Millennium2002

2014(-2017) Standard 40' Bus Procurement

919 posts in this topic

It's bus purchasing season again at TransLink, and the RFP is now out for the purchase of buses for the next three years.

Key notes from the RFP:

  • Leaning towards CNG! (Diesel alternative also allowed)
  • The buses will be scheduled as follows:
    • an initial 41 units, to be delivered by November 2014
    • an additional 51 units, to be delivered by November 2015
    • an additional 84 units, to be delivered by November 2016

    [*]There are two purchasing options that TransLink leaves open:

    • one where the 2015 and 2016 buses are mandatory, and
    • one where they are just options.

    [*]The charcoal paint scheme from the New Flyer Restyled era seems to be back...

    [*]Air conditioning and frameless windows are staying for the long run!

    [*]Axion or Luminator? TransLink doesn't seem to mind having either in the long run.

    [*]Touch bars are specified again, although rather briefly vs last time

Other tidbits and thoughts:

  • Interestingly, TransLink assumes that the CNG buses will travel about 50 km less than their diesel counterparts.
  • Where will these buses head to? We already know that CNG doesn't do so well in PoCo, so they can't be going there yet again...
  • I kind of doubt that TransLink will have its preferred rear window mounted due to space limitations, but it's still specified for the CNG buses regardless.

Anyway, this is one very interesting RFP... and the possibility of seeing CNG become a trend again in Vancouver will be a welcome surprise after the many years of complaints from CMBC.

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  • The charcoal paint scheme from the New Flyer Restyled era seems to be back...

I don't think so. The illustration shows charcoal, but in the RFP says it will be predominantly silver and blue.

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Does anyone know if HTC is being built with a CNG refuelling system roughed in at all?

Nope. From the last set of documents, its a Diesel only yard. But, knowing TransLink. That can change in a heartbeat.

- Bryan "Goggles"

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Im wondering/hoping if some of these come to Surrey, once the D40LF era has ended.

Im also thinking some of the novas go to Richmond or Surrey.

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They might have gone to CNG because of the Cummins ISL-G...?

So far, the 2006 C40LFR's with the C Gas+ don't seem to be plagued with the reliability issues of the DDS50G of the previous C40, and the buses repowered with the ISL-G are pretty close with the performance of a ISL D40LFR.

Then again, CNG is cheaper than diesel...

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I have a feeling if and when CNG gets used more, the economics of it may change for the worse like any other type of conventional propulsion available on the market today.

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I would not be surprised if the first order was CNG and it goes to PoCo. That will pretty much clean out most of the diesels. They did have a CNG demonstrator awhile back at PTC so who knows.

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I have a feeling if and when CNG gets used more, the economics of it may change for the worse like any other type of conventional propulsion available on the market today.

Why do you think this? It is fairly counterintuitive?

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So they're going back to 40-footers... I can't help but think this a missed opportunity. There are MANY routes within the system that are running decent headways but are having capacity issues. (Forty-first, anyone? Forty-ninth? East Kingsway in Burnaby? Fraser Highway?) And with the current fiscal constraints, that's only going to get worse.

Why not do what they did with the last order, and replace 40-footers one-for-one with artics? Yes, the capital cost would be higher, but it would let you carry more passengers without significantly higher operating costs. (After all, an artic still only needs one driver, not 1.5.)

Or is this the trouble with being under SUCH a financial crunch, where you're forced to make decisions that are penny-wise and pound-foolish just because you don't have the little pennies to spend?

As for the power source... if they're not wanting to buy more hybrids, or if they're wanting to reserve hybrids for the divisions serving Vancouver proper, CNG technology is a lot better than it used to be from an operational perspective. The big question mark, of course, is the cost. (And I won't go any further into that, for fear of derailing the thread into a political discussion.)

--

Quick question: does anyone think that NFI will NOT get this order? :P

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So they're going back to 40-footers... I can't help but think this a missed opportunity. There are MANY routes within the system that are running decent headways but are having capacity issues. (Forty-first, anyone? Forty-ninth? East Kingsway in Burnaby? Fraser Highway?) And with the current fiscal constraints, that's only going to get worse.

Why not do what they did with the last order, and replace 40-footers one-for-one with artics? Yes, the capital cost would be higher, but it would let you carry more passengers without significantly higher operating costs. (After all, an artic still only needs one driver, not 1.5.)

Hey, after the Evergreen line is built (2016), the 97 is essentially going to the same fate as the 98 B-Line. Maybe this is where the PoCo D60LF's get reassigned.

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CMBC/Translink will have to spend some money in CNG infastructure no matter where they send this order (IF it goes CNG). Isn't the refueling system at PTC at capacity? So if they send anymore to PTC, they'll have to upgrade it. Even then, Poco doesn't need 176 more forty footers.

So let's look at each depot to see the chances of them getting CNGs:

NVTC - HIGHLY unlikely. The yard has no space and is on life support

BTC - Once again, no space. Especially if they take over North Shore operations

VTC - Unlikely. They're at capacity with the trolleys, adding another fuel system could complicate things

PTC - Currently has CNGs, so it obviously is a contender. Money will have to be spent to upgrade the fueling system (if it's at capacity)

STC - They did look at sending part of, or all, the 2006 CNG order to Surrey so they could do this

RTC - My money is on RTC. CNGs aren't the most powerful on hills, and Richmond is pretty flat

HTC - New depot, so they could add on a CNG station during construction

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Hey, after the Evergreen line is built (2016), the 97 is essentially going to the same fate as the 98 B-Line. Maybe this is where the PoCo D60LF's get reassigned.

Yeah, but the 1998 D60LFs would have reached the end of their operating life by then as well, so there would be a reduction in the number of sixty footers. I would expect a big articulated bus order in 2014 for arrival in 2015??

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Wow, they seem to be quite happy with the ZF Transmission.

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Then again, CNG is cheaper than diesel...

Are you sure!? Can they get the same KM's on a tank of fuel in comparison to today's Clean diesel buses!?

Wow, they seem to be quite happy with the ZF Transmission.

Well... That's too bad as ZF is not a smooth transmission to being a bus from regular cruising speed down to a stop in a short time period unless they are on a flat surface, smooth surface, and o down hill stopping while approaching the location to being the vehicle to a stop....

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Are you sure!? Can they get the same KM's on a tank of fuel in comparison to today's Clean diesel buses!?

Well... That's too bad as ZF is not a smooth transmission to being a bus from regular cruising speed down to a stop in a short time period unless they are on a flat surface, smooth surface, and o down hill stopping while approaching the location to being the vehicle to a stop....

It's not the fuel consumption they go for, the cost for alternative fuel on prices comparing to diesel. Diesel is expensive nowadays.

Translink choices are based on reliability and serviceability. Only WVMB have the Ecolife which is less than a year of usage and the CMBC side is completely unknown as none of the fleets have it.

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I am going to say the 41 CNG buses will go to STC; then 51 CNG buses will go to RTC; then 84 CNG buses will go HTC.

Do you see XN40 or LFS CNG for this order?

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I am going to say the 41 CNG buses will go to STC; then 51 CNG buses will go to RTC; then 84 CNG buses will go HTC.

Do you see XN40 or LFS CNG for this order?

XN40, also there's no CNG fueling spot at STC or RTC. So it'll be 41 to Poco, then 51 to HTC followed by the 84 to be split with HTC and PCTC.You'll see NovaBus bid on it, but its set up for New Flyer to win the bid.

- Bryan "Goggles"

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I would of thought STC be able to handle CNG because the original 2006 order was to be split between PTC and STC.

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I would of thought STC be able to handle CNG because the original 2006 order was to be split between PTC and STC.

They can't. There's no CNG fueling station.

- Bryan "Goggles"

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I would of thought STC be able to handle CNG because the original 2006 order was to be split between PTC and STC.

They can't. There's no CNG fueling station.

- Bryan "Goggles"

As Bryan said, no CNG fuelling facilities are at STC or in fact anywhere nearby as far as I know. As for the 2006 order being split between STC and PTC, it is - in a way. STC has the D40LFRs, and PTC has the C40LFRs ;)

On a different note, Abbotsford did mention something about LNG buses since there's an LNG facility practically next door, but that can be found in the 'British Columbia' subforum :)

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I would of thought STC be able to handle CNG because the original 2006 order was to be split between PTC and STC.

The original bid was for CNG buses for PTC, and then it was changed to be a mix of CNG and Diesel which led to the PTC/BTC split (BTC Diesels eventually handed over to STC.)

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