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Roam Transit (Banff & Canmore, AB)


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Was fortunate to get some really awesome shooting conditions this morning with some fresh overnight snow, but a clear blue morning sky in Canmore. Some Route 5 Pictures here. But what was a bit more

some photos from my journey to Banff/Canmore

The ex-CT Eldorado made it to Banff at some point in the last couple of months.

Posted Images

Basically anyone in Canada (except cutaway buses) could get this one here, maybe whoever can deliver the fastest even. So maybe a company like Eldardo or Bluebird since they can probably deliver quicker then New Flyer, Orion or NovaBus given they are more popular.

For anyone who hasn't seen the 3 buses currently operated by Banff Transit (inlcuidng myself), better get out there soon! This order is probably for replacement, as I don't think they need 7 buses for such a small system.

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The Bluebird Ultra LF, ElDorado National Axess and ElDorado National E-Z-Rider II are all Altoona 12 year certified according to their respective websites. I'm thinking either of those two companies might be able to build and deliver 4 buses quicker then the big 3 companies. Unless the order can jump the queue for the big 3 companies.

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For anyone who hasn't seen the 3 buses currently operated by Banff Transit (inlcuidng myself), better get out there soon! This order is probably for replacement, as I don't think they need 7 buses for such a small system.

Funny thing is... me and Peter were just talking about making a trip out there!

I would bet Nova might take a stab at this order. They might be able to make the delivery date too. New Flyer... not as likely for the delivery date, especially if they were going to be building a lot more buses for ETS this year than their usual 35-50.

Having said that, all the small bus builders probably would like a chance to get their products out west.

I'm curious how the winner will be selected. I'm sure a builder like Blue Bird will be able to provide a 35' bus for less money than a 40' LFS, however, the LFS might be the better of the two when the dollar for dollar value of the bus is considered.

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Council approves purchase of hybrid buses

Environmentally friendlier transit option opposed by two of six council members present

http://www.banffcragandcanyon.com/News/300943.html

"Public transit in Banff will be done on hybrid buses next year after Banff council agreed to spend extra money to purchase the environmentally friendlier option.

The town was slated to buy four new buses and had set aside $1.64 million for them -- $1.2 million of which came from a transit grant -- but council decided to spend an additional $970,000 for the hybrid diesel electric version."

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Well maybe they are having a 15 minute service.

Or most likley they will keep the Orion`s and the flyer for backup.

Thats a reasonable guess I suppose, but I personally am doubtful

They don't seem to take care of the buses as well as they could. The ridership isin't really there to increase the service frequency either.

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Banff update... from a few weeks ago. We didn't see a single "transit" bus in service. Only the small shuttle type things that Pinnacle operates (no BT&T buses either). 1 Orion and the D40 were parked at the BT&T lot. One Orion might have been in Calgary for some work.

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Thats a reasonable guess I suppose, but I personally am doubtful

They don't seem to take care of the buses as well as they could. The ridership isin't really there to increase the service frequency either.

If you look there are three routes and three buses. Now if one breaks down then what do you do?

And another question: What are the trolley buses used for in Branff?

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If you look there are three routes and three buses. Now if one breaks down then what do you do?

And another question: What are the trolley buses used for in Branff?

If one or more breaks down or for whatever reason are not sent out, there is a backup fleet. This consists of one or two of Pinnacle's Eldorado Escort RE buses. Also, prior to Banff buying the 3 used buses, they operated a few replica trolley buses, powered by internal combustion engines of course. So that is their backup fleet.

I am going speculate that Banff Transit is not overly pleased with the two Orion I's and the D40 they have right now, given the relatively high time spent undergoing repairs/other work. They may just very well have picked up some buses that were abused a little too much in California. Again speculation here, they are likely hoping that new buses will be more reliable and will be spending less time in the ships and best of all will have warrienties that come with them.

The point is, the current used transit buses (2 Orion I's and D40's) will not likely see any regular service once the 4 new buses come in. Unless there are immediate plans to expand, but the current system covers the town well. The current buses may very well be kept as spares, but like I said earlier, they certainly could be taking better care of them if that is the case. Or, maybe they are taking good care of them, but they just bought a bunch of lemons.

Replica trolleys were the transit buses before they got the used transit buses from California. Currently they serve as backup buses or you could probably charter one if you wanted.

Here is a picture of one of the replica trolleys, operating on transit service, back in 2003

banff-transit-1.jpg

Here is an example of one of the Pinnacle Eldorado Escort RE buses operating transit service, a common sight.

pinnacle_304-2.jpg

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Since we're doing some speculating...

Me and Peter have been wondering if Pinnacle might be operating Banff Transit now.

As my post above noted, none of the "regular" transit buses were running, on Pinnacle's. Also, at least one Pinnacle bus had "Banff Transit" above the windsheild (although, not the one in the pic I posted)

Further, I believe Peter mentioned BT&T was having problems staffing.

Maybe for one reason or another Pinnacle has the contract now.

DSC07232.JPG

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Unless the delivery continue for the new contractor, then I'll decide when the time comes.

Yea, but as far as we know, the buses being operated are still the 3 used transit buses from California whenever possible. It is not like they are voluntarily not running them. It is just that the buses themselves have not proven to be reliable enough to be running all the time. Whether or not Pinnacle or Banff Trans. Tours has the contract is irrevelvent, same equipment either way.

And with the new hybrids coming in, you can pretty much be assured that they will be on the road whenever possible.

So Banff is worth checking out still, if not for the buses, atleast for the scenery and all the motorcoaches, if your into that...

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Whether or not Pinnacle or Banff Trans. Tours has the contract is irrevelvent, same equipment either way.

We don't know that for sure, I don't think. It would appear BT&T maintains the Banff Transit buses. It's possible BT&T owns those buses as well. Could be part of the contract to run the service. Whoever has the contract provides the buses. Could also be that BT&T is subcontracting Pnnacle right now.

Anyways, while trying to confirm that, found this document. Look down the page... there's info on the hybrid purchase including a pic of a LFS hybrid.

http://www.banff.ca/Assets/PDFs/Town+Hall+...+2007-04-10.pdf

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Banff update... from a few weeks ago. We didn't see a single "transit" bus in service. Only the small shuttle type things that Pinnacle operates (no BT&T buses either). 1 Orion and the D40 were parked at the BT&T lot. One Orion might have been in Calgary for some work.

cruising the archives of the Banff Cragg and Canyon website I noticed an article that might correspond to the lack of bus sightings.

http://cgi.bowesonline.com/pedro.php?id=65...&xid=352031

Contract dispute stalls buses 4 days

By Kevin Duncan

Kevin@thecrag.ca

Tuesday November 06, 2007

A contract dispute that caused a four-day interruption to bus service is unlikely to be resolved.

The town is remaining mum on the reasons that a contract dispute erupted with Banff Transportation and Tours.

“There was some contractual terms that could not be resolved so we basically started to look at alternatives,” said Evelyne Labelle, Banff’s manager of engineering.

“We were able to find an alternative and we have a new temporary provider with Pinnacle Tours, who started resuming service first thing Monday morning.”

Banff Transportation and Tours has provided bus service since 1994 and had a deal for operational duties until April 30 of 2008. That contract ended last week and now Pinnacle will temporarily provide service until May 1, when Brewster takes over.

Pinnacle Tours has been providing service for the town in a small capacity throughout the summer and they expressed interest in continuing with that service.

But the mutual agreement between the Town of Banff and former service provider Banff Transportation Tours left locals without public transit service from Thursday to Sunday.

A spokesperson with Banff Transportation and Tours said only that they made attempts on their end to resolve the issues.

They said that although the final decision to cease the contract was a mutual one, there was not a lot of efforts put forth from the town.

Upon the announcement of the interruption of service, the Town of Banff notified local hotels, businesses and partners and also posted an announcement at each bus stop in town notifying users of the interruption.

The interruption comes on the heels of the announcement that Brewster will officially take over operation of the transit service when the hybrid buses become operational.

The Town of Banff engineering department sent out requests for proposals in January and after evaluating the Brewster offer, combined with countless meetings of clarification, they selected them as the preferred option and submitted the report to council in June.

“We didn’t divulge at the time that it was Brewster because we were embarking on negotiations at the time and we hadn’t yet finalized the contract,” said Labelle.

“The main aspect of choosing Brewster was their record of customer service.”

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