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Apparently there is now an all day express bus service running between Cedar Rapids and Iowa City. This was started 6 months ago as a way to help avoid traffic congestion due to a major interstate interchange rebuild. It is operated by Windstar Lines, utilizing Van Hool coaches, based on the website. Service is every 30 minutes peak and hourly throughout the day. Roundtrip fare is $7 and the journey is about an hour between the two areas.

https://www.380express.com/index.php

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On 4/29/2019 at 2:35 PM, MVTArider said:

Have they gotten new 40' buses to replace them? IIRC it was rumored they would be getting a couple XD40 at one point.

Got a reply from the manager of CR Transit. Those 4 RTS buses were replaced by 4 35ft gillig buses. The remaining 4 will be replaced soon by gilligs.

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On 5/9/2019 at 12:40 PM, busfreak99 said:

Got a reply from the manager of CR Transit. Those 4 RTS buses were replaced by 4 35ft gillig buses. The remaining 4 will be replaced soon by gilligs.

Thanks for the info. Well more LF is boring from a fan perspective, but from a practical viewpoint I'm glad they are finally getting some fresh equipment. Those RTS were awesome but they were certainly due to go. I'm sure the limited mobility riders will like not having to climb up the steps anymore. I remember seeing a couple of seniors taking a while to get on when I rode one a few years back.

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Hey guys, I used to live in Iowa City and rode the 3 transit systems there quite often (Iowa City Transit, Coralville Transit, and Cambus). Here's some of my observations of how their fleets evolved when I lived there in 2008-2018.

Both Iowa City and Coralville Transit had 40' 1991 Gillig Phantoms from Foothill transit and 30' 1989 Gillig Phantoms from Central Contra Costa. The Ex-Foothill Transit Phantoms all had LED signs - possibly TwinVision. The 30' Phantoms had flip dot signs - as far as I remember it looked like a Vultron sign. These buses all retired around 2009 or so, when new 2010 Gillig low floors came in. All other ICT/CT Gillig Phantoms had rollsigns. ICT's 1995 Phantoms were retired long before their 1997 ones - the last I remember seeing them in person was 2014-2015. Their 1997 models lasted until 2018 when their newer 2017-2018 Gillig low floors came in, which featured a brand new orange/red/brown livery. Both the 1995 and 1997 Coralville Phantoms were retired in November 2017 when their 2017 Gillig low floors came.

In March 2017, ICT/CT changed the bus announcer voice on many of their buses - primarily Gillig low floors but a few Phantoms too (ICT #38, #48 and CT #102). It was changed from a female voice to a male voice. Personally, I found the female voice much better. Around this time Cambus buses were also retrofitted with display screens inside (replacing a simple "Stop Requested" sign that lights up) and had the same male voice bus announcer installed (they previously didn't have a bus announcer). The remaining Cambus gillig phantoms (#83-85) and their Opus Optima #11 got a blue LED display screen instead of orange. Also around this time Iowa City Transit #37 had a destination sign change - it was originally a flip dot sign (looked like a Luminator one), and was changed to an LED sign.

Additionally, Coralville Transit got new routes in October. Now they are using a numbered routes system. These routes are:

  • 20 - Iowa River Landing
  • 21 - 5th Street
  • 22 - North Liberty
  • 23 - 10th Street
  • 24 - Night
  • 25 - Saturday

I've yet to see a picture of a Coralville bus with a new route on the destination sign - if any of you have seen them display the new routes I'd love to hear more about it.

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On 12/16/2020 at 7:29 AM, JLiu1596 said:

Hey guys, I used to live in Iowa City and rode the 3 transit systems there quite often (Iowa City Transit, Coralville Transit, and Cambus). Here's some of my observations of how their fleets evolved when I lived there in 2008-2018.

Great updates - thanks! Yep, IC is surprisingly interesting for transit. Even with all those blasted Gilligs.

The "T" window configuration on a Gillig is somewhat unique to Iowa City area. I can't think of other Gilligs that use it.

Here's a fun pic from 2017. Buses from all three systems are visible -- and two of the three buses share the unit number 101.

Enjoy!

IowaCity.thumb.JPG.8304968c18c50e4a1c49859a2a5ffb86.JPG

 

 

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On 12/18/2020 at 8:17 AM, Border City Transit said:

Great updates - thanks! Yep, IC is surprisingly interesting for transit. Even with all those blasted Gilligs.

The "T" window configuration on a Gillig is somewhat unique to Iowa City area. I can't think of other Gilligs that use it.

Here's a fun pic from 2017. Buses from all three systems are visible -- and two of the three buses share the unit number 101.

Enjoy!

IowaCity.thumb.JPG.8304968c18c50e4a1c49859a2a5ffb86.JPG

 

 

Yup! I've rode the buses in IC countless times. I have to say, after moving to NJ, that I definitely prefer Gilligs over NJT's NABIs and Rutgers's ElDorados 😂

What's the "T" window configuration for Gillig? Never noticed it when I lived there. The only unique thing I noticed is that ICT has frameless windows for their Gillig low floors and both mirrors are mounted at the top of the windshield, while Cambus and CT have framed windows and the driver's side mirror is mounted at the bottom of the windshield.

And as for the shared number - yes, in fact all Coralville buses currently share a number with a Cambus. Their Gillig Phantoms 98-102, 2010 Gillig low floors 108-112 and 2017 Gillig low floors 114-117 are all numbers that Cambus has. And I believe they are retired now, but if Cambus still had their 1997 Gillig Phantoms 83-85 (they also had 82 and 86 which retired many years ago) then they would overlap with ICT's newer 2017-2018 Gillig low floors.

Speaking of which, I swear there was a CT #113 at some point. Maybe my memory is totally wrong, but I just remember seeing it long ago and it was one of their 2010 Gillig low floors. When I discovered cptdb in 2016, I was surprised that it was not on there. The fact that their 2017 Gillig low floors start at 114 further adds to the mystery: was there really a CT #113 that since disappeared? Another mystery, perhaps an even greater one to me, is that I remember ICT having some buses numbered in the 30s that had a light up "STOP" as the rear brake light. I vaguely remember seeing an ICT #36 on the streets, among other 30s buses with that "STOP" brake light. Cptdb notes that ICT had some 1989 Orion V's in the 30s that were sold to CyRide, but that was in 2008 which was before I came to IC. Other than those buses cptdb has nothing else for those numbers. I still wonder to this day what those buses were, as I didn't really pay attention to them at the time. All I know is that they had a "STOP" brake light, and I don't think they were Orion V's. I'd love it if any of you might have an answer to this, as this is certainly one of my biggest bus mysteries.

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16 hours ago, JLiu1596 said:

What's the "T" window configuration for Gillig?

Ask and ye shall receive!

Look close at the windows on 104. Notice the top third spans the whole window frame ("transom" window). Then, the bottom two-thirds is formed of sliding panels:

GT400.thumb.jpg.c14c15cc6e1bc39f1f1eaf84799bbb9c.jpg

Iowa City Transit and Coralville Transit use the same configuration. It dates to the Gillig Phantom era (look even closer!):

GT401.thumb.jpg.8b6acc451043b5d3d4a160fc8be3e2a5.jpg

GT402.thumb.jpg.6b7b400c1d80228113b6d83947de58c1.jpg

 

That window arrangement is somewhat common on New Flyers and Novas.

On Gilligs, it's nearly always transom, sliding or nothing.

Transom only examples:

GT420.thumb.jpg.52e91b3768afc7510c3e4cd13175a29b.jpg

GT421.thumb.jpg.0a8e03ac64a5ab5f7474bc7533f493c6.jpg

GT422.thumb.jpg.ee5203badc250d4be4c24617ba919038.jpg

 

Sliding only examples:

GT410.thumb.jpg.0e7db7485fe07f2b01b7b41b2acde82f.jpg

GT411.thumb.jpg.568b2b9852ce9bc47931367fa118d2ca.jpg

GT412.thumb.jpg.8072eb0f81119b47c868ee0a473119ce.jpg

 

There are rare instances of "mixed" window formats on a single bus:

GT440.thumb.jpg.03eeb9185bcae72ee2323257de793cb7.jpg

 

And frameless Gilligs are either transom or non-opening:

GT460.thumb.jpg.a2b341098d71fa334da5ce740f663ce6.jpg

 

And with all that, I still can't think of any Gilligs beyond Iowa City area with the "T" windows! Wonder what the story is?!

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On 12/28/2020 at 4:11 PM, Border City Transit said:

Ask and ye shall receive!

Look close at the windows on 104. Notice the top third spans the whole window frame ("transom" window). Then, the bottom two-thirds is formed of sliding panels:

GT400.thumb.jpg.c14c15cc6e1bc39f1f1eaf84799bbb9c.jpg

Iowa City Transit and Coralville Transit use the same configuration. It dates to the Gillig Phantom era (look even closer!):

GT401.thumb.jpg.8b6acc451043b5d3d4a160fc8be3e2a5.jpg

GT402.thumb.jpg.6b7b400c1d80228113b6d83947de58c1.jpg

 

That window arrangement is somewhat common on New Flyers and Novas.

On Gilligs, it's nearly always transom, sliding or nothing.

Transom only examples:

GT420.thumb.jpg.52e91b3768afc7510c3e4cd13175a29b.jpg

GT421.thumb.jpg.0a8e03ac64a5ab5f7474bc7533f493c6.jpg

GT422.thumb.jpg.ee5203badc250d4be4c24617ba919038.jpg

 

Sliding only examples:

GT410.thumb.jpg.0e7db7485fe07f2b01b7b41b2acde82f.jpg

GT411.thumb.jpg.568b2b9852ce9bc47931367fa118d2ca.jpg

GT412.thumb.jpg.8072eb0f81119b47c868ee0a473119ce.jpg

 

There are rare instances of "mixed" window formats on a single bus:

GT440.thumb.jpg.03eeb9185bcae72ee2323257de793cb7.jpg

 

And frameless Gilligs are either transom or non-opening:

GT460.thumb.jpg.a2b341098d71fa334da5ce740f663ce6.jpg

 

And with all that, I still can't think of any Gilligs beyond Iowa City area with the "T" windows! Wonder what the story is?!

Wow, in all those years I lived in Iowa City, I never knew that our Gillig low floors had such a unique feature!

Also, when were those pictures of those Cambus Gillig Phantoms taken? When I first arrived in IC in August 2008, the Cambus 1989 40' Gillig Phantoms I saw in service were, as far as I can remember, 64, 66, 67, 69, 71, 72, 73, 74, and 75. Some units (like 70) were already retired by then.

EDIT: it looks like the "T" configuration is just a Cambus thing. I looked at some pics of ICT/CT buses, and it looks like they all have the transom version. Of course, ICT's are frameless while CT's are framed.

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On 12/27/2020 at 10:13 PM, JLiu1596 said:

... Another mystery, perhaps an even greater one to me, is that I remember ICT having some buses numbered in the 30s that had a light up "STOP" as the rear brake light. I vaguely remember seeing an ICT #36 on the streets, among other 30s buses with that "STOP" brake light. Cptdb notes that ICT had some 1989 Orion V's in the 30s that were sold to CyRide, but that was in 2008 which was before I came to IC. Other than those buses cptdb has nothing else for those numbers. I still wonder to this day what those buses were, as I didn't really pay attention to them at the time. All I know is that they had a "STOP" brake light, and I don't think they were Orion V's. I'd love it if any of you might have an answer to this, as this is certainly one of my biggest bus mysteries.

You likely are remembering the Orion V's, I saw and got a photo of bus 32 in 2011 during a visit. So not all of them were sent to CyRide in 2008.

5963043730_cd67ed7369_t.jpg Iowa City Transit 32 by J. Mc., on Flickr

 

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7 hours ago, JLiu1596 said:

EDIT: it looks like the "T" configuration is just a Cambus thing. I looked at some pics of ICT/CT buses, and it looks like they all have the transom version. Of course, ICT's are frameless while CT's are framed.

Hmm, I can't speak for ICT or Coralville's Gillig low floors. Frankly, I stopped taking pictures because all the Gillig LFs were depressing me. I also find Iowa City Transit's buses exceedingly ugly -- where I love the Cambus paint scheme (and I'm not even a Hawkeye!)

At least ICT and Coralville's Phantoms had the T-window configuration (gotta look close to see it -- my pics are so-so) :

CO98.thumb.jpg.e9ed9370928368c899048f8dd9271c19.jpg

IC45.thumb.jpg.3c579b12b25e3c3e9df8d5108a92ee85.jpg

 

7 hours ago, JLiu1596 said:

Also, when were those pictures of those Cambus Gillig Phantoms taken?

Pics of 70 & 74... circa October 2006. I believe the Cambus fleet was 100% Phantom at the time, maybe minus a few odd smaller buses.

 

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On 1/1/2021 at 8:42 PM, Border City Transit said:

I also find Iowa City Transit's buses exceedingly ugly

Their new livery on their newer Gillig LFs look much better imo...it's a lot more colorful. Unfortunately I didn't really get to see much of them as they entered service shortly after I left IC in 2018. I really miss Iowa City's Gilligs lol.

On 1/1/2021 at 8:42 PM, Border City Transit said:

I believe the Cambus fleet was 100% Phantom at the time

Yup, looks like their first Gillig LFs were in 2008. I remember riding them when they were brand new when I first came to IC in 2008.

On 1/1/2021 at 4:20 PM, MVTArider said:

You likely are remembering the Orion V's, I saw and got a photo of bus 32 in 2011 during a visit. So not all of them were sent to CyRide in 2008.

5963043730_cd67ed7369_t.jpg Iowa City Transit 32 by J. Mc., on Flickr

 

Yup, I saw 32 a lot when it was active. The ICT cptdb roster notes that 33-38 were the Orion V's that went to CyRide, and it looks like that happened in 2008. However, I remember seeing buses with those numbers AFTER 2008 (such as 36), so I guess that kinda rules out them being those Orions. Additionally, I saw a picture where the rear of 32 is visible and it looks like it doesn't have that "STOP" brake light, further adding to the mystery...

520246878_ScreenShot2021-01-03at11_25_33PM.png.0dc6bf2f89fcd243980aff3c4f9df018.png

Here's a rear view of 32 I found in one of your Flickr photos (https://www.flickr.com/photos/thetransitcamera/5963003948/in/dateposted/). The center brake light is tiny and below the black section in the rear. However, the "STOP" brake light on those buses I remember seeing was located approximately where that white part I circled is.

1458824583_ScreenShot2021-01-03at11_25_45PM.png.f494e44fd2ab4db9325da05e56bf810d.png

This looks like 37. They did get two buses that I know of to fill in those numbers - 37 and 38. 37 was an older model Gillig low floor and 38 was a 1992 Gillig Phantom, which was super loud and always blew black smoke from the exhaust lol. AFAICR, they were already in service when I arrived in IC in August 2008, which means those Orions likely already transferred to CyRide by then.

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https://kwwl.com/2021/03/15/iowa-city-to-add-four-electric-buses-to-fleet/

Looks like Iowa City Transit will be receiving 4 Proterra ZX5 buses this fall. They're currently running a test unit.

The article said that they will be replacing 4 older diesel buses (which I assume to be 4 of their 6 2007 Gillig Low Floors, or 3 of them plus bus #37 if it's still around). I wonder if these will be painted in the new ICT waves color scheme, or a special theme advertising that it's battery electric like the photo in the article.

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As per an ICT virtual presentation, the 4 Proterra ZX5s will feature a unique wrap highlighting the fact that they're electric. They will be replacing buses 37, 38, 57, and 59. Currently, it is unknown which #'s the Proterras will be.

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