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On 10/3/2021 at 10:36 PM, MNbusdriver said:

There are some operators who still enjoy driving the high floors like myself, but as more and more time goes by that we haven’t used them, there are a lot of new drivers that weren’t trained on them and don’t want them.  Ironically, these buses were already on the way out the door when I started but I just love them. They drive so much better than anything they build today. Of the artics we do still use regularly, I prefer the 3300s, they are a lot smoother driving buses than the Xcelsiors. I don’t really care for the 3400s, they look very nice and classy, but they are jerky and when you stop the retarder kicks in real strong when you hit the brakes, and I’m always worried I’m going to launch someone through the windshield if I have to stop quick. 

 

another side note — Metro Transit is trying to gradually lay off using the artics so heavy, as they can’t keep up with the brake jobs and maintenance on them. They’re used to using them as highway buses and we’ve been running them so hard for the past year they are getting to the point where a lot of the buses need work done. They have taken most of the 3200s out of service now as well.

I've noticed the 3200 and 3300 series artics seem much better in quality from my perspective as a rider too. A bit smoother and more solid feeling when riding. I've been on a few of the 3400s with pieces of the interior panels hanging down or a light fixture cover sitting on a seat, and wow those things rattle bad sometimes.

That makes sense they need to pull them out for maintenance and brakes. Routes like the 5 and 54 are especially hard on them I imagine. IIRC there's not exactly a surplus of maintenance and mechanic staff at MT either.

On 10/12/2021 at 8:46 PM, hp2ena said:

- Expect service cuts next pick because of operator shortage.

I wonder if we'll see a few more routes transferred to MTS eventually if this continues. If some of the peak period express runs can be covered with a 40', it would probably make sense to just kick some more 16xx over to First if it means core routes like 5, 6, 21, 54, etc. have more reliable coverage.

Well, at least they got plenty of extra operators to run the RED line.

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8 hours ago, MVTArider said:

I've noticed the 3200 and 3300 series artics seem much better in quality from my perspective as a rider too. A bit smoother and more solid feeling when riding. I've been on a few of the 3400s with pieces of the interior panels hanging down or a light fixture cover sitting on a seat, and wow those things rattle bad sometimes.

Do you happen to know which New Flyer plant built the 3400s?

NFI had serious quality control problems at the Anniston plant (former NABI) around the time the 3400s were in production. It's since improved -- but it cost New Flyer the confidence of many large, longtime customers (most notably, King County Metro in Seattle)...

Regardless of plant, pre-Xcelsior New Flyers were, in many ways, more solid products. I am moderately favorable on the Xcelsior... but I see an awful lot of Gillig influence, unfortunately. New Flyer really lowered the standards on parts and assembly, plus a few key design features.

I'd still take any New Flyer over any Gillig LF any day of the week. But New Flyer would do well to tighten up.

 

8 hours ago, MVTArider said:

I wonder if we'll see a few more routes transferred to MTS eventually if this continues. If some of the peak period express runs can be covered with a 40', it would probably make sense to just kick some more 16xx over to First if it means core routes like 5, 6, 21, 54, etc. have more reliable coverage.

What suggests that First Transit is any less stretched for staff? First Transit pays less and runs its people ragged -- how are they better positioned to attract operators than Metro Transit?

I hesitate to believe First Transit would turn in a better performance on major, frequent, high-ridership routes. There's way too many corners they'd jump to cut. It's all about the $$$$$ with those guys. They can more-or-less handle "easy" routes with one or two buses apiece. Longer, less predictable routes requiring more resources? Forget it.

It's certainly discouraging to see service cuts as a result of staffing shortages. At least Metro Transit is honest about the situation -- and there is evidence that they're working to fix it.

 

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When I lived in the Twin Cities, I remember some 61 trips through the industrial park would get a D60.

 

EDIT:

https://metrocouncil.org/Council-Meetings/Committees/Committee-of-the-Whole/2021/10-20-21/Info-Item-Zero-Emmissions-Bus-Program.aspx

Electric bus plan being developed,we could have up to 285 more electrics in the coming years. 

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On 10/14/2021 at 6:56 AM, Border City Transit said:

Do you happen to know which New Flyer plant built the 3400s?

 

All of the Xcelsiors came from the St. Cloud plant

 

1 hour ago, Spirits Transport said:

XDE40 7291 is on the 61 right now. Don’t know if it’s rare or anything but I almost never see anything but Gillig LF’s on it considering I live along arcade.

makes me wish I wasn’t in school so I could ride it.

C00A195D-EC0F-4B87-980A-C7EE7ADBC068.jpeg

If you have the Pantograph app, you can pull up its block schedule and see how long it will be on the route. Looks like it'll be on the 61 until 7:40pm

 

25 minutes ago, Tcmetro said:

EDIT:

https://metrocouncil.org/Council-Meetings/Committees/Committee-of-the-Whole/2021/10-20-21/Info-Item-Zero-Emmissions-Bus-Program.aspx

Electric bus plan being developed,we could have up to 285 more electrics in the coming years. 

Dang, beat me to it! They'll be presenting that at the meeting next Wednesday, and looks like there'll be a space for folks to chime in on 11/3 and 11/4. That plan is due to the legislature 2/15/22. Meanwhile, the 8700s will be returning to service in the coming days because the chargers appear to have been fixed.

BTW, I'll be at I-35W/Lake at 5am next Monday if anyone wants to join me. The first northbound revenue bus to go through the new station will be a northbound 535, arriving around 5:30am. The first southbound revenue bus and the first Southwest Transit bus will go through the new station at around 5:50am. 

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On 10/14/2021 at 6:56 AM, Border City Transit said:

What suggests that First Transit is any less stretched for staff? First Transit pays less and runs its people ragged -- how are they better positioned to attract operators

You're right. It was a stupid thought.

On 10/15/2021 at 12:46 PM, Spirits Transport said:

XDE40 7291 is on the 61 right now. Don’t know if it’s rare or anything but I almost never see anything but Gillig LF’s on it considering I live along arcade.

makes me wish I wasn’t in school so I could ride it.

C00A195D-EC0F-4B87-980A-C7EE7ADBC068.jpeg

The XDE40 were originally bought to test out the new (at the time) 'super hybrid' system and be operated on various routes around the system. Even though they're 9 years old they still seem to get around quite a bit showing up on all sorts of routes. Definitely rare to find one on the 61, but also not surprising since they show up on such random runs. They do seem to show up on the 10 and 25 semi-regularly when they are running.

On 10/15/2021 at 2:28 PM, hp2ena said:

BTW, I'll be at I-35W/Lake at 5am next Monday if anyone wants to join me. The first northbound revenue bus to go through the new station will be a northbound 535, arriving around 5:30am. The first southbound revenue bus and the first Southwest Transit bus will go through the new station at around 5:50am. 

5:30 is a bit early for me, I'm usually just getting home from work at 1am :lol:

Hopefully they'll still be able to open... EDIT: looks like it'll be delayed unfortunately :(

https://kstp.com/traffic/2-dead-in-fiery-car-crash-bus-station-i-35w-lake-street-minneapolis/6271983/

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2 hours ago, Spirits Transport said:

XD60 8105 is on the 5. Don’t know if C line buses on local routes is that rare but it’s there

831F5114-C024-4383-BAA4-374C42B6056E.jpeg

First time to my understanding. Can confirm. It’s out until 12:30am.

Also, 35W/Lake is opening tomorrow at 5am. Again, open invitation 

23AAA6E4-234F-41F6-8403-7E8B4C3C138B.thumb.jpeg.2fc39ead95b597810ee9c0fc2fc93a78.jpeg

Also, attaching a spreadsheet of all Metro Transit Phantoms that made it over to CyRide. 

OPEN RECORDS REQUEST 10.20.21.xlsx

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