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Roam Transit (Banff & Canmore, AB)

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I saw a ROAM vinicity in a wrap but no destination signs working on Hwy 1 driving WB on Monday on my way back from BC. Dunno if was in service or not and since I was driving I could not get a pic

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Some images of ROAM's first Vicinity delivered a couple of months ago.  The second one was still at the yard and is still plain white. Rode the wrapped one yesterday and there was no indication of fleet numbers anywhere inside or outside the bus.

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The unwrapped one looks better... way less tacky than the wrapped version...

IMO they should stick to keeping a simple livery on these minibuses.

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8 hours ago, BCT-3122-D800-10240 said:

Some images of ROAM's first Vicinity delivered a couple of months ago.  The second one was still at the yard and is still plain white. Rode the wrapped one yesterday and there was no indication of fleet numbers anywhere inside or outside the bus.

I meant to add to this post earlier that it appeared that they were a little tight on equipment yesterday while I was in Banff.  One diesel Nova was on the route 1, the other diesel Nova was on the 3.  The wrapped Vicinity was on the route 1 as well and one of the Hybrid Nova's was working on the route 2.  The other two hybrids were not out at all and that vicinity was running with at least 38 to 40 people on it at one time while I was riding it.

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I rode the local Canmore service this weekend. Took it mid-day Saturday and early Sunday. Was well patronized, a dozen people on board throughout my trip. Service is free locally in Canmore until 2017. 

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That's nice to hear! I rode it last Friday towards the end of rush hour for a complete loop and it was well used then, too - we carried a total of 40 people in the 1h10m it took to do the round trip. Ridership seemed to be higher coming and going from the Cougar Creek/east leg of the route.

Quite a nice ride aboard the Cougar (Vicinity) bus too, and there were stop announcements playing (at every stop!) which I haven't previously heard on any Roam bus.

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I was in Canmore and Banff last night and it appears Roam has acquired at least one new Nova - it's in a white wrap, didn't see what type of animal but it looked like most of the windows were left uncovered. No back window on the bus.

The other Vicinity is now wrapped, also in a white wrap. Looks sharp!

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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 interesting in the day was what was at the garage in Banff. If you look at the attached photo, the Nova in the middle has been spotted before in service. However, I think the one on the left and the one on the right (without livery) are certainly not known. So 3 new diesel Nova LFS. This brings the LFS fleet total currently to 8 (3 2008 HEV units, 2 2012 Diesel units and now 3 2016-17 Diesel units).

 

 

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There should be 3 new LFS's in Banff now for increased service this summer, plus, apparently 1 Calgary Transit bus has been purchased. It's getting an engine replacement at Cummins, so, perhaps a 2001 or newer!? Possibly 1-2 more to follow. For the Lake Minnewanka service.

Southland will be providing Calgary - Banff again this summer with the On It branded coaches, so, apparently that livery lives on for a while.

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4 minutes ago, M. Parsons said:

There should be 3 new LFS's in Banff now for increased service this summer, plus, apparently 1 Calgary Transit bus has been purchased. It's getting an engine replacement at Cummins, so, perhaps a 2001 or newer!?

Southland will be providing Calgary - Banff again this summer with the On It branded coaches, so, apparently that livery lives on for a while.

The Roam website does not have the summer 2018 schedules online yet, but there is a page on Future Services that lists 3 potential routes serving the larger park. The first route to Lake Minnewanka was implemented in 2017. The other two routes are one connecting Banff to Lake Louise via Hwy 1A, and the other is a Lake Louise local route to Moraine Lake. If they're getting 3 new buses, I suspect both those Lake Louise routes will be implemented this year.

Roam only has a 12 bus fleet, and last year their peak requirement was for 8 buses (plus a second bus on route 6 was operated by Southland). An extra spare bus would not be a bad idea if there will be more than 2 buses required for the two new routes (or if the second bus on route 6 is operated by Roam this season).

4 minutes ago, M. Parsons said:

Southland will be providing Calgary - Banff again this summer with the On It branded coaches, so, apparently that livery lives on for a while.

Southland was given ownership of the On-It branding as part of the agreement to terminate the commuter service contract earlier this year. I heard something about the change in On-It's ownership would necessitate a retendering of the Calgary-Banff service contract for 2018, but haven't seen anything awarded.

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28 minutes ago, Articulated said:

 The other two routes are one connecting Banff to Lake Louise via Hwy 1A, and the other is a Lake Louise local route to Moraine Lake. If they're getting 3 new buses, I suspect both those Lake Louise routes will be implemented this year.

The Lake Louise services are budgeted for 2019 at this point. For that, there's a separate tender out for vehicles for those routes which I can't make head nor tails or right now. They want coaches with seating for 50, plus low floor wheelchair access. Seems like it's more of a feeler for what the industry has available, and I guess if they find what they want they can buy it, or, go back to the drawing board.

No details yet, but there is a plan to refurb their hybrids in 2018 which I'm sure would make it helpful to have an extra spare bus around for while one of those is a way, although, everything I've seen is that these 3 buses are strictly for 2018 service increases.

There are also plans for buses for a parking lot shuttle. Details I believe are in the capital budgets (for which there is very little information for a Lake Louise service).

28 minutes ago, Articulated said:

Southland was given ownership of the On-It branding as part of the agreement to terminate the commuter service contract earlier this year. I heard something about the change in On-It's ownership would necessitate a retendering of the Calgary-Banff service contract for 2018, but haven't seen anything awarded.

I was curious how/ why Southland would  keep those buses branded as such until the summer and how they could continue to use that branding. Make sense now though. I could see Southland using that branding for their commuter services in the future. Smart of them.

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2 minutes ago, M. Parsons said:

The Lake Louise services are budgeted for 2019 at this point. For that, there's a separate tender out for vehicles for those routes which I can't make head nor tails or right now. They want coaches with seating for 50, plus low floor wheelchair access. Seems like it's more of a feeler for what the industry has available, and I guess if they find what they want they can buy it, or, go back to the drawing board.

No details yet, but there is a plan to refurb their hybrids in 2018 which I'm sure would make it helpful to have an extra spare bus around for while one of those is a way.

That contract certainly sounds tailored towards MCI's new coach.

Thanks for the details regarding Roam. The ex-Calgary bus makes sense to replace the hybrids while they are out for refurb. Curious what the three new Novas are for then, if there isn't going to be any new routes this year. Maybe additional local service?

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23 minutes ago, Articulated said:

That contract certainly sounds tailored towards MCI's new coach.

Thanks for the details regarding Roam. The ex-Calgary bus makes sense to replace the hybrids while they are out for refurb. Curious what the three new Novas are for then, if there isn't going to be any new routes this year. Maybe additional local service?

I didn't realize that MCI low floor thing could do 50+ with 2 wheelchairs. Frankly, I assumed it would be less than 50.

The ex Calgary bus at this point is specifically meant for the Lake Minnewanka service, which as you noted, they need a contracted bus to operate on last year. Presumably a few spares to back up that service, and hybrid refurbishing, could be why they are looking at 1-2 more ex Calgary buses. 

Service increases are 1 bus for each of the Route 1 and 2, plus presumably 1 spare.

I dug up some intel on their GreenTrip plans which I apparently I didn't post here. This is from about a year ago. 

GreenTrip Project List: 

Received funding for:

Park and Ride development (2 lots) 2018-2019

Phase 1 fleet increase (3 buses) 2017-2018

Phase 2 fleet increase (2 buses) 2019-2020

Shuttle services buses for park and ride lots. 2 lots X 2 buses  + 1 spare = 5 buses 2018-2020

That's additional 10 buses in a few short years.

Canmore fleet for spare capactiy and growth 2 buses 2018-2019 

ID9 Fleet for Banff/ Lake Louise transit service 4 buses 2018-2019

ID9 Additional fleet for Lake Louise Local service 3 buses 2018-2019

ID9 Park and Ride development Lake Louise 2018-2019

Summary is 14 new buses between 2017-2020. 5 for Banff service increase, 5 for park and ride service, 2 for Canmore, and 7 for Lake Louise service.

2017 purchases are planned at $575,000/ bus.

2018 purchases are planned at $610,000/ bus.

2019 purchases are planned at $625,000/ bus.

Frankly, I'll be surprised if all of this comes to pass, but, they do have the funding from the provincial government. The coach with low floor wheelchair access tender is for up to 4 units so that does match the plans from a year ago for the Banff/ Lake Louise fleet.

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