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MVTArider

Cities Area Transit - Grand Forks, ND

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While returning from Winnipeg I had the chance to stop in Grand Forks, North Dakota to check out their transit system. Cities Area Transit, or CAT, serves Grand Forks with a fleet of roughly a dozen or so fixed-route buses. One bus, 114, is operated on behalf of East Grand Forks, MN and used exclusively on the EGF route.

CAT runs a basic hub system with Columbia Mall and the downtown Metro Transit Center serving as the two main transfer points.

The CAT fleet consists of four 2010 New Flyer units, two hybrid DE35LFR, 103-104, and two D35LFR, 105-106. 2003 Gillig LF 29', 31, 2004 Gillig LF 29', 42, 2009 ARBOC 91, 2011 ARBOC 112, 2011 Ford/Goshen 113, and EGF ARBOC 114. Recently retired units are 974-977, New Flyer D35LF. 974 was sitting outside the garage, allegedly it was sold back in 2011 according to their TDP so I'm not sure what the deal is with it.

Here are some photos of their fleet, as well as their transfer center and a bus stop sign:

14231827352_13948d687a_t.jpg 14047464869_7e709e6f98_t.jpg 14233862464_af80df6d76_t.jpg 14047505460_f5f60e0208_t.jpg 14210972296_4ea60521bf_t.jpg 14231831262_bd83364231_t.jpg14047507430_9029155a21_t.jpg14254295653_549e65b064_t.jpg14230815381_23585cc7ee_t.jpg14047411658_e4ed08fce1_t.jpg14047459990_39e5dd8d48_t.jpg14047417349_6b4f0cca99_t.jpg

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Cities Area Transit has purchased 2 30' Enviro 200 buses from ADL. Cities Area Transit is leading a multi year procurement for buses along with several other transit agencies. The RFP asked for pricing on 30' and 35' medium duty buses and ADL's base price was $371,565 for a 30' bus and $381,938 for a 35' bus. The 2 30' Enviro 200 to Cities Area Transit specification come in at a estimated cost of $357,477.

Cities Area Transit is also purchasing 2 XD35 Xcelsior buses, with the base price being $498,960 and cost for Cities Area Transit specification is $472,906.

The 4 buses will replace a 1997 D35LF, 2 2003/2004 Gillig low floors, and a 2009 Arboc bus.

Grand Forks staff report recommending purchase with pricing sheet

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Looks like eastern North Dakota really loves 35ft. New Flyer's!  By the way here comes my photo chronicle on Grand Fork's Cities Area Transit:

During my brief stop in Grand Forks, neither DE35LFR was in service.  On the other hand, both of the elderly baby Gillig Low Floor's were out and about.  13-years old bus 42 was spotted at Columbia Mall, while its 14-years old sister bus 31 was spotted at the downtown transfer center.  Meanwhile, both D35LFR's, 105 and 106 were spotted at Columbia Mall and downtown respectively.  I had also spotted 2009 Arboc bus 91 (which is slated to be replaced by one of the new buses) in both downtown and University of North Dakota campus (attached shot was taken at the latter location).  While the dedicated East Grand Forks Arboc bus 114 was not spotted, sister bus 112 of the same vintage (new in 2011) was spotted on the routes 10/11 pairing serving East Grand Forks in downtown.  Finally, it also operates a 2016 Ford/Starcraft cutaway 161 (spotted at Columbia Mall) for the routes 12/13 pairing.

GFCAT-r09-42-2.JPGGFCAT-r03-31-1.JPGGFCAT-r05-105-3.JPGGFCAT-r04-106-1.JPGGFCAT-r02-91.JPGGFCAT-r10-112-2.JPGGFCAT-r12-161-1.JPG

Operationally, routes 3 and 5 are operated on their own without interlining.  These 2 routes and the routes 4/6 pairing tend to see the 35ft. New Flyers (except that baby Gillig bus 31 appeared on route 3 during my visit instead).   Other than the aforementioned routes 10/11 and 12/13 pairings, the routes 1/2 pairing tend to see an Arboc bus, while the routes 8/9 pairing tend to see a baby Gillig.

Here is the link to my Flickr gallery on Cities Area Transit:

Cities Area Transit (Grand Forks, North Dakota)

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2003 GILLIG LF 31 15GGE221131090574 https://www.govdeals.com/index.cfm?fa=Main.Item&itemid=19&acctid=9543

2004 GILLIG LF 42 15GGE291541090925 https://www.govdeals.com/index.cfm?fa=Main.Item&itemid=20&acctid=9543

31 was still in service when I was there at the end of May, not sure if something came in to replace it or if they were just running it until it conked out. The mileage on both units is impressive, 42 has 508,248. I doubt either has been refurbed either.

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On 8/20/2019 at 9:51 PM, MVTArider said:

2003 GILLIG LF 31 15GGE221131090574 https://www.govdeals.com/index.cfm?fa=Main.Item&itemid=19&acctid=9543

2004 GILLIG LF 42 15GGE291541090925 https://www.govdeals.com/index.cfm?fa=Main.Item&itemid=20&acctid=9543

31 was still in service when I was there at the end of May, not sure if something came in to replace it or if they were just running it until it conked out. The mileage on both units is impressive, 42 has 508,248. I doubt either has been refurbed either.

This leaves Bis-Man Transit (Bismarck) as the last Gillig operator in North Dakota!  And according to its Transit Development Plan, Gillig LF bus 403 has been retired.  It and possibly another of the pioneering 2004 buses are being replaced by a couple of Alexander Dennis Enviro 200's according to this Facebook post (numbered 1909 and 1910).  Coincidentally, Grand Forks is about to place two similar buses into service as well.

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