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Bee Line - Westchester County NY


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Surprised to see that we don't have a don't already have a thread for one of the major transit providers in the New York City metropolitan area.

A few recent news items:

County announces new five-year contract with Liberty Lines to operate the Bee Line system: https://www.lohud.com/story/news/transit/2018/08/27/bee-line-new-contract-liberty-lines/1108680002/

78 New Flyer hybrid Xcelsior buses being delivered: https://mamaroneck.dailyvoice.com/news/westchester-adds-78-diesel-electric-buses/742355/.  These will replace the 2002-03 Neoplan AN460 articulated buses. 

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For those of you that dont know,

77 out of the 78 Neoplan AN460's have been retired, the last remaining is unit #577 and will continue to operate until summer 2020.

14 units were purchased by DASH to use on the WMATA Blue/Yellow Line shutdown of 2019 as well as other routes.

2 units were purchased by private owners in NY, which are #555 and #568.

A special fan trip is being planned by one of the owners in summer 2020, more info will be posted here.

All 78 XDE60's have been delivered and entered service, however 322 suffered an accident and was sent back to the factory to be repaired. 302 was the first test bus, and 378 was delivered last. Some of the XDE60's feature different side sign placements.

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On 2/10/2020 at 8:57 PM, The7exp said:

For those of you that dont know,

77 out of the 78 Neoplan AN460's have been retired, the last remaining is unit #577 and will continue to operate until summer 2020.

14 units were purchased by DASH to use on the WMATA Blue/Yellow Line shutdown of 2019 as well as other routes.

2 units were purchased by private owners in NY, which are #555 and #568.

A special fan trip is being planned by one of the owners in summer 2020, more info will be posted here.

All 78 XDE60's have been delivered and entered service, however 322 suffered an accident and was sent back to the factory to be repaired. 302 was the first test bus, and 378 was delivered last. Some of the XDE60's feature different side sign placements.

Is there any plans for Bee Lines to buy new 35 and 40 foot buses to replace their remaining Orion Vs and Orion VII OG hybrids?

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On 2/22/2020 at 6:57 PM, Chris.A said:

Is there any plans for Bee Lines to buy new 35 and 40 foot buses to replace their remaining Orion Vs and Orion VII OG hybrids?

There are but the contract hasn't been awarded yet. It will most likely go to New Flyer again.

 

On 2/22/2020 at 7:19 PM, Orion6025 said:

I like how they used my picture lmao.

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Update:

Former DASH Neoplan AN460's 604, 606, 609 and 611 were taken to a scrap yard. 606/611 have been somewhat crushed, 604 has it's back smashed apart, and 609 is still in good condition.

577 still remains active running on the lower Westchester routes only, such as the W1/2/3/4/7/20/21/60/61/62.

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4 hours ago, GojiMet86 said:

New Flyer has won the contract with Bee-Line.

Base order is for 66 XDE40, with options for 52 XDE40 and 10 XDE35.

https://www.newflyer.com/content/2021/02/westchester-county-awards-new-flyer-a-contract-for-up-to-128-hybrid-electric-xcelsior-transit-buses/?

Wow, very interesting find indeed. I assume these buses are meant for delivery for 2022-2024? So I suppose that the Xcelsior hybrid order will fully replace the following:

-The 2004-2005 Orion V diesels #116-136

-2006 Orion VII OG hybrids #201-204

and most 2006 Orion Vs Diesels in the #601-704. 

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7 hours ago, Chris.A said:

Wow, very interesting find indeed. I assume these buses are meant for delivery for 2022-2024? So I suppose that the Xcelsior hybrid order will fully replace the following:

-The 2004-2005 Orion V diesels #116-136

-2006 Orion VII OG hybrids #201-204

and most 2006 Orion Vs Diesels in the #601-704. 

It looks destined to wipe all of them out. I wonder what will replace the 800s. Maybe MCI coaches? Or perhaps more New Flyers with suburban seating.

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12 hours ago, GojiMet86 said:

New Flyer has won the contract with Bee-Line.

Base order is for 66 XDE40, with options for 52 XDE40 and 10 XDE35.

https://www.newflyer.com/content/2021/02/westchester-county-awards-new-flyer-a-contract-for-up-to-128-hybrid-electric-xcelsior-transit-buses/?

Makes sense - Nova doesn't offer anything shorter than a 40-foot bus, and Gillig winning the order would have been a surprise. 

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8 hours ago, RailBus63 said:

Makes sense - Nova doesn't offer anything shorter than a 40-foot bus, and Gillig winning the order would have been a surprise. 

Well you never know, cause NICE is supposedly getting 60+ Advantage CNGs within the next year or two....

 

As for Bee Lines's new hybrids I could see them being numbered like this:

2022-2023 XDE40s #401-519

2023 XDE35s #101-110

(And just because it was stated a few months ago)

2021-2022 XE40s #901-902.

9 hours ago, GojiMet86 said:

It looks destined to wipe all of them out. I wonder what will replace the 800s. Maybe MCI coaches? Or perhaps more New Flyers with suburban seating.

The 800 series Orion V's could be replaced by either suburban Xcelsiors or MCI 45 CRT's (by then, the D4500CT could be discontinued).

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On 2/4/2021 at 1:17 AM, RailBus63 said:

Makes sense - Nova doesn't offer anything shorter than a 40-foot bus, and Gillig winning the order would have been a surprise. 

So why was it doubtful that Gillig would win this order? 

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On 2/7/2021 at 8:17 PM, Buzz2kb said:

So why was it doubtful that Gillig would win this order? 

Gillig historically has not sold well in the nyc area, landing only one significant order of the past 30 or so years at an agency adjacent to nyc just last year, you'd have to go back to 1988 for anything more than a drop in the bucket (ex. Long beach), though one could argue Suffolk County transit's various Phantom orders count as nyc area. So just based on history, it would have been a surprise. Additionally, the XDE60 order and the very small 35 and 40 ft. small electric bus order in 2020 that went to New Flyer as well, indicated that Bee Line would most likely go with New Flyer because of fleet uniformity though that obviously has not been a huge priority in the end for fellow Nassau County.

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10 hours ago, Orion6025 said:

Gillig historically has not sold well in the nyc area, landing only one significant order of the past 30 or so years at an agency adjacent to nyc just last year, you'd have to go back to 1988 for anything more than a drop in the bucket (ex. Long beach), though one could argue Suffolk County transit's various Phantom orders count as nyc area. So just based on history, it would have been a surprise. Additionally, the XDE60 order and the very small 35 and 40 ft. small electric bus order in 2020 that went to New Flyer as well, indicated that Bee Line would most likely go with New Flyer because of fleet uniformity though that obviously has not been a huge priority in the end for fellow Nassau County.

So what is the reason behind the poor sales of Gillig buses in NYC area?

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22 hours ago, Buzz2kb said:

So what is the reason behind the poor sales of Gillig buses in NYC area?

For for the case of the NYMTA, the generally accepted reason is that the MTA is a difficult and demanding customer - they're very picky with spec'ing their buses and nearly every order placed is massive, both things that Gillig has not had a reason to deal with. As a disclaimer though, it is worth recognizing that in recent years they have been participating in larger and larger orders... Some people like to say that the reason Gillig doesn't sell well here is that they aren't built "well" enough to withstand the poor condition roads in NYC and the long, demanding runs that some depots have, I don't know if there's any truth to that narrative though.

The glaring exception is of course the Gillig Phantoms that were ordered under the MTA-controlled MSBA, but at the time the MSBA was not closely following what the city companies were doing.

In the inevitable event that someone comes in to say bUt thAt PhAnToM oN tHe M1, that was demoed for the hybrid system, not the bus itself.

Roosevelt island's small bus system generally just follows the lead of the MTA and in all cases they are nearly identical to their MTA counterparts (Albeit with small changes like seat color and rear door placement for the XD40). the last time they did not fall in line was in 1994 with the D40LF purchase. Gillig has bid on RIOC contracts though, i remember seeing a document a couple years ago which showed the 2-bus 2016 order was bid on by Gillig, New Flyer, Nova, New Flyer of course won that...

I'm not sure why Westchester never went Gillig especially since they never really committed to a single manufacturer until 1995 (And even then, had Neoplan stayed in business longer, they could have flipped yet again as indicated by the 2005 AN440s).

If NJ Transit should count as NYC area (At least northern div.), I've never heard an explanation. I assume it is for the same reason as the MTA since when they do go shopping, they usually go huge, and they have a history of over-engineering their buses

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