Jump to content

Ann Arbor Transportation Authority


MAX BRT
 Share

Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, Border City Transit said:

Any idea of when Novas are expected in Ann Arbor?

No signs of 'em anywhere... like TheRide wants to pretend it's not happening and they'll be 100% Gillig forever and ever.

 

 

They were supposed to deliver the pre-production unit for display in July. Then the pandemic happened... did NOVA suspend production in Plattsburgh is the question...

On 9/29/2020 at 6:55 PM, chasbo2 said:

You know AATA should consider looking at getting 60 ft style buses for it's Washtenaw route. Since it's clearly the most popular route in city and there are nearly 10 buses that ran during rush hour (before COVID) on the route. 

They won’t go there probably. There’s substantial doubt about them as a going concern past 2022.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 12/9/2019 at 1:48 PM, Orion6025 said:

Jeez that's a shame, no more detroits... Thanks guys

I feel like cummins has become a monopoly over the public transportation market with no other competitors. Maybe the DD5 or DD8 will be used in public transit buses. They already have them in school buses

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 7 months later...
On 12/8/2019 at 5:06 PM, Border City Transit said:

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.

 

 

As of 5/9/21 there are still a couple there. 417, 424, 444, 448, 456, and ARide 642-644 are sitting around at 2000 S Industrial. All TheRide branding has been removed from the two 2003 units, but the others appear to be intact. 444 being there leads me to believe they've retired the last of the 2007 BRTs. A bunch more of the BRTs seem to have been at this location the last time Google did Street View on S Industrial.

Theride_417-424.JPG

Aride_642.jpg

I had no luck spotting any Novas in the wild on Sunday. Wondering if they're in service and I was just unlucky, or if they've yet to enter service.

On 10/5/2020 at 10:29 PM, chasbo2 said:

I feel like cummins has become a monopoly over the public transportation market with no other competitors. Maybe the DD5 or DD8 will be used in public transit buses. They already have them in school buses

My understanding is that Daimler wants to keep Detroit Diesel in Daimler vehicles only, which restricts it to Thomas for our market. I agree though, it'd be nice if Cummins weren't essentially the only choice for buses nowadays.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/11/2021 at 4:13 AM, dtwtransit said:

I had no luck spotting any Novas in the wild on Sunday. Wondering if they're in service and I was just unlucky, or if they've yet to enter service.

You're not alone!

I've passed through A2 area twice in the past month or so -- nothing but Gilligs.

I also check the bus tracker at theride.org semi-regularly -- literally have not seen a single Nova in service (could it be that they're just not showing up on tracker? Sometimes happens with new buses of any type...)

At this point, I pretty much think TheRide returned the buses to Nova and said, "um, can you make these Gilligs?"

Also, TheRide is weirdly negative about these "replacement buses" in their public materials. Like, why are you referring to them "replacement buses"? That makes them seem like scabs... substandard compromises for the "real thing". Why not call them new buses? That's what they are -- and that's way more positive!

The Novas boast multiple new/improved features which customers will notice. I cannot figure out why TheRide is hiding these benefits. The whole thing... is like they're ashamed to not be buying more Gilligs.

Get with it, TheRide!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/12/2021 at 11:09 AM, Border City Transit said:

You're not alone!

I've passed through A2 area twice in the past month or so -- nothing but Gilligs.

I also check the bus tracker at theride.org semi-regularly -- literally have not seen a single Nova in service (could it be that they're just not showing up on tracker? Sometimes happens with new buses of any type...)

At this point, I pretty much think TheRide returned the buses to Nova and said, "um, can you make these Gilligs?"

Also, TheRide is weirdly negative about these "replacement buses" in their public materials. Like, why are you referring to them "replacement buses"? That makes them seem like scabs... substandard compromises for the "real thing". Why not call them new buses? That's what they are -- and that's way more positive!

The Novas boast multiple new/improved features which customers will notice. I cannot figure out why TheRide is hiding these benefits. The whole thing... is like they're ashamed to not be buying more Gilligs.

Get with it, TheRide!

That never occured to me but you're right about the wording. I was pretty excited to finally get some non-Tunnel Novas in the area (a break from the Gilligs) so I really hope they enter service soon. I suppose it could be due to decreased demand (since that's the reason I heard for retiring the 2007 BRTs).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am now working as an Intern at AATA and what I can tell you is they only have the prototype for the new NovaBus. Everything else is still Gillig. Nobody in my department is back in the office yet but I am quite optimistic as vaccines continue to move forward.

Personally I don't mind Gillig although the buses they make nowadays are not the same as they were twenty years ago and I think theride should've went with New Flyer instead of Nova if they were still making the restyled model. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...
  • 3 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...
On 8/17/2021 at 12:27 PM, Border City Transit said:

At long last, found at Nova in service on the tracker:

AA2007.thumb.png.97ae5dc06232e83793fba89c51bed85b.png

Tue Aug 17 at 12:20pm.

Notice that it's vehicle # 2007, whereas previous reports state that # 2000 is the only Nova on site. Does this mean that all eight of the "2020" units are now active?

Hopefully will make it to A2 soon to see what's up...

All 8 of the 2020 Nova’s are now active. 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Finally caught up with the latest from TheRide.

First, 521 sports the "circa 2017" paint scheme, which I rather like. That happy, distinctive light blue has solidified TheRide's brand. It makes even a Gillig look decent -- though they seem to have forgotten the rear end:

AAT521S.thumb.JPG.6a92cbba08d7157c84533f55cc939c19.JPG

 

And then... the Nova fleet is out and about. Yesssss!

I need to spend more time capturing quality pics. Here's a sample in the meantime.

On the final approach to Downtown Ypsilanti via Route 4, 2002 anchors a pleasant autumn scene:

AAT2002W.thumb.JPG.3f16b236f45873b655e11417e87818fd.JPG

 

Here is 2002 moments later, turning onto Pearl St for the last stop of the trip. I've heard talk that TheRide is rebuilding the Ypsi Transit Center. Frankly, I am fond of the current arrangement. It blends seamlessly with the city. I hope they don't turn the place into an overengineered behemoth that casts a shadow on the neighborhood. In any case:

AAT2002Y.thumb.JPG.def2db614f588065fbe8478850b1fad5.JPG

 

Finally for today, 2003 begins a Route 4 trip westbound to Ann Arbor. Notice the rear window (!!!) and SEPTA-style rear route number display:

AAT2003E.thumb.JPG.0bd2a9605a6b3f1a90d596768f1d9a27.JPG

 

Also spotted on this brief excursion was 2006 on Route 6.

I have witnessed all eight units in service; 2000 has single-piece non-openable windows, whereas 2001-2007 have transom windows.

On a previous visit, I took quick rides on two Novas. It felt like waking up from a nightmare and easing into a calm weekend morning.

TheRide had been 100% Gillig for soooo long, I'd pretty much given up. I instantly associated TheRide with the sad, dreary, loud and severe experience of riding a Gillig. Stepping onto a Nova, I was reminded that riding the bus is happy and pleasant -- that is, when the vehicle is up to the job.

These are night and day compared to the Gilligs. Quiet. Smooth. Spacious. Bright. It felt like a large, successful transit system rather a desperate, lowest-bidder environment. I cannot wait for these to replace as many Gilligs as possible.

My only gripe is the paint scheme. As 521 exhibits, more color makes a splash. They missed the mark with that ill-advised "80s retro" scheme on the Novas. They're nice-looking buses already -- they'd be jaw-dropping with the light blue scheme.

More soon. All of the sudden, TheRide territory is on my list again!

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Border City Transit said:

Finally for today, 2003 begins a Route 4 trip westbound to Ann Arbor. Notice the rear window (!!!) and SEPTA-style rear route number display:

AAT2003E.thumb.JPG.0bd2a9605a6b3f1a90d596768f1d9a27.JPG

---

My only gripe is the paint scheme. As 521 exhibits, more color makes a splash. They missed the mark with that ill-advised "80s retro" scheme on the Novas. They're nice-looking buses already -- they'd be jaw-dropping with the light blue scheme.

I agree, the light blue scheme would look fantastic on these. A shame they decided to change it. Now IMO the gray/red/blue stripe scheme is a bit better than just plain white so at least it's something. Looking at your photo of 2003 though and playing armchair graphics consultant I have to wonder if these would also look sharper had they reversed the stripe order, and filled in the color more. Gray from the bottom of the stripe covering to the rear and blending with the grey skirt, and then a nice navy blue top, and perhaps a thicker red stripe?

Edit: also nice photos, thanks for sharing :)

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, MVTArider said:

Now IMO the gray/red/blue stripe scheme is a bit better than just plain white so at least it's something.

Wish CATA got that memo! 🙄

 

4 hours ago, MVTArider said:

playing armchair graphics consultant I have to wonder if these would also look sharper had they reversed the stripe order, and filled in the color more. Gray from the bottom of the stripe covering to the rear and blending with the grey skirt, and then a nice navy blue top, and perhaps a thicker red stripe?

Agree! That change would go a long way. In the current version, the stripes lack definition and melt into each other. They should hire you right outta your armchair!

Somewhere in this thread, a user posted an AAATA Board document showing different paint scheme options. A couple of them look somewhat like your idea. And, IMO, a few ticks better than the final result. I believe one presented a red "frosting" above the window line -- which was really sharp.

Oh well. The scheme is kinda boring and dated -- but at least it's not outright ugly. If we're dealing in extremes, I'll take a clean, boring scheme over a gaudy, overwrought scheme. Look at the new Nova artics at Ride On. Great buses. But the paint scheme/wrap... yikes.

 

4 hours ago, MVTArider said:

also nice photos, thanks for sharing :)

Happy to! It still feels like a weird dream to see Novas in Southeast Michigan. The kind of good weird dream that you remember vividly, and contemplate well into the next day.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Couldn't resist...

I haven't got around to drawing a newer Nova with the tailfin and revised driver's window... so here's the circa 2017 TheRide paint scheme on a circa 2017 Nova body. Gives a decent idea of how this would have felt. Wow -- I sure wish TheRide had gone this route! Maybe they'll consider 2017 "retro" and the next order of Novas will look something like this 🤔

AAT600L.thumb.png.8b031990b6b398250a1d53c523462b27.png

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/27/2021 at 7:19 AM, Border City Transit said:

Finally caught up with the latest from TheRide.

First, 521 sports the "circa 2017" paint scheme, which I rather like. That happy, distinctive light blue has solidified TheRide's brand. It makes even a Gillig look decent -- though they seem to have forgotten the rear end:

AAT521S.thumb.JPG.6a92cbba08d7157c84533f55cc939c19.JPG

 

And then... the Nova fleet is out and about. Yesssss!

I need to spend more time capturing quality pics. Here's a sample in the meantime.

On the final approach to Downtown Ypsilanti via Route 4, 2002 anchors a pleasant autumn scene:

AAT2002W.thumb.JPG.3f16b236f45873b655e11417e87818fd.JPG

 

Here is 2002 moments later, turning onto Pearl St for the last stop of the trip. I've heard talk that TheRide is rebuilding the Ypsi Transit Center. Frankly, I am fond of the current arrangement. It blends seamlessly with the city. I hope they don't turn the place into an overengineered behemoth that casts a shadow on the neighborhood. In any case:

AAT2002Y.thumb.JPG.def2db614f588065fbe8478850b1fad5.JPG

 

Finally for today, 2003 begins a Route 4 trip westbound to Ann Arbor. Notice the rear window (!!!) and SEPTA-style rear route number display:

AAT2003E.thumb.JPG.0bd2a9605a6b3f1a90d596768f1d9a27.JPG

 

Also spotted on this brief excursion was 2006 on Route 6.

I have witnessed all eight units in service; 2000 has single-piece non-openable windows, whereas 2001-2007 have transom windows.

On a previous visit, I took quick rides on two Novas. It felt like waking up from a nightmare and easing into a calm weekend morning.

TheRide had been 100% Gillig for soooo long, I'd pretty much given up. I instantly associated TheRide with the sad, dreary, loud and severe experience of riding a Gillig. Stepping onto a Nova, I was reminded that riding the bus is happy and pleasant -- that is, when the vehicle is up to the job.

These are night and day compared to the Gilligs. Quiet. Smooth. Spacious. Bright. It felt like a large, successful transit system rather a desperate, lowest-bidder environment. I cannot wait for these to replace as many Gilligs as possible.

My only gripe is the paint scheme. As 521 exhibits, more color makes a splash. They missed the mark with that ill-advised "80s retro" scheme on the Novas. They're nice-looking buses already -- they'd be jaw-dropping with the light blue scheme.

More soon. All of the sudden, TheRide territory is on my list again!

For better or worse the new scheme and the actual 80’s “Coast Guard” scheme have nothing in common. They should have just gone back to the 80’s scheme if they wanted to do something interesting.

 

The light blue was a good scheme as well. In general though NOVA’s look…. Weird.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, ns8401 said:

They should have just gone back to the 80’s scheme if they wanted to do something interesting.

You practically insisted!

AAT591C.thumb.png.9e8271853a21600d8e0fbc035f934082.png

 

Ha! Actually looks decent, I confess.

Take a ride on a Nova. Yes, they are very different from what Ann Arbor is used to. I encourage you to take note of their positive features.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Border City Transit said:

You practically insisted!

AAT591C.thumb.png.9e8271853a21600d8e0fbc035f934082.png

 

Ha! Actually looks decent, I confess.

Take a ride on a Nova. Yes, they are very different from what Ann Arbor is used to. I encourage you to take note of their positive features.

Thanks for doing that! That actually looks really really cool. I grew up riding fishbowls, RTS’s and Flxibles in that scheme. Great job on it. 
 

At some point I will hop on one of their longer routes and get a feel for one. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 9 months later...
20 hours ago, ns8401 said:

Spotted Gillig 1937 in the new paint scheme a couple days ago. That Cadillac was kind enough to block my view but hey… it proves they are starting to apply the new scheme to existing buses.

Ummm...

Imagine putting that side-by-side with a 2019 Gillig in its original blue paint scheme.

Dollars to donuts... the majority of people would say the "old" scheme is the new one.

I recognize this kind of thing is subjective - but I have a hard time understanding how anyone could see this "new scheme" as more modern, more forward-looking, more eye-catching.

A Nova can kind of pull this off. The general sleekness of the body makes up for the uninspired paint scheme. On a Gillig, though? It feels like an unwelcome time warp back to the worst of the 80s.

Those Arial fleet number decals look pretty cheap, too. What's going on, TheRide?!

Thanks for the pic, in any case.

PS: Aren't there supposed to be more Nova units on the way? Like... up to 32 more? Why do I have a sinking suspicion they've cancelled the order and bent over backwards to get more Gilligs? Ugggggh

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 8/9/2022 at 6:28 PM, Border City Transit said:

Ummm...

Imagine putting that side-by-side with a 2019 Gillig in its original blue paint scheme.

Dollars to donuts... the majority of people would say the "old" scheme is the new one.

I recognize this kind of thing is subjective - but I have a hard time understanding how anyone could see this "new scheme" as more modern, more forward-looking, more eye-catching.

A Nova can kind of pull this off. The general sleekness of the body makes up for the uninspired paint scheme. On a Gillig, though? It feels like an unwelcome time warp back to the worst of the 80s.

Those Arial fleet number decals look pretty cheap, too. What's going on, TheRide?!

Thanks for the pic, in any case.

PS: Aren't there supposed to be more Nova units on the way? Like... up to 32 more? Why do I have a sinking suspicion they've cancelled the order and bent over backwards to get more Gilligs? Ugggggh

There are 32 more on order. I think NOVA may be having production capacity issues. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 minutes ago, ns8401 said:

There are 32 more on order. I think NOVA may be having production capacity issues. 

Hmm. Interesting. Up in Lansing, Nova units have been streaming in steadily since 2019 -- and I believe they have ~8 more on order. I think CATA is pretty happy with them. Not sure why the deliveries have been so inconsistent in Ann Arbor.

With A2's eight original Novas nearing the one year mark, any idea what the reaction has been? Among customers, operators, maintenance professionals?

Production capacity aside, I find the Novas vastly, vastly, vastly superior to Gilligs. Their presence is so much happier. I know, I know. I repeat this in every post. But it still hasn't ceased to resonate with me.

Novas were on the prowl last Saturday, well represented on Washtenaw. The entire street felt better for it. Certainly appears that ridership is increasing, too. I saw lots of full buses.

Here is 2000 leaving Ypsi on Route 44 last weekend -- notice those sleek non-opening windows.

AAT2000Y.thumb.JPG.b66472945caeec62ae7f5e6baa9a2114.JPG

I look forward to seeing more Novas!

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 8/16/2022 at 10:09 PM, Border City Transit said:

I look forward to seeing more Novas!

Wish I could say the same for the Twin Cities 🙄 
---

On deliveries and delays I know CyRide and MCTS are also waiting (or were waiting) on very delayed LFSe orders. Not sure if that has any knock-on effect on production for other assemblies.

Hopefully in the next couple years they'll get caught up. When I finally make it to Michigan for some fanning by then I'd certainly like to see some!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...