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Considering how the Agency feels about Hybrids, I'm pretty sure that they will be leaning towards traditional Diesel powered coaches for awhile.

How do they feel about hybrids? I hadn't read anything officially from the agency about them.

CT only owns 15 DE60LFA coaches (for Swift I) and 15 XDE60 coaches. I figured they didn't purchase hybrid coaches because of the higher upfront costs and the seeming difficulty of finding federal or state funding to pay for that extra cost.

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Spotted at Merrill Creek base. CT 17112 at Merrill Creek Base by SounderBruce, on Flickr CT 17802 at Merrill Creek Base by SounderBruce, on Flickr

Some shots of the new Gilligs.  

Well, here. While we're talking of New Flyers "moving on" from Community Transit, I stumbled across these photos of the 1995 D60 artics. These workhorses came and went -- not too much reminiscing

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How do they feel about hybrids? I hadn't read anything officially from the agency about them.

CT only owns 15 DE60LFA coaches (for Swift I) and 15 XDE60 coaches. I figured they didn't purchase hybrid coaches because of the higher upfront costs and the seeming difficulty of finding federal or state funding to pay for that extra cost.

You won't read anything officially from us. The 15 XDE40s were partially funded through the TIGGER Project funding which was $200,000 per bus. From a maintenance standpoint we felt that there was no benefit from continuing the tread of ordering Hybrid coaches. The intervals between road calls on our Hybrids are significantly higher than the traditional buses.

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Agencies with small fleets of hybrid buses (CT, TriMet, Whatcom just to name a few) seem to have many maintenance issues. King County Metro has the largest fleet of hybrid buses in the nation and seems to have very few issues.

So what's the difference?

Has KCM figured out how to maintain hybrids better? Do they get more support from the manufacturers? Or are the issues with hybrids at KCM not being publicly reported?

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Agencies with small fleets of hybrid buses (CT, TriMet, Whatcom just to name a few) seem to have many maintenance issues. King County Metro has the largest fleet of hybrid buses in the nation and seems to have very few issues.

So what's the difference?

Has KCM figured out how to maintain hybrids better? Do they get more support from the manufacturers? Or are the issues with hybrids at KCM not being publicly reported?

I have no idea how King County Metro's maintenance department operates. Whatever works, works. It's like the old saying, "If the shoe fits."

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Some notes from the CT Board Meeting I attended today:

  • Merrill Creek has a whole bunch of the new XD60s sitting out in the yard next to a few of the newer Double Talls awaiting service entry.
  • Something like 300 new coach drivers will need to be hired for the next two service changes.
  • CT is paying an average of $1/gal. for diesel fuel (as of January 2016), well below budget
  • Apparently there's a new windscreen up at Stanwood's Amtrak station that was donated by Community Transit
  • Fleet expansion: 63 new buses over the next few years. Probably all 40- and 60-footers.

New routes proposed:

Route 109 (Ash Way-Mill Creek-Snohomish-Lake Stevens)

109proposed%20Guide%20small-01.jpg

Route 209 (Lake Stevens-Marysville-Quil Ceda): a revived 221

209proposed%20Guide%20small-01.jpg

Other changes listed here on the website: http://www.communitytransit.org/newservice/

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CT sent out an April Fools Email today:

Community Transit to Celebrate 40th Anniversary with Original Routing

04/01/2016 07:36 AM PDT

It is well-known lore at Community Transit that when the Snohomish County transit agency started business in 1976 it did not have any specific routes.
“The early drivers were given a bus and told to go out in the community, near major landmarks and shopping centers, and find people who looked like they needed a ride,” recalled CEO Emmett Heath.
Over the past four decades, those early roots have given way to more sophisticated operations. Today, Community Transit is one of the major transportation agencies in the Puget Sound region, serving 10 million passengers in 2015 with 44 well-defined bus routes.
Later this year, the agency will celebrate its 40th anniversary. A week of rider-focused events is planned for the first week of October. On the agency’s actual birthdate – October 4– Community Transit will honor its past by returning to original routing for that one day.
“We have quite a few more buses today than we had in 1976, so it will be interesting to see how this works out,” said Heath.
The plan is to have bus drivers check in at their usual time, then take a bus and follow their instincts as to where people might be needing a lift. While park & rides seem like an obvious location for potential riders, they didn’t exist in the ‘70s, so drivers will be told to avoid them for authenticity’s sake.
“We want our riders to experience what it was really like to use our service that first day,” said Heath.
Regular routes and schedules will resume on October 5. Later that week, riders will be treated to a forward-looking event when all buses will be put on auto-pilot.
Happy April Fools’ Day!

Oct 4 routing map.jpg

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3 minutes ago, Blue Bus Fan said:

Saw an XD60 on the 860 don't know what number. 

Saw two this afternoon at around 4pm, one (16809) was on an 871, and the other (16805) I can't remember what it was on because I was in the middle of filming a video.

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11 hours ago, pnwelevator said:

Got a chance to take a ride on 16803 this afternoon on Rt. 860, I'll have the video up sometime tomorrow afternoon for everybody to see!

-Jack (pnwelevator)

www.youtube.com/pnwelevator

16803.JPG

Alright the video of 16803 is up now, here's the link, enjoy everyone!!!

 

 

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16 hours ago, Blue Bus Fan said:

I kinda find this odd that Community Transit is switching to Gillig for 40 ft buses when they were a long time customer to NFI since 1995. I could see them reverting back to NFI in the future. 

I'm starting to sound like a broken record on this, however major capital projects like vehicle purchases are usually put out for bid, or "piggybacked" onto another agency or purchasing entity's contract. So it would depend if they wrote a new spec and gillig got it, or if they piggybacked off another agency's (or the state's) contract for gillig coaches. There are many reasons why they could have changed, it could have been as simple as low bid or overall price and production availability, they could have had technical difficulty with the XD40s or experienced operational difficulty, or their contract with New Flyer could have simply expired and they chose to use another contract from someone else instead of reinventing the wheel. Lots of reasons why. And besides, they have had 30ft gillig's for some time so its not like gillig's are new to the property.

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