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I just read through the latest surface transportation committee meeting's minutes' discussion items from March 28, and see that the authority is ready to take some good steps in repairing their service delivery to passengers.

Noticing these standing out:

  1. Improved service delivery:  increasing frequencies on certain routes.
  2. Addition of limited stop service on some routes, speeding up service between terminal ends.
  3. Development of a new and improved timetable and map.
  4. An enhanced website that is mobile-friendly.
  5. Enhancements to the North Division transit hub, including a canopy along the Adam Ramp side.
  6. Mobile ticketing (implemented)
  7. Expansion of waiting shelters.

Much of this is going to be contingent on added funding.  Hope some of this can actually happen.

https://v3.boardbook.org/Public/PublicItemDownload.aspx?ik=44139578

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7 hours ago, map.man (Darrin) said:

I just read through the latest surface transportation committee meeting's minutes' discussion items from March 28, and see that the authority is ready to take some good steps in repairing their service delivery to passengers.

Noticing these standing out:

  1. Improved service delivery:  increasing frequencies on certain routes.
  2. Addition of limited stop service on some routes, speeding up service between terminal ends.
  3. Development of a new and improved timetable and map.
  4. An enhanced website that is mobile-friendly.
  5. Enhancements to the North Division transit hub, including a canopy along the Adam Ramp side.
  6. Mobile ticketing (implemented)
  7. Expansion of waiting shelters.

What is the reason for ridership dropping? Does ride sharing put a dent in public transportation ridership (Obviously, but by how much...)? One thing I have noticed in recent years, a big spike of everyday-commuters have retired from their jobs, no longer needing transportation. Doesn't seem like there is anything filling that void. 

Some of these items like an "enhanced website that is mobile-friendly" should be an easier task to accomplish. I would really look forward to limited stop service. I thought they were going to do that with the 5-Niagara. Maybe after the Niagara St. construction. Looks like they are starting work installing bulb-outs north of Hampshire.

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8 hours ago, map.man (Darrin) said:

I just read through the latest surface transportation committee meeting's minutes' discussion items from March 28, and see that the authority is ready to take some good steps in repairing their service delivery to passengers.

Noticing these standing out:

  1. Improved service delivery:  increasing frequencies on certain routes.
  2. Addition of limited stop service on some routes, speeding up service between terminal ends.
  3. Development of a new and improved timetable and map.
  4. An enhanced website that is mobile-friendly.
  5. Enhancements to the North Division transit hub, including a canopy along the Adam Ramp side.
  6. Mobile ticketing (implemented)
  7. Expansion of waiting shelters.

Much of this is going to be contingent on added funding.  Hope some of this can actually happen.

https://v3.boardbook.org/Public/PublicItemDownload.aspx?ik=44139578

The new state budget just passed this weekend and NFTA and the other upstate transit agencies are getting a 9.5% increase in State Transit Operating Assistance funding, to be funded by a new state tax on auto rentals.  For NFTA, this is an increase of of $5.1 million over the current year so that should help fund some of these improvements. 

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I'd like to see an express or limited service utilizing a #00 series system, with the last two numbers matching the closest route.

In areas such as the 11/25, 14/16, and 5/40, I think it's almost a no-brainer going limited on one of the lines.

The concept that you offer is close to the 60AB that was previously offered.  Buses were extended down Pine Avenue, though, instead of the Niagara Transit Center.  I also think that the 60 had a special summer service that ran hourly, almost identical to your idea.  Don't know if lack of ridership contributed to its demise, it lasted the summer season only, sometime in the mid-90's..

From the looks of it, someone downtown is starting to listen, since all other options (wrong ones) are getting exhausted.

 

1 hour ago, I Alam said:

If NFTA is looking to improve service I definitely have ideas. I definitely have a couple of ideas in where Limited stops routes could exist. Also, this may be a great time to push my route 80E Buffalo <-> Niagara Falls Express concept.

80E.thumb.PNG.5f37ffa888573c3a5aa81ffc123fdb2c.PNG

https://drive.google.com/open?id=11RHkU-Rud5Ou_gHA6Zv8NC2gbab-he7k&amp;usp=sharing

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On 4/3/2019 at 10:23 AM, map.man (Darrin) said:

I'd like to see an express or limited service utilizing a #00 series system, with the last two numbers matching the closest route.

In areas such as the 11/25, 14/16, and 5/40, I think it's almost a no-brainer going limited on one of the lines.

The concept that you offer is close to the 60AB that was previously offered.  Buses were extended down Pine Avenue, though, instead of the Niagara Transit Center.  I also think that the 60 had a special summer service that ran hourly, almost identical to your idea.  Don't know if lack of ridership contributed to its demise, it lasted the summer season only, sometime in the mid-90's..

From the looks of it, someone downtown is starting to listen, since all other options (wrong ones) are getting exhausted.

 

The 40 in its current state really sucks. Most people do ride the bus between NF and BUF so it'd be nicer to have a full-time route similar to the 204.

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On 4/5/2019 at 6:58 PM, I Alam said:

The 40 in its current state really sucks. Most people do ride the bus between NF and BUF so it'd be nicer to have a full-time route similar to the 204.

Do you actually mean the #60?

The #40 operates rather frequently (at least once-hourly during most hours), including weekends.  It's also a step up from what was offered about ten years ago.

The 204 doesn't operate all that often (limited service), so I don't know why you refer to it as a full-time route.

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On 4/9/2019 at 11:53 AM, map.man (Darrin) said:

Do you actually mean the #60?

The #40 operates rather frequently (at least once-hourly during most hours), including weekends.  It's also a step up from what was offered about ten years ago.

The 204 doesn't operate all that often (limited service), so I don't know why you refer to it as a full-time route.

I guess being from NYC I don't see hourly or bi-hourly service as frequent. The problem I have with the 60 is the fact it doesn't go to Downtown Niagara Falls.

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The 60 *did* serve downtown Niagara Falls at one time, but the line duplicated the same route as route 55 between the Niagara Transit Center and downtown.  I think there was a lack of ridership.

Being that I don't really use the system like I had before October, I would have liked easier service to the Outlet Mall if I was still using the buses to the Falls.  Going through the Portage Road Transit Center on weekdays or rolling the dice on a connection along Buffalo Avenue to the 50 was a PITA.  Weekends used to be worse.

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Just curious are passengers allowed to ride deadheading buses? I’ve seen a lot of buses deadheading from Cold Spring on Main St. I’ve seen buses in some cases displaying the route they’re going to run on and the terminal they’re headed to. i.e. 24B to Downtown while heading south on Main, passing the medical campus. Or the 13A to University heading north on Main towards University Station. 

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Just curious, how many of the 2000 Novas are left active now?

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18 hours ago, 97SCT said:

Just curious, how many of the 2000 Novas are left active now?

Nineteen of the original 21 are still in service. One was retired after an accident a few years ago (2021) and another was retired a few months ago to lower the fleet age and to be used as a parts bus (2018). 

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On ‎5‎/‎20‎/‎2019 at 4:07 PM, Quartzquiz said:

Nineteen of the original 21 are still in service. One was retired after an accident a few years ago (2021) and another was retired a few months ago to lower the fleet age and to be used as a parts bus (2018). 

Even with the age of the buses, they feel like they operate a lot better than the 2001-2002 and 2004 Gillig buses.  Wasn't a huge fan of them from the start, but that generation at least had more comfortable seats.  I always thought the buses were a lot dirtier, since dust managed to be stuck in the pegboard-like panels in the ceiling.

I wonder if the NFTA is going to try and extend their life further than all the 2001, 2002 and 2004 buses.

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8 hours ago, map.man (Darrin) said:

Even with the age of the buses, they feel like they operate a lot better than the 2001-2002 and 2004 Gillig buses.  Wasn't a huge fan of them from the start, but that generation at least had more comfortable seats.  I always thought the buses were a lot dirtier, since dust managed to be stuck in the pegboard-like panels in the ceiling.

I wonder if the NFTA is going to try and extend their life further than all the 2001, 2002 and 2004 buses.

What probably helped extend their life was that they only ran seven days a week for three years (2000 to mid-2003.) They were all given to Cold Spring garage in 2003, two years after it stopped being the only garage opened on weekends. Most of the 2200s were transferred and assigned to Frontier by 2003 and have been running just about every day for almost 16 years! That's a lot of wear and miles! 

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On 5/27/2019 at 8:22 PM, map.man (Darrin) said:

Even with the age of the buses, they feel like they operate a lot better than the 2001-2002 and 2004 Gillig buses.  Wasn't a huge fan of them from the start, but that generation at least had more comfortable seats.  I always thought the buses were a lot dirtier, since dust managed to be stuck in the pegboard-like panels in the ceiling.

I wonder if the NFTA is going to try and extend their life further than all the 2001, 2002 and 2004 buses.

It's funny because I always felt the 2000's were cleaner for some reason. Maybe the gray ceiling hides the dirt more? The older Gillig's seem nasty to me. The white ceilings are covered with black stuff, probably from the HVAC vents. Especially on the 2100-2500 which don't have much of an air filter. I have been in a couple 2000's and 1000 diesels recently, and noticed certain 1000's ride pretty awful. And others are tolerable. A lot of 2000's ride good regardless of their age. There are a couple rough ones though.

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TBH if the NFTA wanted, they could probably extend the life span of the 2000 Nova's by a couple more years. Some new doors, new paint, and a good scrub could really improve those buses. I can see these buses being able to run for another 5 years if they were maintained better.

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16 hours ago, I Alam said:

TBH if the NFTA wanted, they could probably extend the life span of the 2000 Nova's by a couple more years. Some new doors, new paint, and a good scrub could really improve those buses. I can see these buses being able to run for another 5 years if they were maintained better.

I think the NFTA goes out of their way to extend the life of buses, way further than most agencies.

If not mistaken, Rochester, Syracuse and Albany's systems carry the buses for about a twelve-year service span (the recommended) and either retire or auction them off.

I'm curious, where does the RGRTA auction their buses, if they do so?

At twelve years, I can assume they have some life left in them, or are they beaten up that bad?

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The new schedule for the 24ABLX is posted for the next schedule change.

Not what I expected for "limited" service...I'm hoping passengers don't get too ticked off watching the bus pass by, because they didn't understand what the 24L was.

http://metro.nfta.com/Routes/preview/24.pdf

Note:  I don't know if it will matter, but the 24X variation does not list the airport as a stop on the timetable, even though it does stop there.  I don't know if Metro is bothering since the time might be confusing since it's after the Holtz Road timepoint.


A little picky on my side, I know....

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1 hour ago, map.man (Darrin) said:

I think the NFTA goes out of their way to extend the life of buses, way further than most agencies.

If not mistaken, Rochester, Syracuse and Albany's systems carry the buses for about a twelve-year service span (the recommended) and either retire or auction them off.

I would guess that NFTA does this because some of their capital money has to go to maintaining the Metro rail system, especially the car rebuild program in recent years.  Those other agencies can devote most of their state and federal dollars to new bus purchases.

Here in Syracuse, Centro does typically keep some older buses on as a contingency fleet after their replacements arrive.  Right now, this includes D40LF and C40LF buses from 2005 (a few of the D40LF's are kept active, the rest in operational storage) and some older MCI cruisers.  I suspect the 2007 Gillig hybrids will join the contingency fleet when new Gillig CNG's arrive this year.  The only fleet I can remember getting retired right away in recent years was the Neoplans (rust issues) and the Nova RTS WFD's (seemed to have issues and were used on school trips and rush hours for most of their service lives). 

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5 minutes ago, RailBus63 said:

I would guess that NFTA does this because some of their capital money has to go to maintaining the Metro rail system, especially the car rebuild program in recent years.  Those other agencies can devote most of their state and federal dollars to new bus purchases.

Here in Syracuse, Centro does typically keep some older buses on as a contingency fleet after their replacements arrive.  Right now, this includes D40LF and C40LF buses from 2005 (a few of the D40LF's are kept active, the rest in operational storage) and some older MCI cruisers.  I suspect the 2007 Gillig hybrids will join the contingency fleet when new Gillig CNG's arrive this year.  The only fleet I can remember getting retired right away in recent years was the Neoplans (rust issues) and the Nova RTS WFD's (seemed to have issues and were used on school trips and rush hours for most of their service lives). 

Curious if the NFTA bothers with a contingency fleet or not.  For quite some time, we were so short on buses here, a number of trips had to be cancelled...upwards to 40 individual trips on some days.

I may be wrong, but doesn't the NFTA ask for (and get) extra aid to help with the upkeep of the Metro Rail system?

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5 minutes ago, map.man (Darrin) said:

I may be wrong, but doesn't the NFTA ask for extra aid to help with the upkeep of the Metro Rail system?

Annual federal funding is roughly proportionate to the size of the metropolitan area, so in that sense Buffalo will receive more capital dollars than those other Upstate cities because it is bigger.  However, a bus and rail system is also much more expensive to maintain than a bus-only system so I'm assuming that this may be putting a pinch on NFTA's ability to buy new replacement buses at the 12-year mark.  There are also competitive funding programs that a transit agency can apply to (often for new construction) but obviously there is no guarantee of getting the money that way.  I'm not familiar with NFTA's actual financial situation so this is mostly based on conjecture.  

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15 hours ago, map.man (Darrin) said:

The new schedule for the 24ABLX is posted for the next schedule change.

Not what I expected for "limited" service...I'm hoping passengers don't get too ticked off watching the bus pass by, because they didn't understand what the 24L was.

http://metro.nfta.com/Routes/preview/24.pdf

Note:  I don't know if it will matter, but the 24X variation does not list the airport as a stop on the timetable, even though it does stop there.  I don't know if Metro is bothering since the time might be confusing since it's after the Holtz Road timepoint.


A little picky on my side, I know....

Interesting cheaper fare, full size buses but less service. Then again I don't think 204 was ever really popular so I can understand why the change is being made. L̶o̶o̶k̶s̶ ̶l̶i̶k̶e̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶2̶0̶4̶ ̶t̶r̶i̶p̶ ̶e̶s̶s̶e̶n̶t̶i̶a̶l̶l̶y̶ ̶b̶e̶c̶a̶m̶e̶ ̶2̶4̶L̶ ̶t̶r̶i̶p̶s̶.  However I feel like that 9:55pm trip should just be a local trip. A limited service should only be running if the local service is frequent. At 9pm passengers have to wait almost an hour for the next local bus.

Edit looks like the 24A is essentially eliminated and the current trips are shifted around to either be an 24B or 24L. Definitely not happy about losing much of the express service. It'd be nice to have bi-directional morning and evening service on the 24X. 

Edited by I Alam
Correcting a mistake

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9 hours ago, I Alam said:

Interesting cheaper fare, full size buses but less service. Then again I don't think 204 was ever really popular so I can understand why the change is being made. L̶o̶o̶k̶s̶ ̶l̶i̶k̶e̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶2̶0̶4̶ ̶t̶r̶i̶p̶ ̶e̶s̶s̶e̶n̶t̶i̶a̶l̶l̶y̶ ̶b̶e̶c̶a̶m̶e̶ ̶2̶4̶L̶ ̶t̶r̶i̶p̶s̶.  However I feel like that 9:55pm trip should just be a local trip. A limited service should only be running if the local service is frequent. At 9pm passengers have to wait almost an hour for the next local bus.

Edit looks like the 24A is essentially eliminated and the current trips are shifted around to either be an 24B or 24L. Definitely not happy about losing much of the express service. It'd be nice to have bi-directional morning and evening service on the 24X. 

The 204 is becoming the 24X - http://metro.nfta.com/Routes/Limited.aspx

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