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Looks like the AAATA is fixing to ditch diesel and go zero-emissions after the existing Nova orders. They're weighing four plans to replace the diesel fleet with either battery-electric or hydrogen, following either the current rate of 8 buses per year (keeping every diesel unit in service for the full 12 years) or speeding up to 14 buses a year to replace all the diesels by 2030 (per the City of Ann Arbor's carbon neutrality plans).

Battery electric might mean LFSe(+) which would be cool, or maybe Proterras, which I wouldn't complain about either. I think the regular LFSe would make perfect sense for TheRide, as a small enough system where almost every route hits one of the three major transit centers. The buses already sit at Blake long enough that they could easily get a full charge before leaving, and probably cover a round trip on their routes before needing another charge. Plus that'd make AAATA the first US operator of another Canadian bus, lol.

Fuel cell on the other hand... might mean A2 would go back to Flyer after all these years - or ElDo too I suppose; I don't think AAATA would be above running Axesses.

https://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/2022/10/ann-arbor-transit-system-weighing-pros-and-cons-of-electric-buses.html

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21 hours ago, dtwtransit said:

Looks like the AAATA is fixing to ditch diesel and go zero-emissions after the existing Nova orders. They're weighing four plans to replace the diesel fleet with either battery-electric or hydrogen, following either the current rate of 8 buses per year (keeping every diesel unit in service for the full 12 years) or speeding up to 14 buses a year to replace all the diesels by 2030 (per the City of Ann Arbor's carbon neutrality plans).

Battery electric might mean LFSe(+) which would be cool, or maybe Proterras, which I wouldn't complain about either. I think the regular LFSe would make perfect sense for TheRide, as a small enough system where almost every route hits one of the three major transit centers. The buses already sit at Blake long enough that they could easily get a full charge before leaving, and probably cover a round trip on their routes before needing another charge. Plus that'd make AAATA the first US operator of another Canadian bus, lol.

Fuel cell on the other hand... might mean A2 would go back to Flyer after all these years - or ElDo too I suppose; I don't think AAATA would be above running Axesses.

https://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/2022/10/ann-arbor-transit-system-weighing-pros-and-cons-of-electric-buses.html

A full charge takes 7 minutes?

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...
On 10/27/2022 at 10:35 PM, ns8401 said:

2200-2207 Have been delivered. As the fleet number implies these are 2022’s. Saw 2207 out and about tonight.

 

 

D2476012-1F37-48C0-8C72-914AABC0951C.jpeg

These have been renumbered 538-545. This leaves room for 2020 Nova's 2000-2007 to be renumbered 530-537 at some later point I suppose. 2019 Gilligs 1930-1937 won't be renumbered apparently. 538-545 have the 2200 series numbers on the roof still.

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  • 1 month later...

Apparently the '22 Novas have been renumbered to #538-545 now...

This is pretty disappointing to me as I like year-based numbering schemes, since they make it easy to tell the series apart. It'll take memorization to know at-a-glance that #540 is a Nova and not just another breadbox.

What really gets me is that they only renumbered the '22s- so the '20s will remain the odd ones out as 2000-2007, not meshing with the sequence of the other units. They also could've keep the 19s' numbering scheme for these (which combines the model year with the sequential position) so I don't get why they reverted back to the scheme used pre-2019.

 

On the note of the Novas, I had pretty good luck spotting them today. All the buses running the 4 were Novas, and at least 3 of the '22 units were out. I caught three '20s and two '22s just milling around the outskirts of town.

IMG_0197.thumb.JPG.25930c227f0099b1e54f94898182c66b.JPG

I also caught one of the old hybrid BRTs, a 2010 unit. A friend who was in town saw another as well. Given all the older BRTs we've seen at that lot on S Industrial and the arrival of new Novas, I'm pretty convinced the '10s (#457-460) are the oldest buses still in service at TheRide.

IMG_0152.thumb.JPG.fa4dd54909e773f3680941b2e6ce9170.JPG

 

Before this trip I threw together my own roster of the AAATA fleet (assuming everything older than #457 is retired) and noticed that the only breadboxes we've seen rewrapped are '19s. I have a feeling it'll just be those that get the new livery.

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2 hours ago, dtwtransit said:

Apparently the '22 Novas have been renumbered to #538-545 now...

This is pretty disappointing to me as I like year-based numbering schemes, since they make it easy to tell the series apart. It'll take memorization to know at-a-glance that #540 is a Nova and not just another breadbox.

What really gets me is that they only renumbered the '22s- so the '20s will remain the odd ones out as 2000-2007, not meshing with the sequence of the other units. They also could've keep the 19s' numbering scheme for these (which combines the model year with the sequential position) so I don't get why they reverted back to the scheme used pre-2019.

 

On the note of the Novas, I had pretty good luck spotting them today. All the buses running the 4 were Novas, and at least 3 of the '22 units were out. I caught three '20s and two '22s just milling around the outskirts of town.

IMG_0197.thumb.JPG.25930c227f0099b1e54f94898182c66b.JPG

I also caught one of the old hybrid BRTs, a 2010 unit. A friend who was in town saw another as well. Given all the older BRTs we've seen at that lot on S Industrial and the arrival of new Novas, I'm pretty convinced the '10s (#457-460) are the oldest buses still in service at TheRide.

IMG_0152.thumb.JPG.fa4dd54909e773f3680941b2e6ce9170.JPG

 

Before this trip I threw together my own roster of the AAATA fleet (assuming everything older than #457 is retired) and noticed that the only breadboxes we've seen rewrapped are '19s. I have a feeling it'll just be those that get the new livery.

 Their lowest numbered bus is currently 443. So 443-456 are somewhere. 

 

Also if you notice the '22 Novas were renumbered to 538-545 which leaves room for the '20s to become 530-537. That should leave 1930-1937 as the odd ducks out. They should have just renumbered all of them. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Went back to A2 yesterday to spot; my observations cleared up a few things.

 

I went back to that city-owned lot at 2000 S Industrial (which I've dubbed the "Gillig Graveyard") and found #444 and #456 still sitting there (as they were when I visited in May 2021).

image.thumb.jpeg.c99fa584ba35fdedca209cc8c1f8a00b.jpeg20230221_145931.thumb.jpg.e25163d2a7ddcf5a314467cb839c74dc.jpg

A couple of others around that range of fleet numbers (#445 & #455) were still out and about, however, so I was definitely wrong in assuming retirements of all those older Gillig BRTs.

theride_445.thumb.JPG.ed637406dcfc0fff8eaa2da3f8e119ed.JPGtheride_455-rear.thumb.JPG.0da8956fddaac5cc5352fc80ad02b24a.JPG

You might notice something odd about the headsigns on #445... it seemed to be running with with some different programming. The text was aligned to the right, and strangely, out of "28 Pauline to Maple & Pennsylvania," only "to" and "Pennsylvania" displayed in mixed case. At least one other unit was doing this, and it was also running route 28.

 image.thumb.jpeg.91e183e37743cd19e477a9af56eff382.jpegVideoCapture_20230222-202006.thumb.jpg.69cfb44b077d9cb3467dd014b7d23673.jpg

 

On the subject of #526...

As part of some transit accessibility research I'm doing back in Metro Detroit, I got to reading about AAATA's onboard securements. I learned that as part of a trial a few years, ago ten units were equipped with the Q'Straint Quantum automatic wheelchair restraint, each branded with a red "Equipped with Quantum" badge next to the front door. Since I know someone who depends on Quantum-equipped buses to transport their wheelchair, I set out to determine which lucky ten had one: my spotting yielded #520, #521, #522, #523, #524, #526, #528, and #529. I figure it would be a reasonable assumption that #525 and #527 also have them.

 

Finally, the new livery rewraps...

#1936 and #1937, which we'd already known about, were the only Gilligs I'd seen wrapped in the new scheme; plenty of other '19s were still out in the old colors.

theride_1936-nl2.thumb.JPG.a50182f355618fb068fe4d56c7f93664.JPGtheride_1932-2.thumb.JPG.23d970f2fcf5694d7d9924ffa5c64012.JPG

#1930 and #1935 are wrapped with adverts.

 

One last thing; I saw that supervisor unit #948 (a Ford Flex) has this fun license plate:

IMG_1457.thumb.JPG.3fcba84d0251bd859cbea24167c1fa9b.JPG

There are also some new units in the ARide fleet: a mix of newer ElDo Aerotechs in a monochrome scheme, and what appear to be Starcrafts in the new livery.

ARide_672(2).thumb.JPG.d7edf24665fcb2097ac5088adf930702.JPGARide_674.thumb.JPG.4526539525fad38005be8e666f65ef5c.JPG

I didn't see any of the old sky-blue Challengers.

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23 hours ago, dtwtransit said:

Went back to A2 yesterday to spot; my observations cleared up a few things.

 

I went back to that city-owned lot at 2000 S Industrial (which I've dubbed the "Gillig Graveyard") and found #444 and #456 still sitting there (as they were when I visited in May 2021).

image.thumb.jpeg.c99fa584ba35fdedca209cc8c1f8a00b.jpeg20230221_145931.thumb.jpg.e25163d2a7ddcf5a314467cb839c74dc.jpg

A couple of others around that range of fleet numbers (#445 & #455) were still out and about, however, so I was definitely wrong in assuming retirements of all those older Gillig BRTs.

theride_445.thumb.JPG.ed637406dcfc0fff8eaa2da3f8e119ed.JPGtheride_455-rear.thumb.JPG.0da8956fddaac5cc5352fc80ad02b24a.JPG

You might notice something odd about the headsigns on #445... it seemed to be running with with some different programming. The text was aligned to the right, and strangely, out of "28 Pauline to Maple & Pennsylvania," only "to" and "Pennsylvania" displayed in mixed case. At least one other unit was doing this, and it was also running route 28.

 image.thumb.jpeg.91e183e37743cd19e477a9af56eff382.jpegVideoCapture_20230222-202006.thumb.jpg.69cfb44b077d9cb3467dd014b7d23673.jpg

 

On the subject of #526...

As part of some transit accessibility research I'm doing back in Metro Detroit, I got to reading about AAATA's onboard securements. I learned that as part of a trial a few years, ago ten units were equipped with the Q'Straint Quantum automatic wheelchair restraint, each branded with a red "Equipped with Quantum" badge next to the front door. Since I know someone who depends on Quantum-equipped buses to transport their wheelchair, I set out to determine which lucky ten had one: my spotting yielded #520, #521, #522, #523, #524, #526, #528, and #529. I figure it would be a reasonable assumption that #525 and #527 also have them.

 

Finally, the new livery rewraps...

#1936 and #1937, which we'd already known about, were the only Gilligs I'd seen wrapped in the new scheme; plenty of other '19s were still out in the old colors.

theride_1936-nl2.thumb.JPG.a50182f355618fb068fe4d56c7f93664.JPGtheride_1932-2.thumb.JPG.23d970f2fcf5694d7d9924ffa5c64012.JPG

#1930 and #1935 are wrapped with adverts.

 

One last thing; I saw that supervisor unit #948 (a Ford Flex) has this fun license plate:

IMG_1457.thumb.JPG.3fcba84d0251bd859cbea24167c1fa9b.JPG

There are also some new units in the ARide fleet: a mix of newer ElDo Aerotechs in a monochrome scheme, and what appear to be Starcrafts in the new livery.

ARide_672(2).thumb.JPG.d7edf24665fcb2097ac5088adf930702.JPGARide_674.thumb.JPG.4526539525fad38005be8e666f65ef5c.JPG

I didn't see any of the old sky-blue Challengers.

445 Is the lowest numbered active unit. Hadn't seen that 674 before... it must be brand new. Actually looks decent in the new scheme.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 3 months later...
On 2/22/2023 at 8:31 PM, dtwtransit said:

I went back to that city-owned lot at 2000 S Industrial (which I've dubbed the "Gillig Graveyard") and found #444 and #456 still sitting there (as they were when I visited in May 2021).

 

#456 has apparently been resurrected...

theride_456.thumb.JPG.495bb85ddf3cc9d55a0522cfd8ba411d.JPG

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  • 9 months later...

New route 104, the Washtenaw Avenue Express, began service on Monday.

IMG_6700.thumb.JPG.5f9be494da91ea422f2b83918116f5e1.JPGIMG_6701.thumb.JPG.20f6f1ccf6d5abf047bb2319d53b8522.JPG

Gilligs display "Washtenaw" and "Express" on separate headsign exposures, while Novas show them as one line. Route 4 headsigns have been updated to now read "Washtenaw Local," which barely fits on a single exposure on the Gilligs...

IMG_6705.thumb.JPG.bd17b7710e9d6fc10bc7a27c07bd657a.JPGIMG_6712.thumb.JPG.23135b48bce15807dce5f776ba0c70e7.JPG

Any sign of the 24 outstanding Novas? I still haven't seen anything newer than the '22s.

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  • 1 month later...

Maybe I am seeing things, but as I was driving home today I thought I saw one of the 35 ft Gillig hybrid buses (#457-#460) near the plymouth mall on an training session. However the number was listed as #535 and I'm thinking that can't be right but it was clearly a 35 footer and the model was 2010. Now bus numbers #457-#459 have been seen on the GPS but not #460. 

Is it possible #460 was changed to #535? Someone help me out with this because I just don't get and again maybe I'm seeing things because it happened late afternoon and I was very tired. 😴

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  • 4 weeks later...

TheRide was awarded a $25M FTA grant today to purchase new diesel-electric hybrid and hydrogen buses. They were handed a giant check at a press conference at the garage this afternoon.

Image
(picture from TheRide's X post)

I saw the FTA delegation earlier this morning in Detroit, where they awarded DDOT a similar grant- then heard through the grapevine a couple hours later that they were heading for A2. Unlike DDOT, TheRide did not mention how many buses they plan to purchase with this funding.

I am assuming TheRide will switch back to New Flyer for these new units- since they're the only game in town for hydrogen and it wouldn't make much sense to use a second vendor for the hybrids. But I'm still wondering if we'll see those 24 Novas anytime soon...

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15 hours ago, dtwtransit said:

TheRide was awarded a $25M FTA grant today to purchase new diesel-electric hybrid and hydrogen buses. They were handed a giant check at a press conference at the garage this afternoon.

Image
(picture from TheRide's X post)

I saw the FTA delegation earlier this morning in Detroit, where they awarded DDOT a similar grant- then heard through the grapevine a couple hours later that they were heading for A2. Unlike DDOT, TheRide did not mention how many buses they plan to purchase with this funding.

I am assuming TheRide will switch back to New Flyer for these new units- since they're the only game in town for hydrogen and it wouldn't make much sense to use a second vendor for the hybrids. But I'm still wondering if we'll see those 24 Novas anytime soon...

AAATA had a falling out with New Flyer in the late 90’s. Bad enough that they went Gillig and never looked back. I’m not sure they’ll go back voluntarily. 2 Hydrogen buses and “over a dozen” hybrids are part of this. Also the related hydrogen fueling station. 

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