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AC Transit is finally ditching Van Hool, and is going back to Gillig (after almost 20 years!) as part of their new Buy America policy. 40 buses, although not too much else is known about this order so far:

http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_20182241/ac-transit-decides-buy-new-buses-from-hayward

Also: anyone know the status of the D60HFs? I remember a while back there was talk of replacing them with Van Hools, but everyone was so up in arms against Van Hool at that point that I'm not sure what happened with that order.

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Saito S   

AC Transit is finally ditching Van Hool, and is going back to Gillig (after almost 20 years!) as part of their new Buy America policy. 40 buses, although not too much else is known about this order so far:

http://www.mercuryne...es-from-hayward

I think this is definitely a good thing. I've always liked Gillig and was sad to see the sharp decline of Phantoms on AC Transit's lines. Plus it just seemed silly that we have this proven manufacturer right here IN one of the cities that ACT serves, and yet we aren't using em.

The Van Hools... I guess I got used to them after a while, but I still don't like them as much as other modern buses. A couple of years ago, I was in Marin County, and I had a chance to ride a 40-foot New Flyer Hybrid. I kept thinking, man, this isn't fair, GGT has these and we're stuck with the Van Hools. :lol: And AC Transit used to have TONS of New Flyers, and quite a few old "Flyers" back in the day too. Plus, buying buses from Belgium hardly helped AC Transit's perpetually troubled budget...

Also: anyone know the status of the D60HFs? I remember a while back there was talk of replacing them with Van Hools, but everyone was so up in arms against Van Hool at that point that I'm not sure what happened with that order.

I rode on one in... March? Maybe it was late February, I can't remember for sure. I had a dentist appointment in Berkeley, and then met up with a friend, and we caught the 1 down Telegraph to head toward home. I checked NextBus when we got to the stop, and it said the next one was in fifteen minutes, so we settled in to wait... but then, less than five minutes later, here comes a New Flyer D60 running on the 1 line!

I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't bother installing GPS on those buses, which would explain why it didn't show up on NextBus. That was the first time in maybe seven or eight years that I had ridden on one. I was pretty jazzed about it, which was highly amusing to the friend I was with. :D I tried to snap a photo after we got off, but the driver pulled out VERY quickly (he was beating the yellow light just past the stop), there were a bunch of people in the way, and the camera on my smartphone (the only camera I had with me at the time) wasn't focusing right, so I got nothing. :( Beyond that, I'm not sure... I haven't seen one since.

In other AC Transit news: http://www.actransit...-rapid-transit/

Now let's just hope that the project doesn't end up getting stripped down to "BRT, except, not really" by political bickering or budgetary issues.

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Ramirez   

Hi do anyone know what happen to or were it is the vanhool bus c3045 #4501?

Was that the "Low Floor" Commuter Coach? :blink: I think it was tested for like a year, but was then put up for auction, IIRC

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I rode on one in... March? Maybe it was late February, I can't remember for sure.

Wow, the D60HFs are still soldiering on! Awesome.

Was that the "Low Floor" Commuter Coach? :blink: I think it was tested for like a year, but was then put up for auction, IIRC

Thank god. Thing was a monstrosity.

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Saito S   

Wow, the D60HFs are still soldiering on! Awesome.

Yep, as of a couple months ago, anyway... hopefully I'll run into one again! I don't ride the 1 all that often, really, and I dunno if they are being used on any other lines...

Thank god. Thing was a monstrosity.

Fortunately, it does seem like this thing has gone away for good. We can only hope that the news that AC has decided to buy from Gillig at the end of the year means that they are done with Van Hool... maybe they'll decide to start replacing em with something better over the next few years?? :D (I can dream, can't I?!)

Seriously, as I said, I don't mind the Van Hools nearly as much as I used to, but I still can't say I'm a fan. And it just HAD to be that the one Bay Area agency to use these buses is the one that serves the city I live in. <_< Ah well, at least I work in SF, where all kinds of transit passes through regularly.

While I'm here, since this IS the AC Transit thread... it's been quite a while since pics were posted in here and I'm looking for excuses to post mine, since I've recently gotten into transit photography, so here is some NABI love:

7IM6el.jpg

mhpKbl.jpg

HADTVl.jpg

and an MCI shot:

IDl6fl.jpg

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While I'm here, since this IS the AC Transit thread... it's been quite a while since pics were posted in here and I'm looking for excuses to post mine, since I've recently gotten into transit photography, so here is some NABI love:

I await more images of yours! Nice pix!

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Saito S   

I await more images of yours! Nice pix!

Thanks! :) And here are a couple other contributions.

NABI 40LFW on route P, just after I'd disembarked:

RNwltl.jpg?1

I liked the idea of doing this "sidelong" shot. Not too sure how well it came out tho, haha. Perhaps I'll try again at some point when I have more visibility and no signpoles+bikers in the way. ;)

And a rare "no back window" 40LFW sighting. AC only has... 2 of these? I think it was 2, anyway:

8qyQ8l.jpg?1

Semi-related: as you can see from my post count, I'm still fairly new here. I have some pics of other agencies as well (some samTrans and quite a bit of Muni...in fact I have more Muni than anything else). I posted a few (like... 3) shots in the "Favorite Photos" thread in Photography Discussion, but generally speaking, what's the best place to post pics? There doesn't seem to be any kind of general transit vehicle photo repository, so Is it best to just post pics of each transit agency in their individual thread (i.e. just post some Muni pics in the Muni thread)? The rules say nothing about necroposting, and I've observed large time gaps between posts often, so I assume that it's ok to revive an agency-specific thread that hasn't seen any posting in a while with some photos...

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Semi-related: as you can see from my post count, I'm still fairly new here. I have some pics of other agencies as well (some samTrans and quite a bit of Muni...in fact I have more Muni than anything else). I posted a few (like... 3) shots in the "Favorite Photos" thread in Photography Discussion, but generally speaking, what's the best place to post pics?

Nice to see those NABIs still rolling! As far as posting photos, feel free to revive a thread with some photos if you like, especially if there is something important to show like a new bus or series, or rare sightings or whatever. I notice you seem to use a third party hosting site vs. uploading photos directly to the CPTDB. Since you do, for posting/sharing lots of photos in general I'd recommend starting a new thread in the Transit Websites and Fan Page Updates forum. That way you can share all your photos without having a specific topic getting filled with 100s of photos of the same series of bus. (I.e. it's great to see NABI photos, D60 photos, etc. but having dozens and dozens of photo sharing posts to look through when you're just trying to find out what's up with the Gillig order can be a little annoying for some folks.) Basically feel free to share as many photos as you like, just don't use a agency discussion thread like it's a Photobucket set, which it sounds like you're already trying not to do :)

Edited by MVTArider

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I have some pics of other agencies as well (some samTrans and quite a bit of Muni...in fact I have more Muni than anything else).

More generally, I've noticed there's not as much activity in Bay Area threads as there is in, for example, SoCal threads, which is a shame. So if you're up there and have interesting stuff and updates, please do post sometimes -- it's really helpful to people like me who currently live in SoCal but take an interest in Bay Area agencies!

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Thanks! :) And here are a couple other contributions.

NABI 40LFW on route P, just after I'd disembarked:

RNwltl.jpg?1

I liked the idea of doing this "sidelong" shot. Not too sure how well it came out tho, haha. Perhaps I'll try again at some point when I have more visibility and no signpoles+bikers in the way. ;)

And a rare "no back window" 40LFW sighting. AC only has... 2 of these? I think it was 2, anyway:

8qyQ8l.jpg?1

Semi-related: as you can see from my post count, I'm still fairly new here. I have some pics of other agencies as well (some samTrans and quite a bit of Muni...in fact I have more Muni than anything else). I posted a few (like... 3) shots in the "Favorite Photos" thread in Photography Discussion, but generally speaking, what's the best place to post pics? There doesn't seem to be any kind of general transit vehicle photo repository, so Is it best to just post pics of each transit agency in their individual thread (i.e. just post some Muni pics in the Muni thread)? The rules say nothing about necroposting, and I've observed large time gaps between posts often, so I assume that it's ok to revive an agency-specific thread that hasn't seen any posting in a while with some photos...

Yes, AC Transit has only two buses with no rear windows, 4089 and 4090. What happened to their 29XX series, are they all sold to Disney?

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Ramirez   

And a rare "no back window" 40LFW sighting. AC only has... 2 of these? I think it was 2, anyway:

NABI 40LFW's with windows? Never seen that before! You gotta share those photos! :) The NABI 40LFW's in LA don't have rear windows, so thats why its rare for me

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Saito S   

GHAA sorry for vanishing like that, suddenly my life got exponentially more complicated for a while (a big part of that was, of course, leading up to & taking my final exam for the class I've been in this spring). I suppose it's fitting that I return to this place on my birthday!

(Actually it's pretty much complete coincidence).

Nice to see those NABIs still rolling! As far as posting photos, feel free to revive a thread with some photos if you like, especially if there is something important to show like a new bus or series, or rare sightings or whatever. I notice you seem to use a third party hosting site vs. uploading photos directly to the CPTDB. Since you do, for posting/sharing lots of photos in general I'd recommend starting a new thread in the Transit Websites and Fan Page Updates forum. That way you can share all your photos without having a specific topic getting filled with 100s of photos of the same series of bus. (I.e. it's great to see NABI photos, D60 photos, etc. but having dozens and dozens of photo sharing posts to look through when you're just trying to find out what's up with the Gillig order can be a little annoying for some folks.) Basically feel free to share as many photos as you like, just don't use a agency discussion thread like it's a Photobucket set, which it sounds like you're already trying not to do :)

Yes, exactly! Thanks for the clarification. I just might start a thread in that forum, once I either A) get the relevant album in my Imgur account cleaned up (it's kind of a mess right now :lol: ), and/or B ) get a Flickr account, something I've been considering...

More generally, I've noticed there's not as much activity in Bay Area threads as there is in, for example, SoCal threads, which is a shame. So if you're up there and have interesting stuff and updates, please do post sometimes -- it's really helpful to people like me who currently live in SoCal but take an interest in Bay Area agencies!

Noted. I'm just getting into this whole transit photography thing, but I certainly plan to continue snapping shots here and there when I see the opportunity to do so!

Yes, AC Transit has only two buses with no rear windows, 4089 and 4090.

Yeah, thanks for clarifying that. Though I totally forgot when I was writing that post that it says so right on the AC Transit site (they have a "bus roster" page, and on it they single out 4089 and 4090 as not having a back window). Whoops.

What happened to their 29XX series, are they all sold to Disney?

Hmm... 29XX's are high-floor NABI's, right? I know they still have plenty of those running around; that I've noticed, the ones I ride are usually 3XXX, but I figured that the others were simply being used mainly on lines that I don't ride. I'm not sure if the 29XX NABI's were all sold or not, though some of them could have been the ones that went to Muni? I'm still new to actually paying more than superficial attention to operational elements and things like what fleet #s are used where or are sold, etc.

NABI 40LFW's with windows? Never seen that before! You gotta share those photos! :) The NABI 40LFW's in LA don't have rear windows, so thats why its rare for me

Ha, neat, it's of course the opposite up here. The first time I ever saw one of AC's no-window LFWs, I sort of stared at it for a moment, thinking what IS that? :D I haven't taken many photos of LFWs thus far, but I'll be sure to try and snap some soon!

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Saito S   

Excellent photos!

Thank ya! :) I do plan to either organize my Imgur pictures (they are badly in need of it!) and possibly post links to albums, or just get a Flickr... and maybe then post them in the websites/fanpages forum as MVTArider suggested. Just haven't had time. Also, I might be getting a new camera soon, but I've been struggling with what to get... actually, maybe I should post and see if I can get any help in the Photography forum, heh.

Doesn't it get hot inside of those NABI's when its summer tho'?

It can, yeah. The one thing I really don't like about LFWs (or at least, the ones AC Transit uses; no idea if this is universally true) is those damned heaters that line the sides of the bus, on the floor of the lower section and part of the rear high section. Most other buses I've been on have heating vents on the TOP, not the bottom, and often, the LFWs vents will still emit waves of heat even if they are not on... and since they are bottom-mounted, several forward-facing seats put you right next to em when they do so. This is rather annoying in summer.

I get the feeling, however, that there is some other specific thing I'm not aware of that you were referring to with your question...?

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Oc4526   

Hi do anyone know what happen to or were it is the vanhool bus c3045 #4501?

Was that the "Low Floor" Commuter Coach? :blink: I think it was tested for like a year, but was then put up for auction, IIRC

Its currently up for Auction on Ebay

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two things re: the AC Transit Roster

1) buses #FC 5-16 have all arrived, and are in service.

2) could someone re-format the AC Transit roster so that the current roster is in numeric order? The roster is currently confusing...

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AC Transit has ordered 23 XD60s! http://www.newflyer.com/index/2012_11_12-alameda-contra-costa Production of the twenty-three buses is anticipated to begin in March 2013, with delivery expected by August 2013.

Wow, no more Van Hool's!? These XD60's should look great in the current AC Transit livery! (If they keep the current livery that is..)

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MAX BRT   

Wow, no more Van Hool's!? These XD60's should look great in the current AC Transit livery! (If they keep the current livery that is..)

It is kind of a shame if it means no more Van Hools. They definitely are something different here in North America.

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Saito S   

I have been away for... a long time. Things have been crazy for me lately! But I was stoked to read that bit about ACT and New Flyer. It's about time AC began using their buses again! This is great news to me, especially on top of the Gillig contract. :D

Wow, no more Van Hool's!? These XD60's should look great in the current AC Transit livery! (If they keep the current livery that is..)

I imagine they will, anyway... it hasn't been around that long, and I think it works pretty well.

It is kind of a shame if it means no more Van Hools. They definitely are something different here in North America.

Ehhhh... Honestly, I don't find it to be a shame. Just the opposite, in fact.

The Van Hools are "different", but they're not actually all that "good". AC Transit, with it's perpetual financial issues, should never have bought expensive buses from freakin Belgium. Paying the shipping for that was not something they could afford, especially compared to what they'd pay for buses from NABI, New Flyer, or (especially) Gillig, whose facilities are in AC Transit's service area. To say nothing of the fact that buying buses that are made and completely finished entirely overseas, and then are shipped here at the agency's expense, is pretty much the opposite of "buying American."

The Van Hools only really became the fleet mainstay because Rick Fernandez and a few others at the top of the ACT hierarchy got a bee in their bonnet about this idea that they would be far superior to American made buses. They're not. They're just buses. Supposedly, their maintenance costs would be far lower, but that didn't turn out to be true at all. They have a couple of advantages, but not in a unique way: like the vast majority of buses, they have their advantages and disadvantages when compared to other models. The advantages aren't special, and frankly, I feel they are outweighed by the disadvantages (most of which have to do with the wacko seating configuration, with tons of backward-facing seats, high-floor islands every few feet, and frequently very cramped seating conditions that put you nose-to-nose with a stranger if you sit in some of those backward-facing seats. The horrid ride quality in the 60-footer doesn't help their case, either). I don't know if anything was ever proven, but there were also allegations that Rick and his posse were very much enjoying their numerous trips overseas to "inspect the progress" as these buses were being built and delivered (read: that was a cover for these guys to take what was essentially agency-paid vacation time in Europe).

The overall net result for AC Transit of the introduction of Van Hool buses has been negative, across the board. I sincerely hope that these announcements of acquisitions of Gillig and New Flyer buses DO in fact mean that AC Transit's days of buying Van Hool buses are over.

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ABQ RIDE   

I have been away for... a long time. Things have been crazy for me lately! But I was stoked to read that bit about ACT and New Flyer. It's about time AC began using their buses again! This is great news to me, especially on top of the Gillig contract. :D

I imagine they will, anyway... it hasn't been around that long, and I think it works pretty well.

Ehhhh... Honestly, I don't find it to be a shame. Just the opposite, in fact.

The Van Hools are "different", but they're not actually all that "good". AC Transit, with it's perpetual financial issues, should never have bought expensive buses from freakin Belgium. Paying the shipping for that was not something they could afford, especially compared to what they'd pay for buses from NABI, New Flyer, or (especially) Gillig, whose facilities are in AC Transit's service area. To say nothing of the fact that buying buses that are made and completely finished entirely overseas, and then are shipped here at the agency's expense, is pretty much the opposite of "buying American."

The Van Hools only really became the fleet mainstay because Rick Fernandez and a few others at the top of the ACT hierarchy got a bee in their bonnet about this idea that they would be far superior to American made buses. They're not. They're just buses. Supposedly, their maintenance costs would be far lower, but that didn't turn out to be true at all. They have a couple of advantages, but not in a unique way: like the vast majority of buses, they have their advantages and disadvantages when compared to other models. The advantages aren't special, and frankly, I feel they are outweighed by the disadvantages (most of which have to do with the wacko seating configuration, with tons of backward-facing seats, high-floor islands every few feet, and frequently very cramped seating conditions that put you nose-to-nose with a stranger if you sit in some of those backward-facing seats. The horrid ride quality in the 60-footer doesn't help their case, either). I don't know if anything was ever proven, but there were also allegations that Rick and his posse were very much enjoying their numerous trips overseas to "inspect the progress" as these buses were being built and delivered (read: that was a cover for these guys to take what was essentially agency-paid vacation time in Europe).

The overall net result for AC Transit of the introduction of Van Hool buses has been negative, across the board. I sincerely hope that these announcements of acquisitions of Gillig and New Flyer buses DO in fact mean that AC Transit's days of buying Van Hool buses are over.

Furthermore, the Van Hool buses do not go through any Altoona testing whatsoever. Considering that most European TAs replace buses after 7 years at most, I think it would be almost impossible for the Van Hools to have 12-year certification without significantly re-engineering the buses.

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