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Manatee County Area Transit (MCAT)

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Manatee County Area Transit (MCAT) is the neighboring agency of Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT), serving Bradenton and the county of the same name.  During my four visits between 2005 and 2009, its operations were totally in the hands of 30ft. Gillig Phantoms outside the trolley replica routes.  The oldest among them were the five 35240-series buses new in 1996, as illustrated by bus 35241 carrying a white-based livery 2 generations ago on a now-defunct route in 2006.  They saw service as late as 2008, as depicted by bus 35245 carrying the immediate past generation of metallic blue livery on a Sundays-only beach bus service.  Although there were two 35ft. sister buses in this series, I had never spotted either of them in service.

MCAT-r15-35241.JPGMCAT-BEx-35245-1.JPG

They were followed by the 42720-series new in 2001-02, as illustrated by white 2001 bus 42723 (the first of four) and the sole 2002 bus 42726 in metallic blue, both pictured in downtown Bradenton in 2005.

MCAT-r03-42723-3.JPGMCAT-r02-42726-2.JPG

The 46400-series of 2004 buses are now the oldest buses in MCAT's fleet.  Depicted here are bus 46448 (first of six and probably still active) on a joint route with SCAT and retired bus 46450, both pictured in 2009 at the DeSoto Square Mall transfer location (Since replaced by the DeSoto Station).  Also featured is bus 46453 now serving with BAT Community Connector in Bangor, Maine.  It was pictured in downtown Bradenton in 2005.

MCAT-r99-46448.JPGMCAT-r06-46450-2.JPGMCAT-r04-46453-4.JPG

MCAT's last ten Phantoms, the 50700-series new in 2007 are one of the final Phantoms and high-floor buses bought new by a major Florida transit agency (together with the 40ft. sister buses at Gainesville RTS).  Depicted here are buses 50737 and 50746, the first and last of the batch.

MCAT-r16-50737-3.JPGMCAT-r09-50746-2.JPG

By my last visit in 2009, MCAT had just received its first three low-floor buses in the form of Gillig BRT Hybrid 40ft. buses in the 53590-series like 53591 and 53593 pictured while not yet in service.

MCAT-53591.JPGMCAT-53593.JPG

MCAT has also a long-standing tradition of operating trolley replicas on its Anna Maria Island trolley service, as depicted by buses 43150 and 43151 (likely to be new before 2006) and 2006 bus 48832.  It had also branched out into providing bus to SCAT's route 18 to Longboat Key, as depicted by bus 48833.  All were pictured in 2008.  

MCAT-AMT-43150-2.JPGMCAT-AMT-43151-1.JPGMCAT-AMT-48832-3.JPGMCAT-AMT-48832-5.JPGMCAT-r18(SCAT)-48833-3.JPG

Interestingly, MCAT numbered its buses with only internal asset numbers that also double as their fleet numbers, instead of the more common delivery year-based numbering or bus type-based numbering.  (Pasco County Public Transportation also uses asset numbers, but also uses informal fleet numbers for displays on buses; so does LakeXpress in Lake County, Florida -subject of a later thread)

By now, MCAT's fleet is dominated by Gillig Low Floor's/BRT Hybrids carrying a lighter blue livery and totally new fleet names plus logo.  The trolley replicas depicted above are also replaced with Gillig Trolley Replica's as well.  Here is my MCAT gallery:

Manatee County Area Transit (MCAT)

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The trolleys could have been hit by the miles issue. The deadhead from the garage to the anna maria island trolley route is quite long (unless they have a satellite facility closer that i’m not aware of). Traffic is horrible on the island in peak season so they don’t move terribly fast, but they might rack up a lot of miles by simply doing so many trips all day, 7 days a week. I forget if the beach express route uses trolleys or regular buses, but that might help drive up miles.

MCAT took delivery of 3 trolley replicas within thr past year so that may have something to do with it 

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15 hours ago, Orion6025 said:

MCAT took delivery of 3 trolley replicas within the past year so that may have something to do with it 

Are those trolleys from Gillig as well?

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