and user-unfriendly.

Yes, now that you mention it, I think the first Gillig LF I ever rode anywhere was in Ann Arbor circa 1999 -- AATA was among the first to operate them. I took a short ride from Blake Transit Center to UM Med Center... and recall being very underwhelmed. Especially compared to the bright, spacious and cheerful New Flyers that ruled the fleet at the time.

What I'm curious about is eventual 35-foot buses. It's hard to think TheRide will convert completely away from shorter vehicles for lower-ridership routes on tight residential streets. Maybe that will be their chance to re-up on Gilligs... Or, maybe they'll switch that segment of the fleet to an "actual" oddball manufacturer. I can imagine full-size Novas on the main routes... and 30-35 foot Proterra EVs on the 27 and 33.

In any case, will watch closely for the new fleet in A2!

 

 

 

 

 

 

For your viewing pleasure these are the 4 under consideration. They claim they are trying to give a nod to the past but the color scheme is wrong for that. It would need to be Deep burgundy not red and the blue would be almost purple.

6C5EF04B-1EF3-4F4F-B31F-A0808D8512CD.thumb.png.918fe21e778d74edd6f79c38a36782d6.png

874BF86E-71B7-4001-92B0-F98862960942.thumb.png.7171d39ada8fc4c74c065e7647cd9f30.png9BDB69AA-C4DC-4CDF-B2AA-3D9AFF504078.thumb.png.220425e5ebad948d94beee5f253cee1b.pngA70F73FE-5657-4DD6-8233-8681588AAE04.thumb.png.282a5dcf0593e14e9775a4e9967f634a.png
 

They have been going away from 35 footers for years now and they only have a handful left. Any of their routes can easily accommodate 40 footers.

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Dang! Great find! Very glad to see the back window option exercised. That... plus the new driver window and the 1/3+2/3 front door... seem to be the emerging "Michigan spec".

Hmm, the designs aren't quite as bad as I was fearing... but they all look straight out of 1989. I appreciate history -- but why the imperative to dress model year 2020 (!) vehicles in a scheme that looks several decades backward? 'Retro' has its practical limits -- and is AATA's early 80s "Coast Guard" scheme really worthy of such veneration? I think the historical nod will be totally lost on most people. The latest incarnation of "TheRide" scheme is/was modern, clean, distinctive and durable. Too bad they didn't give it a chance here...

Well, if those are the choices and my choice counts (which it doesn't - ha!), I'd go for 3B or 6B.

I like the thin red "icing" on 3B, especially how it's visible from the front. I like 6B because it looks slightly more modern than the others -- and doesn't involve any decals over the windows. The whisper-gray back end is also kind of nice, in a subtle, 1996 desktop Macintosh kind of way. The white cut-outs around the tail-light clusters are nice attention to detail -- and they'll also help with visibility.

Also... while I am largely fond of Novas, I have to wonder why they push that black window trim so much. It detracts from the vehicle's appealing design. It also limits the impact of a good paint scheme. Wish more Nova customers dispensed with that feature (SEPTA comes to mind, I'm sure there are a few others...)

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1 hour ago, Border City Transit said:

Dang! Great find! Very glad to see the back window option exercised. That... plus the new driver window and the 1/3+2/3 front door... seem to be the emerging "Michigan spec".

Hmm, the designs aren't quite as bad as I was fearing... but they all look straight out of 1989. I appreciate history -- but why the imperative to dress model year 2020 (!) vehicles in a scheme that looks several decades backward? 'Retro' has its practical limits -- and is AATA's early 80s "Coast Guard" scheme really worthy of such veneration? I think the historical nod will be totally lost on most people. The latest incarnation of "TheRide" scheme is/was modern, clean, distinctive and durable. Too bad they didn't give it a chance here...

Well, if those are the choices and my choice counts (which it doesn't - ha!), I'd go for 3B or 6B.

I like the thin red "icing" on 3B, especially how it's visible from the front. I like 6B because it looks slightly more modern than the others -- and doesn't involve any decals over the windows. The whisper-gray back end is also kind of nice, in a subtle, 1996 desktop Macintosh kind of way. The white cut-outs around the tail-light clusters are nice attention to detail -- and they'll also help with visibility.

Also... while I am largely fond of Novas, I have to wonder why they push that black window trim so much. It detracts from the vehicle's appealing design. It also limits the impact of a good paint scheme. Wish more Nova customers dispensed with that feature (SEPTA comes to mind, I'm sure there are a few others...)

Transit agency board meeting packets are your friend. I like 6B myself... I don’t like the pervasive minimalist designs we see nowadays. I just wish it was using the retro coast guard colors if they want to nod to history (that was a pretty decent scheme for what it was). 

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On 12/6/2019 at 9:53 PM, ns8401 said:

They are getting 40.. 8 each year from 2020-2024. This should replace 40 Hybrid Gilligs

since you mention hybrid gilligs, I take it that means the 2003 diesels (both the 35s and the 40s) are retired?

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4 hours ago, Orion6025 said:

I take it that means the 2003 diesels (both the 35s and the 40s) are retired?

I think so.

As recently as this summer, quite a few were hanging out in a city-owned lot on S Industrial Hwy, about a half-mile north of TheRide HQ.

They still had decals, numbers and fareboxes -- so maybe they were in ready-reserve.

At last check, only two or three were still there and they were totally stripped down. Unless there's a straggler or two under the roof at 2700, the end has likely arrived for the 411-429 batch. Won't miss 'em.

 

 

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5 hours ago, Orion6025 said:

since you mention hybrid gilligs, I take it that means the 2003 diesels (both the 35s and the 40s) are retired?

412 looks like the last one left from that group and it’s sitting in  the water lot with its license plate removed so they are all retired. 431 (40’ Hybrid from the first order) is keeping it company... still has a plate so either it’s overflow from the garage or something died on it. If we do 1-1 replacements then 430-469 will be gone by 2024. That’ll eliminate 4 35 footers from the fleet without replacing them. They are trying hard to become a 12 years and done agency, something that has historically never been true.

 

 

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