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1 hour ago, TransitFocus said:

Grande West is just entering the US marketplace. If the success in Canada is any indication of how it will go in the US, the Vicinity will be very disruptive starting in 2017.

It will certainly have a distruptive effect (it might even kill off Eldorado, who knows?)

On the other hand it is important to note that Gillig and NFI still have some advantages. For example, a 29ft Gillig is certified for a longer service life that any of its 30ft competitors (at least 12 years, which is expandable with additional options). 

Also, although the MIDI has sort of flopped in terms of sales, larger authorities may want to stick with a manufacturer they trust more (I'm thinking of Septa, who ordered both MIDIs and Xcelciors). 

On the other hand, i'll be interested to see how smaller systems and private operators respond to Grande West's entry into the US Market.

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2 hours ago, WMATAC40LF said:

On the other hand, i'll be interested to see how smaller systems and private operators respond to Grande West's entry into the US Market.

Maintenance will be important. Will a 30' Vicinity be as straight forward to maintain and service as the typical Ford E-450 cutaway? As long as they aren't a nightmare to do basic repairs and PM with, and they offer some tangible advantages over a stock 16-25 passenger cutaway on Chevy or Ford truck chassis, they should do quite well among the small transit system operators.

My opinion is they might not win over a lot of customers who were/are buying Gillig LF 29'/35' or similar heavy-duty baby buses. What they probably will do well with are the customers looking for something more durable and nicer than large cutaways on medium duty truck chassis, but that don't want to go the heavy-duty 30' route. Price wise I believe some of the large cutaway units are around $200k now. So if a basic Vicinity is $250k then the extra $50k for better ride quality, low floor access, proper 'bus' appearance, and (hopefully!) better life span should be an easy sell.

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21 minutes ago, MVTArider said:

My opinion is they might not win over a lot of customers who were/are buying Gillig LF 29'/35' or similar heavy-duty baby buses. What they probably will do well with are the customers looking for something more durable and nicer than large cutaways on medium duty truck chassis, but that don't want to go the heavy-duty 30' route.

The Vicinity is 12 year Altoona tested. For all intents and purposes it is a heavy duty bus. It is advertised as a heavy duty bus, although, it certainly has won tenders that were geared towards lighter duty buses. If US agencies are awarding orders based upon lowest bid, then Grande West will give Gillig a run for their money by the looks of it.

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21 hours ago, M. Parsons said:

The Vicinity is 12 year Altoona tested. For all intents and purposes it is a heavy duty bus. It is advertised as a heavy duty bus, although, it certainly has won tenders that were geared towards lighter duty buses. If US agencies are awarding orders based upon lowest bid, then Grande West will give Gillig a run for their money by the looks of it.

True, however if they are competing on IFB/RFP with specs more suitable to Gillig's construction and material use, aftermarket support, track record, etc. then they may not be taking all their business. EZ-Rider II Max is 12/500,000 tested too and we've seen what's happening with those for some operators. We'll have to wait and see though for Vicinity longevity.

I rather liked the Vicinity I rode on the Agassiz-Harrison line. The one weak spot seemed to be the plug door, which I see can now be traded for slide/glide. I also thought the multi-part seats, with the back already coming off one, were a poor choice. However it looks like those can also be swapped for something standard like an InSight or CitiSeat. Overall I think they've got a good product for sure. It'll definitely shake up the cutaway-35' bus scene in the US if they play their cards right.

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On 2/6/2017 at 1:05 PM, MVTArider said:

True, however if they are competing on IFB/RFP with specs more suitable to Gillig's construction and material use, aftermarket support, track record, etc. then they may not be taking all their business. EZ-Rider II Max is 12/500,000 tested too and we've seen what's happening with those for some operators. We'll have to wait and see though for Vicinity longevity.

I rather liked the Vicinity I rode on the Agassiz-Harrison line. The one weak spot seemed to be the plug door, which I see can now be traded for slide/glide. I also thought the multi-part seats, with the back already coming off one, were a poor choice. However it looks like those can also be swapped for something standard like an InSight or CitiSeat. Overall I think they've got a good product for sure. It'll definitely shake up the cutaway-35' bus scene in the US if they play their cards right.

The Vicinity has a couple of weak spots, the driver dashboard being one of them.  It's too easy to accidentally rip out the switches (the mirror controls for one) from the dashboard, as the mirror adjustments were left dangling by a wire and I had to hold the ripped out base to adjust my mirrors.  The dashboard display glitches and goes blank so I cannot write the mileage down and have to turn off and switch on the bus again.  The dashboard display panel with the speedometer caved in completely deep into the dash, as the glue that secured the panel gave way.  The final weak spot was the weak engine (Cummins ISB at 220 to 240 hp), which had to power a bus that is almost has heavy as a fishbowl (the 30-foot Vicinity is a whopping 9.3 metric tonnes).  The engine is quiet and made nice bus sounds, the dash displayed the gear numbers changing as you accelerated the bus, but if you wanted a bus that can accelerate quickly from each stop to make up lost time, a Vicinity is not the bus for you.

Nevertheless it looks like a toy and was fun to drive.  For a mid-sized transit bus, it's a slow-accelerating bus but a fast highway cruiser (105 km/h) and rides very nicely.  It seems that everything is fairly durable except the fragile Made-in-China dashboard workmanship, design and plastic material.

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Is there any confirmation what configuration the Atlanta Airport Vicinity buses will be? Hearing 35' CNG?

I am aware there's already been a 35' prototype Vicinity around but will there be a CNG powered Vicinity prototype/demo?

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On 2/24/2017 at 9:54 AM, Silly Tilley said:

Is there any confirmation what configuration the Atlanta Airport Vicinity buses will be? Hearing 35' CNG?

I am aware there's already been a 35' prototype Vicinity around but will there be a CNG powered Vicinity prototype/demo?

Those will end up being CNG buses, @Silly Tilley. You are correct. Where did you hear?

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On 2/24/2017 at 0:54 PM, Silly Tilley said:

Is there any confirmation what configuration the Atlanta Airport Vicinity buses will be? Hearing 35' CNG?

I am aware there's already been a 35' prototype Vicinity around but will there be a CNG powered Vicinity prototype/demo?

CNG but I do not remember reading anything on length.

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Grande West is out with a news release announcing additional new orders for 20 more buses in Eastern Canada. It looks like these will be delivered in late 2017/early 2018. 

(2) Welland Transit 

(3) St John's NF Transit Commission 

(7) Burlington Transit

(8) Oakville Transit 

http://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/grande-west-receives-75-million-in-vicinity-orders-616211034.html

Of interest, the news release mentions 2017 deliveries have begun and I assume some of them will be Oakville, Burlington, Lethbridge, Grande Prairie, Orangeville as they all have outstanding orders that are to be delivered in early 2017.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Silly Tilley said:

Grande West is out with a news release announcing additional new orders for 20 more buses in Eastern Canada. It looks like these will be delivered in late 2017/early 2018. 

(2) Welland Transit 

(3) St John's NF Transit Commission 

(7) Burlington Transit

(8) Oakville Transit 

http://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/grande-west-receives-75-million-in-vicinity-orders-616211034.html

Of interest, the news release mentions 2017 deliveries have begun and I assume some of them will be Oakville, Burlington, Lethbridge, Grande Prairie, Orangeville as they all have outstanding orders that are to be delivered in early 2017.

 

 

Wow backlog of 267 buses that is more then New Flyer has for the MiDI 

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8 hours ago, TheAverageJoe said:

Wow backlog of 267 buses that is more then New Flyer has for the MiDI 

Who am I kidding, No way New Flyer made 267 MiDi's combined since they started selling the MiDi lol

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2 minutes ago, TheAverageJoe said:

Good point...thanks :P

I wonder why the MiDi isn't taking off like the Vicinity is. I would think part of it is price, but both products are new in the market. Maybe Grande West is marking better? For now though, I hold no favorite....maybe in a few years one will be able compare MiDi and Vicinity's qualities?

8 hours ago, TheAverageJoe said:

Wow backlog of 267 buses that is more then New Flyer has for the MiDI 

Hoe does Vicinity have a backlog? I thought the whole idea of using Yaxing MCC was to fill order capacity on an 'as-needed' basis? Yaxing is HUGE. Perhaps Grande West is being conservative in their production capacity investment?

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Well, there is the legacy of the SLF, another quality Alexander Dennis product.

transit buisness is a pretty small fishbowl. Word gets around. Fast.

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8 hours ago, TRENT_TRANSIT_SYSTEM said:

Good point...thanks :P

I wonder why the MiDi isn't taking off like the Vicinity is. I would think part of it is price, but both products are new in the market. Maybe Grande West is marking better? For now though, I hold no favorite....maybe in a few years one will be able compare MiDi and Vicinity's qualities?

Hoe does Vicinity have a backlog? I thought the whole idea of using Yaxing MCC was to fill order capacity on an 'as-needed' basis? Yaxing is HUGE. Perhaps Grande West is being conservative in their production capacity investment?

Price , New Flyer is getting killed on price and less Canadian content on the MiDi, Grande West is beating them on price, and even though its assembled in China it has more Canadian part/material content. MiDi is mostly American part/material content.

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2 hours ago, TheAverageJoe said:

Price , New Flyer is getting killed on price and less Canadian content on the MiDi, Grande West is beating them on price, and even though its assembled in China it has more Canadian part/material content. MiDi is mostly American part/material content.

Oh okay. Price I suspected. As for parts, MiDi is also alot of UK parts too yeah?

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6 hours ago, TRENT_TRANSIT_SYSTEM said:

Oh okay. Price I suspected. As for parts, MiDi is also alot of UK parts too yeah?

MIDIs are completely assembled at one of the NFI plants in Minnesota, probably using more American parts (some could be from ADL, though I'm really not sure). Vicinity bodies are built in China, with many mechanical components from elsewhere (US, Germany?) also being installed. The final assembly of things like the interior arrangement and of course paint is supposedly done in Canada, so neither are that Canadian, but technically a higher percentage of the vehicle is made in Canada. Do the expensive welding and body assembly in China with lower production costs, then complete the inexpensive finishing touches in Canada, and boom, you can offer competitive pricing. 

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On 3/16/2017 at 3:11 AM, TheAverageJoe said:

Price , New Flyer is getting killed on price and less Canadian content on the MiDi, Grande West is beating them on price, and even though its assembled in China it has more Canadian part/material content. MiDi is mostly American part/material content.

The price for the MiDi and Vicinity are quite close now, and in Prince Albert the Vicinity was more expensive - and still won the tender.

The MiDi is a revamp of the Dennis Dart, which Vicinity is taking out at BC Transit. MiDi is also based on a truck chassis, where the Vicinity is a true monocoque frame like traditional 40 foot buses and a true heavy duty product from how I understand it.   

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There are news articles floating around from MARTA in Atlanta that they have purchased 10 30ft Vicinity buses. The order will be handled through Grande West's US dealer (Alliance Bus). I assume these 10 buses are part of the 50 bus order that Alliance Bus has with Grande West. Currently they have had 3 30ft Vicinity buses listed in stock on their website. Quite a surprise. 

MARTA rolls out 30-foot buses for enhanced neighborhood service

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2 hours ago, Silly Tilley said:

There are news articles floating around from MARTA in Atlanta that they have purchased 10 30ft Vicinity buses. The order will be handled through Grande West's US dealer (Alliance Bus). I assume these 10 buses are part of the 50 bus order that Alliance Bus has with Grande West. Currently they have had 3 30ft Vicinity buses listed in stock on their website. Quite a surprise. 

MARTA rolls out 30-foot buses for enhanced neighborhood service

First sale of this magnitude in the US?

I'm curious about the quality and reliability over time.

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15 hours ago, MAX BRT said:

First sale of this magnitude in the US?

I'm curious about the quality and reliability over time.

This is Grande West's first US transit customer, certainly a major milestone for the company. The other customer is the Atlanta Airport where 13 35' CNG buses will be delivered in a few months.

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On 3/24/2017 at 8:17 PM, MAX BRT said:

First sale of this magnitude in the US?

I'm curious about the quality and reliability over time.

You have to wonder if these will turn out like the Thomas SLF or Champion Solo. Usually these ISB powered 30 footers last for less than 12 years. It is interesting that MARTA bough them though, so we'll just have to wait and see how they perform in the long run. 

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