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METRA Columbus (GA)

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During my December 2011 stop at Columbus, GA; I had a chance to sample METRA's fleet at its transit center-cum-garage. METRA's Canadian connections dates back to 1997 and 2000 for its New Flyer D35LF's, but they were nowhere to be seen (it was a Saturday). The only Canadian presence seen that day was bus 1201, a single-door 1st-Gen Orion VII 30ft. bus (compared to similar but dual-door buses in Macon, GA).

post-4589-0-38505900-1370138850_thumb.jpMETRA-r1-1201-2.JPG

All other buses seen that day were Gillig LF's or their trolley replica derivative. Bus 1215 is a EPA-2007 35ft. bus, while 1219 is its EPA-2010 sister. Finally, bus 95 is a EPA-2007 29ft. Trolley Replica. They probably also operate EPA-2010 Trolley Replica's as well.

METRA-r2-1215-1.JPGMETRA-r4-1219-2.JPGMETRA-r8-95-1.JPGMETRA-r8-95-2.JPG

As a side note, I've heard they've also received some Orion VII 3G hybrids as some of the last Orion VII's ever produced. Can anyone locate pictures for them? Thanks for viewing my thread and hope you'll enjoy my pictures!

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A Canadian-flavored update on this agency!

After I've spent about an hour spotting near the agency's transit agency on the past Friday, I've unexpectedly spotted bus 1195, a New Flyer D35LF dated to somewhere in the 2000's. This is the only D35LF I've spotted that day, as the D35LF's and maybe the Orion VII OG's (as illustrated by bus 1203) have become spare buses by now.

METRA-r3-1195-1.JPGMETRA-r3-1195-2.JPGMETRA-r5-1203-1.JPGMETRA-r5-1203-2.JPGMETRA-r5-1203-3.JPGMETRA-r5-1203-4.JPG

The agency's new flagship buses are the 2013 Orion VII EPA-2010 35ft. hybrid buses 1220-1223. Unlike most other agencies that use elaborate branding or even graphics to burnish their hybrid buses' environmental credentials, METRA only applied small "Electric Powered" stickers below the driver's cab window and behind the front passenger door. All 4 buses are illustrated here.

METRA-r3-1220-1.JPGMETRA-r3-1220-2.JPGMETRA-r3-1220-3.JPGMETRA-r7-1221-1.JPGMETRA-r7-1221-2.JPGMETRA-r7-1221-3.JPGMETRA-r5-1222-1.JPGMETRA-r5-1222-2.JPGMETRA-r5-1222-3.JPG

Finally, I can now confirm that METRA does operate EPA-2010 spec Gillig LF Trolley Replicas, as illustrated by bus 94 on their route 8, for which a Trolley Replica is always specified due to its routing in several historic districts in Columbus. For some unknown reasons, METRA constantly uses a Trolley Replica on route 6 as well.

METRA-r8-94-1.JPGMETRA-r8-94-2.JPGMETRA-r8-94-3.JPG

Bonus pictures are the Chevy low floor cutaways used for its Dial-a-Ride service. While bus 221 is a ubiquitous Arboc Spirit of Mobility, buses 224 and 225 are apparently Champion LF Transport's. Can anyone confirm or correct me on this count? Thanks!

METRA-DAR-221-1.JPGMETRA-DAR-221-2.JPGMETRA-DAR-221-3.JPGMETRA-DAR-224-1.JPGMETRA-DAR-224-2.JPGMETRA-DAR-225-1.JPGMETRA-DAR-225-2.JPG

My METRA gallery is available here. Hope that you'll enjoy my coverage on yet another never fanned-on property!

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Great work! Orange and blue makes a pleasing livery.

I especially like the Orion hybrids, hopefully they'll have many more years on the road.

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Does anyone remember what other buses METRA had purchased new (or bought any used buses from other TAs) in the 1980s and early '90s, besides the 1984 Flxible Metro-As (1121 to 1130)? They may be found in past issues of Motor Coach Age, among other sources.

The CPTDB Wiki entry for this agency has many gaps to be filled, and these Flxibles were one of them that I found for it.
https://www.cptdb.ca/wiki/index.php/Metra_(Columbus)#Retired

More found:
1135-1144 = 1988 Orion I 01.502 (delivered 1-2/1988), probably with 6V92TA Detroit Diesel
1148-1157 = 1991 Orion I 01.502 (delivered 7/1991), again likely with 6V92TA Detroit Diesel - fleet IDs not in order of SNs (which would be, in order of SNs: 1148-1149, 1155-1157 and 1150-1154)

Therefore, the following gaps as to what buses had these fleet numbers below (whether brand new or acquired used) still need to be filled in:
1016 to 1120
1131 to 1134
1145 to 1147
1158 to 1165

Thank you!

~Ben

Edited by Benjamin

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