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CTB003 (Orion V, the only high floor bus left in the active fleet) might be retiring soon due to mechanical problems and has been parked outside for weeks now. Its usual run, Charles Spencer/St. Joseph High Schools Special, has been replaced by the New Flyers.

 

CTB006 (first batch of New Flyer D40LF) has been parked outside next to CTB003. It might be in the same situation.

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20 minutes ago, M. Parsons said:

Any idea when the BYD's might enter service? I'm thinking of doing a trip to Grande Prairie on Greyhound before they shut down, so, I'm hoping the BYD's are in service before the end of October!

They haven't been wrapped yet and the drivers are still to be trained so I doubt they would be in service soon. When the Vicinity's showed up it took a few months to get them ready, from wrapping them to installing GPS, fare boxes, and stop announcement system.

 

When in October are you planning on coming up?

 

Talking about Vicinity's, here is a pic in case you haven't seen it in GP.

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On 1/22/2018 at 3:45 PM, roeco said:

Grande Prairie retired 2 low floors...both had cracked frames and both were from the first and second batch of buses...Bus 14 i believe and one other one.

I checked the roster today. Looks like CTB006 and 007 might have retired. The rest were in service at some point in the past week or being repaired.

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On 9/16/2018 at 1:07 AM, Bustizen said:

They haven't been wrapped yet and the drivers are still to be trained so I doubt they would be in service soon. When the Vicinity's showed up it took a few months to get them ready, from wrapping them to installing GPS, fare boxes, and stop announcement system.

When in October are you planning on coming up?

 

Talking about Vicinity's, here is a pic in case you haven't seen it in GP.

002.jpg

I checked the roster today. Looks like CTB006 and 007 might have retired. The rest were in service at some point in the past week or being repaired.

It will probably be sometime after Thanksgiving when I get up there. I suspect that might still be too early to catch the BYD's.

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On 9/19/2018 at 8:05 PM, M. Parsons said:

It will probably be sometime after Thanksgiving when I get up there. I suspect that might still be too early to catch the BYD's.

No words on the BYD's yet. Probably have a better idea once drivers training is scheduled. These K7M's do look different from the St Albert's K9. Seat layout and wheelchair ramp placement are also quite unique in GP transit fleet.

 

For the active fleet, weekday AM and PM peak hours would be best time to see the most in action. Fifteen buses are on the road during those times including regular services, peak services, school routes, and an extra bus. Only 6 for the rest of the day and weekends.

 

Since bus assignment varies daily, best place to check roster of the day would be on GP transit's Where's My Ride page if you are looking for particular units.

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County of Grande Prairie regional bus service has started on Dec 5 as a 2-year pilot project. Currently in phase 1, the City of Grande Prairie has been contracted to provide the service to connect City of Grande Prairie and Hamlet of Clairmont with eight round trips per weekday (route 90) with two trips extended to town of Sexsmith (route 91).

Phase 2 will start on February 4, 2019 with an additional bus, providing service to towns of Beaverlodge and Wembley weekdays, and also village of Hythe on Wednesdays.

A new 30' Grande West Vicinity with County  Connector livery, CTB031, has arrived but yet to be seen in service. Details and a promotional video of the service can be found on the County website .

I'll try to ride and grab some pics when I'm back in the area.

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01.thumb.jpg.efffd296fe9654f41069ef7874c9244c.jpg02.thumb.jpg.a9ff5db02d73f41f323cd10fb714de85.jpg03.thumb.jpg.e5573954a63a40e889f483784417d16f.jpg

Still haven't seen the "official" County Connector Vicinity (CTB031) in service yet, although I wouldn't be surprised it will be part of phase 2 of the service starting in February. So far it has been GP transit's CTB026, 027, and 028 on the route.

Had a closer look at 031 and there are subtle differences from 025-028:

- Vicinity branding at front, rear, curb-side by front door, and above driver's seat inside

- 3-point driver seat belt instead of 2-point

- Luminator LED destination MCU in stead of Axion (although Axion is part of Luminator Group)

- Slightly updated roof vents/advertising space

- Slim driver-side mirror with no mirror-mounted marker light or visible electrical cable. Not sure if it still has power mirrors on driver side. Curb-side mirror looks the same as other GP units. Update: no power mirror control on driver side

- Ad blu/DEF trap door on rear engine door has been moved. Now it's beside rear curb side door

- Appears to have different exhaust system components (looked through side grilles)

- HARD PLASTIC SEATS!!! (like those on ETS 7000's, could be a long hash ride on the highway)

 

I do hope the interior light setup will be updated. On 025-028, it is either too dark at night (only road-side interior lights on) or too bright for the driver (road-side and curb-side interior lights are on, as well as the front door light across from driver)

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February 13, 2019 - 3:38pm
BUS%201.jpg?itok=aHs31VfF

We'll soon see electric transit buses on the streets of Grande Prairie.

Today city councilors took a ride on the city's first electric bus.

Manager of Transit Services Steve Harvard says the city currently owns two electric buses, which will begin their regular service in the coming weeks.

“We’re expecting the first bus to be on the road next week, then the second one shortly after that. The second one is currently just getting the decals put on it,” says Harvard. “This bus should last 15 to 18 years, and the battery itself is actually designed to have a longer lifespan.”

Harvard notes the city plans to acquire up to three more busses and the cost of each is about $640-thousand. The Alberta Government is paying for two-thirds of the cost of all the electric busses.

How soon the city sees the three other buses depends on how long manufacturing takes, but Harvard predicts it’ll be about six months.

In the spring, solar panels are going to be installed at the service centre which will be used to charge the buses.

Harvard explains the new buses can operate in extremely cold weather, but for a reduced amount of time.

“Temperatures have not made any significant difference. It does reduce the amount of time that the bus can be on the road because a lot of the systems are working. The heater is working a lot more, etc. – but in terms of functionality, they haven’t experienced any issues, any breakdowns or whatever because of the weather.”

Harvard adds the motivation for buying electric buses was reducing emissions and making transit more efficient and cost-effective. He says although the front-end cost for these buses is higher, the operating costs significantly make up for it. 

courtesy everythinggp.com

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The City is launching a new website and the BYD is featured on the front page. https://beta.cityofgp.com/roads-transportation/public-transit

Spent some time on a BYD today. CTB029 and 030 have been on routes 5 and 7 but today they were on 2 and 3. The experience reminded me of the trolleys in Edmonton but with a modern touch and, of course, no overhead wires! When stopped it's nearly silent other than faint noise from heater fans. Once going then the motor, road noise, and traffic noise mixed in. I have yet to hear it driving by at higher speeds but at low speed you would barely notice. The bus has very good acceleration, especially compared to other newer buses with emission controls.

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If anyone is looking to catch these BYD's in GP, you would have better luck finding them on weekdays during peak hours, especially in the mornings. GPS and stop announcement have yet to be installed so they won't show up on Where is my Bus. Also missing is transit priority transponders for traffic lights. Has anyone been on the ones in St Albert and how was the experience like?

 

Also, the County Connector Vicinity (CTB031) has also been serving routes 91, 92, 93, and 94. I'll try to ride and get some pictures next week.

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On 3/8/2019 at 10:24 PM, Bustizen said:

Has anyone been on the ones in St Albert and how was the experience like?

Very similar to your experience for St. Albert, however, while the bus had excellent "get up and go" I found it felt sluggish at higher speeds on a commuter run. The first 2 BYD demos Edmonton had actually had differences with their motors. One had a higher top end, but, reduced battery capacity, the other had a lower top end but better battery capacity. 

I don't recall the New Flyer's feeling sluggish. 

I found some of the fit and finish on the St. Albert BYD's to be not as good a New Flyer.

In general, and I don't know how to describe this, but I find that any battery electric bus just feels "heavy". And that's purely from a passenger perspective. I found that quite apparent with the 35' BYD's, and I'm very curious how I would feel about the 30' buses! The BBC trolleybuses in particular always felt so light.

I have my reservations about BYD, but, I'm quite proud to see all of these electric buses (and even alternate fuels in general) coming to public transit in Alberta. 

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On 3/8/2019 at 10:24 PM, Bustizen said:

The City is launching a new website and the BYD is featured on the front page. https://beta.cityofgp.com/roads-transportation/public-transit

Spent some time on a BYD today. CTB029 and 030 have been on routes 5 and 7 but today they were on 2 and 3. The experience reminded me of the trolleys in Edmonton but with a modern touch and, of course, no overhead wires! When stopped it's nearly silent other than faint noise from heater fans. Once going then the motor, road noise, and traffic noise mixed in. I have yet to hear it driving by at higher speeds but at low speed you would barely notice. The bus has very good acceleration, especially compared to other newer buses with emission controls.

01.thumb.JPG.ceec8ddd8973cb3f638028ff3b3da9e8.JPG02.thumb.JPG.08c331f8fa2f0dcd3e5343388509fccf.JPG03.thumb.JPG.ccd927143fb5ad9ca9e550ab62eee4f8.JPG

If anyone is looking to catch these BYD's in GP, you would have better luck finding them on weekdays during peak hours, especially in the mornings. GPS and stop announcement have yet to be installed so they won't show up on Where is my Bus. Also missing is transit priority transponders for traffic lights. Has anyone been on the ones in St Albert and how was the experience like?

 

Also, the County Connector Vicinity (CTB031) has also been serving routes 91, 92, 93, and 94. I'll try to ride and get some pictures next week.

Thanks for sharing your experience! Nice photos by Prairie Mall :)

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On 3/10/2019 at 7:30 PM, M. Parsons said:

Very similar to your experience for St. Albert, however, while the bus had excellent "get up and go" I found it felt sluggish at higher speeds on a commuter run. The first 2 BYD demos Edmonton had actually had differences with their motors. One had a higher top end, but, reduced battery capacity, the other had a lower top end but better battery capacity. 

I don't recall the New Flyer's feeling sluggish. 

I found some of the fit and finish on the St. Albert BYD's to be not as good a New Flyer.

In general, and I don't know how to describe this, but I find that any battery electric bus just feels "heavy". And that's purely from a passenger perspective. I found that quite apparent with the 35' BYD's, and I'm very curious how I would feel about the 30' buses! The BBC trolleybuses in particular always felt so light.

I have my reservations about BYD, but, I'm quite proud to see all of these electric buses (and even alternate fuels in general) coming to public transit in Alberta. 

I wonder if power output is locked by manufacturer so the vehicles can attain the specified range. There is a real time power usage gauge on the dash. While it could reach -2kWh/km during regenerative braking, it maxed out at 2kWh/km during acceleration. The K7's in GP are equipped with 300Ah batteries and are rated for 136 miles. (Specs right from manufacturer plate)

I'll see if I could catch it on route 5 and feel for sluggishness as it could go up to 70km/h on one stretch. 60km/h was the fastest a route 3 bus could reach. Better yet, I should try to ride the St Albert ones on commuter runs. 😄 Also looking forward to the ETS Proterra's.

 

I think battery and diesel buses are inherently heavy because of the extra components they have to carry compared to the trolleys. Battery buses are top heavy too because of the batteries. Trolleys have motors but no transmission, engines, or fuel, making them quite a bit lighter. The BBC's also have good suspension and comfy seats compared to most current low floor buses and have that "floating" feel when they ran. (I miss riding them. Wish I have at least taken videos back then)

 

I do find these Chinese buses (BYD and Grande West Vicinity) feel more flimsy and not as "refined" than New Flyer's and Nova's, although these K7 seemed to be more solid than the Vicinity. I'll check the fit and finish next time I'm on the K7. I'm still glad we're getting a wider variety of buses here. The City seems to be willing to try different buses out. They have also done a good job wrapping it too cause they didn't look appealing when they first showed up in plain white.

 

On 3/10/2019 at 8:12 PM, A. Wong said:

Thanks for sharing your experience! Nice photos by Prairie Mall :)

It was the start of PM peak service so it was empty. Sunny day for pictures but bus got dirty from melting snow and ice. You come to GP often?

001.jpg

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On 3/11/2019 at 9:24 PM, Bustizen said:

It was the start of PM peak service so it was empty. Sunny day for pictures but bus got dirty from melting snow and ice. You come to GP often?

Just maybe a couple of times per year.

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  • 2 months later...

$550 for my very own D40LF... that actually sounds like a great deal. Especially to convert a bus like that into one of those sightseeing "double deck" D40LF's like in California, and taking it around the mountains in the summer...

Where do i sign up? 😛

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New BYD's are on property:

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I *think* the sheet in the window says unit 3/3 but that was a tough tilt-screen over the head telephoto shot so even at 24mp it is barely legible lol.

CTB-029 was in service today and yesterday despite never showing up on the tracker.

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CTB-009, the lone remaining 1998 D40LF, also made it out this morning.

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