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La Crosse MTU (La Crosse, WI)


MVTArider
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My final stop was in the city of La Crosse, WI to see the new hybrid buses added to the La Crosse Municipal Transit Utility (MTU) fleet earlier this year. The MTU fleet is now entirely Gillig LF 35' units, years 2001, 2002, 2007 and 2013:

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Maybe it's because they're still new, but the two hybrid buses I rode were tight! No rattles, squeaks or anything, even on the choppy roads. ISB/Allison H 40EP hybrid system of course. I think it's cool they went with standard sliding windows as well.

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Maybe it's because they're still new, but the two hybrid buses I rode were tight! No rattles, squeaks or anything, even on the choppy roads. ISB/Allison H 40EP hybrid system of course. I think it's cool they went with standard sliding windows as well.

Thank you for sharing. I believe a lot of the rattle comes from the side skirt panels outside. As the bus gets older, the panels become looser. Notice how 1107 has the recessed line that runs under the windshield. That line is usually seen on the older style Low Floors pre 2002.

Just looking at the photos of the new Gillig, I can see why they can underbid the others. The bus looks cheaper--no extra money spent on fashionable design or weight saving, headlights, wheels, etc.

I can see what you are saying. One of the only major North American bus manufacturers that still uses square sealed beam headlights. The low beams on the hybrids look like LED though. However, Novabus still offers round sealed beam headligts, which look pretty modern.
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  • 7 years later...

Some retired MTU buses up for auction:

2001 Gillig Low Floor 1104 15GGB181X11072551 738,269 miles*

2002 Gillig Low Floor 1106 15GGB181221072271 770,555 miles*

2002 Gillig Low Floor 1107 15GGB181421072272 755,220 miles*

2002 Gillig Low Floor 1108 15GGB181621072273 711,839 miles* (scraped for parts)

*Mileage may not be accurate

The MTU did get some new buses a few years ago, clean diesel Gilligs.

Additionally this news report from April 1st, 2021 mentions more clean diesel, 2 hybrids, and 2 electrics being added this fall; La Crosse Tribune Article

Quote

And it's only one step in the city's work to keep bringing more environmentally friendly buses online, with new clean diesel buses hitting the road shortly, and more hybrid buses coming soon, in addition to the two new electric.

 

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  • 11 months later...

Observations from a visit to La Crosse last month;

From what I can gather additions from the last few years are,

1401-1404 2019 Gillig LF 35'

1501-1506 2021 Gillig LF 35' (not sure of the exact amount in this order, there may be additional units)

Both series feature the new lime green base which was chosen to promote the bio-diesel and cleaner exhaust aspects.

2002 Gillig LF 35' 1109 and 1111 were still in service.

La Crescent Apple Express route 10 is operated by an ARBOC SOM cutaway.

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As far as service, the only major change to the system is the addition of a new ciculator route connecting some key shopping, work, and community destinations with the downtown transfer spot at Grand River Station. The route is branded as MTU Go and is operated as two routes, Ciculator 1 running clockwise and Ciculator 2 running counterclockwise. Both run on a 30 minute frequency and pulse at GRS with the other MTU routes on the :12/:42.

Finally, after some delay, MTU did debut their new Proterra units during a special press conference on April 20th: (Yes, of course it would be the following week after I visit. Hope to see them next time :) )

MTU La Crosse unveils first pair of electric busses (News 19 WXOW)

These are 1601 and 1602.

 

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