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BC Transit (Broome County NY)

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Broome County Transit (BC Transit) in Binghamton NY has placed an order with Gillig for six to seven 40-foot clean diesel buses. The order is being placed off a bid from the Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA), presumably using available options. Six of the buses are a firm order; the seventh bus is contingent on approval of additional capital funding from the county legislature.

BC Transit operates fixed route and paratransit services seven days a week throughout the cities of Binghamton, Endicott and Johnson City and Broome County. Key transfer points are the new 'BC Junction' bus station downtown, Oakdale Mall in Johnson City and the Binghamton University campus (the university also operates its own shuttle bus network using cutaways). BC Transit was a loyal Orion customer from 1987 through 2011, operating Orion I's (including three rare O1 CNG buses), V's, VI's and VII's. The current fleet is made up of Orion VI diesels (both BC's originals and eight second-hand buses from CDTA) and Orion VII hybrids (six each of the NG and 3G models).

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I'm guessing the hybrids you mention have Hybridrive from BAE? Their factory is local--in Endicott.

Yes. They probably would have purchased more BAE hybrids but money is tight right now and the Orion VI's need to go, so it's back to diesels.

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No, only seven buses for now. Orion VI's remain in service including some of the ex-CDTA buses.

BC Transit also got two new cutaways. All of the Gilligs are on the road as well.

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According to the board meeting documents on the Broome County website, BC Transit has purchased five used Gillig Phantoms from Huntington Area Rapid Transit and seven Nova LFS's from the Capital District Transit Authority. The buses were purchased at the bargain price of one dollar each and will be put in service to replace older buses and help BC Transit maintain a 20 percent spare bus ratio.

Five Gillig Phantom 30 foot transit buses (two from 1997 and three from 2003)

VIN numbers:

15GCA201431112001

15GCA201431112006

15GCA201431112007

15GCA2017V1088196

15GCA2017V1088197

Seven 2000 Nova LFS 40102 buses:

VIN numbers:

2NVYL82P6X3000298

2NVYL82P8X3000299

2NVYL82P0X3000300

2NVYL82PXX3000305

2NVYL82P3Y3000163

2NVYL82P9Y3000166

2NVYL82P2Y3000171

Time for another trip to Binghamton soon!

Jim D.

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According to the board meeting documents on the Broome County website, BC Transit has purchased five used Gillig Phantoms from Huntington Area Rapid Transit and seven Nova LFS's from the Capital District Transit Authority. The buses were purchased at the bargain price of one dollar each and will be put in service to replace older buses and help BC Transit maintain a 20 percent spare bus ratio.

Five Gillig Phantom 30 foot transit buses (two from 1997 and three from 2003)

VIN numbers:

15GCA201431112001

15GCA201431112006

15GCA201431112007

15GCA2017V1088196

15GCA2017V1088197

Seven 2000 Nova LFS 40102 buses:

VIN numbers:

2NVYL82P6X3000298

2NVYL82P8X3000299

2NVYL82P0X3000300

2NVYL82PXX3000305

2NVYL82P3Y3000163

2NVYL82P9Y3000166

2NVYL82P2Y3000171

Time for another trip to Binghamton soon!

Jim D.

Thanks for the info, I'm not shocked as it would have been over two years for all of the VI's to have been replaced with brand new Gilligs . Those VI's they have are falling apart badly.

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At least one of the used Novas is now in service, bus 3030. Also at least one of the used Orion VIs is active, 201.

201(2015-12-17).JPG3030(2015-12-17).JPG

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On 11/21/2015 at 10:47 AM, RailBus63 said:

According to the board meeting documents on the Broome County website, BC Transit has purchased five used Gillig Phantoms from Huntington Area Rapid Transit and seven Nova LFS's from the Capital District Transit Authority. The buses were purchased at the bargain price of one dollar each and will be put in service to replace older buses and help BC Transit maintain a 20 percent spare bus ratio.

 

Five Gillig Phantom 30 foot transit buses (two from 1997 and three from 2003)

 

VIN numbers:

 

15GCA201431112001

 

15GCA201431112006

 

15GCA201431112007

 

15GCA2017V1088196

 

15GCA2017V1088197

 

Seven 2000 Nova LFS 40102 buses:

 

VIN numbers:

 

2NVYL82P6X3000298

 

2NVYL82P8X3000299

 

2NVYL82P0X3000300

 

2NVYL82PXX3000305

 

2NVYL82P3Y3000163

 

2NVYL82P9Y3000166

 

2NVYL82P2Y3000171

 

Time for another trip to Binghamton soon!

 

Jim D.

Does anyone know the status of these buses, and if they had entered service?

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I visited Binghamton yesterday.  A number of ex-CDTA buses were running - Orion VI's (in all three CDTA schemes!) and Nova LFS's.  The LFS's still have their CDTA numbers.  The ones I spotted in service were 3004, 3005, 3022 and 3025.  There were still a few of BC Transit's original 800-series Orion VI's (looking and sounding like they are ready for retirement) plus the Orion VII's and Gillig Low Floors and a large cutaway operating on route 3 (I think there is a weight restriction on a bridge along this route).  No sign of any Gillig Phantoms.

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Broome has at least 8 brand new Gillig Low Floors sitting in their depot. I'm 99% sure none have entered service yet judging by how they're parked up and how none of them have tracked. Anyway, a brief overview of Broome County Transit from my observations both from their tracker and from the ground:

  • Their 1999 and 2000 Nova LFS run all day (Frankly the number out in the evening rush was only 1 more out than in the mid afternoon)
  • Their 1999 LFS appear to be fully low floor (I was looking through the windows and also based on a vid I found online), while the 2000s have the raised rear section
  • AFAIK the 1997 Gillig Phantoms and the 2003 Gillig Phantom believed to be numbered 2001* do not run and serve as parts buses for the 2 2003 Gillig Phantoms that do run, 2006-2007
  • At least 2007 has been outfitted with a flipdot sign to replace its orange LED. Why they would do that is beyond me... Anyway they probably took it off a retired Orion VI?
  • The 2019(?-or maybe they're very late 2018) Gillig Low Floors are retiring the remaining Phantoms and the 1999 LFS if I had to take a wild guess.
  • The Orion VIs are very likely off property now, unless they're holed up in the back of the depot so I couldn't see them (Most of their lot is visible from the street but idk what's going on behind the garage and I wasn't about to wander onto their property...)

*I say 2001 because:

  1. HART 806 and 807 got renumbered to 2006 and 2007. It's only logical that 801 would become 2001
  2. The numbers 2006 and 2007 appear to have come from the last 4 digits of the VINs of 806 and 807. The final 4 digits of 801's VIN are 2001 so by the same logic the bus was likely renumbered 2001...

Please disregard the fact that I numbered the 1997 Gillig Phantoms on the wiki as 303-???. It turns out those are these freightliner(?) like cutaways (I never got a close look)... 303-304 and 295 are all the ones that i came across today.

I'll update the wiki sometime soon with all this info, plus a 5th 1999 LFS that doesn't track...

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So I took the hour bus ride south down to Binghamton to revisit their little operation again. Not much has changed since my report at the beginning of the year, but here's what I got:

  • With the 2019 Gilligs in service, the two ex-HART (NY) Gillig Phantoms retired. One is still on property but from what I was told, it isn't used. I tried out 743 twice on the 57 and was genuinely impressed with how well it rode. It kept up with the cars on the highway bridge and the ride was incredibly smooth. Great bus.
  • I'm not sure if any Nova LFS were retired by the 2019 Gilligs and if any were, they probably were some of the 2000 Novas given how most of the Novas that go out are the 1999s. I walked by their garage and I only saw one un-noted LFS, #9901 parked right next to the Gillig Phantom (It was far from the sidewalk so I'm not 100% sure on the number, but I'm pretty sure it was 9901). Judging by the fact that I've never tracked it and it was never seen in service (To my knowledge) and how it was parked next to the Phantom, I assume it's been used as a parts bus. Then again, I wasn't able to track the system everyday and basically no one visits Binghamton so it's impossible to say for sure what BC Transit has been using that bus for
  • BC Transit is getting some new Gilligs very soon that are supposed to replace most of the LFS. I'm not sure if this will take all of them off the road (If they want to widen or keep that spare ratio, they can't take out all the LFS if their Gillig order is the usual 7 or 8 buses) but from what I was told, they will remain on property to some capacity (Be it as spares or continued regular service, in less numbers of course though)
  • Now onto probably the most interesting part: the LFS usage. I've been tracking them a lot lately in addition to the visit and generally, anywhere from 3-5 LFS will be running. They do a mix of full day runs and rush hour only runs (Typically replaced by newer buses at around 10 AM), and sometimes they'll pull out in the midday and weekends (9918 is on the 8 right now in fact). Usually, 9900 series LFS are used but always at least one 3000 series bus makes it out. Lately, mainly 9918, 9927, 9930, 3003, 3025 have been used but many familiar faces were still on property (3010, 9915, 9932). 3010 looks very much active still.
  • The LFS have a bad habit of not appearing on the tracker sometimes so what the tracker reveals isn't always what's out. I noticed it happens the most on the 5, 15, 17 routes... If an LFS tracks on any of those routes but then disappears, that doesn't always mean it pulled in, it's very possible that it simply interlined onto another one of the three routes

That's all for now. Since it's so easy to travel to Binghamton I'll be doing it a lot more from now on and will provide updates as I learn about them/see them.

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2007 orion 7 ng hev demo ex-MTA 1292 is now with broome county transit. On the rear it still has the MTA’s 1292 stickers as well as the red color around the taillights. It has some of the BCT paint on at least the right side, but I wasn’t able to see anything else. FWIW, it’s not in service as it doesn’t have plates yet (at least on the rear, idk about the front)

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16 hours ago, Orion6025 said:

2007 orion 7 ng hev demo ex-MTA 1292 is now with broome county transit. On the rear it still has the MTA’s 1292 stickers as well as the red color around the taillights. It has some of the BCT paint on at least the right side, but I wasn’t able to see anything else. FWIW, it’s not in service as it doesn’t have plates yet (at least on the rear, idk about the front)

Interesting.  What color scheme is it in?  Given BC Transit's track record with used buses, I can't imagine they will repaint it anytime soon. 

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4 hours ago, RailBus63 said:

Interesting.  What color scheme is it in?  Given BC Transit's track record with used buses, I can't imagine they will repaint it anytime soon. 

All white but from what I could see, the blue/yellow stripe is painted on the bus. I couldn’t see the front so idk if it has BCT titles yet

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762 has been delivered. Does anyone know anything about this order of buses and what they will be replacing.
 

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I paid a visit to the garage yesterday and I've been doing a lot of tracking and got quite a few updates. We'll start with the small news first:

1. The 760s are in service as of January 2020 (I've been tracking them since early January). They're identical to the previous orders and are 2019 models.

2. Soon the 2014 Gilligs (Batch #1) are going to go through their midlife work (Hard to believe it's time for that already!)

Now for the bigger/more important things:

1. There are still Novas in service. It makes some sense since generally they required 5 Novas to make service over the past year (Well, nearly a year) usually to do the school runs (Which then interline into full normal route runs) and only received 5 2019 Gilligs (761-765) with the remaining Novas essentially just being their backups/spares. They are 9930, 3004, 3010, and 3025 and they still do make service, but they don't make it out every rush. A lot it has to do with how many Orions are ready which brings me to my next point...

2. With the reliability issues of the Orions, they're floating the idea of starting to retire some soon at a slow pace, especially with 2009s turning 12 next year. The plan for BCT is to get 3 new buses a year to continually refresh the fleet (That has been the plan for a few years, but the need to replace the unreliable Orion 6s and Nova LFS meant they got a boost to get 7 buses per year to accelerate fleet renewal). It really helps that BAE is just a couple miles away across the river, though.

3. 3 2019 Gillig Low Floor HEV hybrids are on their way in (621-623). 623 is already at the garage and its getting prepped to enter service shortly.

4. Now for Nova LFS retirement, there's some things that are definite and others that are more "gray". The disposal of 10 of the 14 (I confirmed the total number of buses purchased to be 14, FWIW those are: 3003,3004,3005,3010,3022,3025,3030,9901,9915,9918,9925,9927,9930,9932. I only learned of 9925 yesterday...) is underway. 9901, 9932 have already been removed (9932 was likely the first removed, since I thought 9915 was gone but it was in the deadline today...) and the remaining 8 are parked around the garage waiting for fate. When I was there, 3003 was being pushed into the garage to get leftover bits get picked off so it could be picked up after the weekend to go to the crusher. Now for the gray part, regarding the remaining 4 buses, they'll likely be retired this spring or summer (When is unclear).

5. They still have a 1998 Orion 6 on property FWIW, bus #2070. It never ran in service (And is still exactly as CDTA left it, paint, rollsign casings, etc.) and served as a parts source for years. Now it's basically their giant storage shed... Idk this isn't really relevant to their operations but I thought it was cool and worth mentioning here.

If you like things tabulated, everything’s on the wiki.

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On 1/25/2020 at 1:59 PM, Orion6025 said:

3. 3 2019 Gillig Low Floor HEV hybrids are on their way in (621-623). 623 is already at the garage and its getting prepped to enter service shortly.

aforementioned gilligs enter service tomorrow

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