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On 5/27/2022 at 9:58 PM, Frozen Yogurt said:

Spotted Coach Canda 88022 on Sherbrooke the other day, running for Gray line. Seems like it was running in Ontario previously.

Today: spotted 28-705 on the 35. I got 27-510 on the 36! No idea if it is rare to see 2nd gen on the 36 these days.

Caught 29-803 on the 121 later in the day!

stm28705_20220527.jpeg

It actually is pretty rare, one day I saw like, 13 3rd gens, 6 hybrids and all 7 electric buses on that route, and only once I saw a 2nd gen.
Saw 28-704 on the 496, and 40-064 on the 71.

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I was in the Eastern Townships the past week, and I tried the Coaticook Acti-bus service.

They run different sized vehicles depending on demand, so I took an IC bus intermediate bus, a Girardin G5 minibus, and a Dodge Sprinter on their intermunicipal Sherbrooke-Compton-Coaticook service.

The minibus seemed pretty old and had fleet number G1. I saw at least two other minibuses, including G4, another Girardin G5 running on the local service.

Overall, it was a very good service. They are willing to deviate slightly from the routing to let people on/off at requested locations. However, the stop in Sherbrooke had no marking at all. Despite there being plenty of space at the Limocar terminal, Acti-bus passengers have to stand in front of the Siboire brewery to wait for the bus to show up.

coaticook_van.thumb.jpg.1db2b9bff13f7bda98cf9f5b9578716b.jpgcoaticook_intermediate.thumb.jpg.e9ebfad7555f89e53b441e9fccc36c37.jpgcoaticook_g1.thumb.jpg.d7b8ce38b502b0fe5d3d2817a4fce80c.jpg

Also while I was in Sherbrooke, I saw La Québecoise 2323 (2003 H3-41) running on their Sherbrooke-Trois Rivières service.

laquebecoise_2323.thumb.jpg.e2f454945a9265334c5a84875705e759.jpg

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15 hours ago, MTL66 said:

So La Quebecois went fro using a 2011 bus, transferring that to exo service to run a 2003 on the service. La Quebecois at it's finest.

At least that one was originally used for Star Académie, so it should have a luxurious interior. I'm pretty sure I saw an even older 2001 La Québecoise unit doing the Sherbrooke-Québec line, but I was at a restaurant when it passed so I wasn't paying full attention.

-

Spotted an unmarked white LFS on the Concordia Shuttle today. I managed to get close to it and found a paper in the window indicating it was 29264.

keolis_29264.thumb.jpg.78efb20aa4dcf5ed91df28c6509e2d62.jpgkeolis_29264_r.thumb.jpg.61c4ba8a5ea32d0263776ae98188a120.jpg

It seems that these units are no longer on the airport contract, probably replaced with 420-201 to 420-206. I also saw 29265 doing the Concordia shuttle back in April.

keolis_29265.thumb.jpg.30dae2283db3630563da8442816ee81f.jpg

Perhaps they will end up replacing the 2008 LFS 112, 113 and 117 some time soon since these are much newer. Keolis already replaced many of their 2008's running on exo contracts.

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On 5/28/2022 at 7:56 PM, MontrealBusFan said:

It actually is pretty rare, one day I saw like, 13 3rd gens, 6 hybrids and all 7 electric buses on that route, and only once I saw a 2nd gen.
Saw 28-704 on the 496, and 40-064 on the 71.

Ok good, that confirms what I thought. Never saw a 2nd gen on the 36 since the 36-90x entered service, until when I took 27-510. 

===

Got 30-879 on the 121 yesterday afternoon. The departure after 30-879 as well as the next 171 have both been cancelled.

With how bad the June schedule looks like (the 121 schedule will almost look like that of the 128 on Sundays... but with artics), no intention whatsoever from the stm to hire any new drivers (from what I've heard, no new hires since January 2021), possible heat waves here and there, I bet there will be more cancellations all over the places this summer, leaving people stranded for extended periods. I can't believe the 121 will be down to every 20 minutes midday on weekdays... the worst is has ever been so far. The best way to regain ridership is to make schedules with such a shitty frequency to screw the few remaining riders away, so that those who are still stuck with the 121 will now be caught in even more traffic. Bravo.

One must wonder why the ridership at the stm has remained stagnant at barely more than half of the 2019 level, when the trace of the pandemic is being felt less and less, while congestion level has been largely back to pre-pandemic levels. Simply keep blaming the pandemic and revenue loss (did Legault not commit to fund more? I don't understand why ARTM keeps being mentioned as an obstacle, why did we even create it then?) is simply an excuse to cover up poor management, and lack of will into improving the actual service being offered. The stm needs more than ever to get out of that mentality of "if it looks good, it must ride good" and thinking that doing PR campaigns will somehow bring people back to public transit.

To throw some numbers around, the service level planned for summer 2022 on the 121 is 48 departures less than that of summer 2019, with reductions mostly in rush hours and midday. I'm sure the funding situation is much more delicate than I can imagine of, and they may have legit reasons for everything, but this practice is not sustainable in long run: your average person doesn't give a fudge about COVID or ARTM, he/she wants service and if it's not satisfactory, it shows in the ridership level. When will we be "out" of this pandemic? 2050? 2080? Will we keep comparing it to 2019 forever? It's time for change, because we can't keep up until 2080 always in COVID mode, and then think about everything else such as our environment. End of my parentheses.

===

Today. The early morning 171SL occasionally gets the 2nd gens, but of course never when I can take one of those. 30-221 ended up doing the trip I was hoping to take this morning. I took 29-823 on the 121 instead, for once some change of luck I guess. 29-150 was also on the 171.

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4 hours ago, Frozen Yogurt said:

Ok good, that confirms what I thought. Never saw a 2nd gen on the 36 since the 36-90x entered service, until when I took 27-510. 

===

Got 30-879 on the 121 yesterday afternoon. The departure after 30-879 as well as the next 171 have both been cancelled.

With how bad the June schedule looks like (the 121 schedule will almost look like that of the 128 on Sundays... but with artics), no intention whatsoever from the stm to hire any new drivers (from what I've heard, no new hires since January 2021), possible heat waves here and there, I bet there will be more cancellations all over the places this summer, leaving people stranded for extended periods. I can't believe the 121 will be down to every 20 minutes midday on weekdays... the worst is has ever been so far. The best way to regain ridership is to make schedules with such a shitty frequency to screw the few remaining riders away, so that those who are still stuck with the 121 will now be caught in even more traffic. Bravo.

One must wonder why the ridership at the stm has remained stagnant at barely more than half of the 2019 level, when the trace of the pandemic is being felt less and less, while congestion level has been largely back to pre-pandemic levels. Simply keep blaming the pandemic and revenue loss (did Legault not commit to fund more? I don't understand why ARTM keeps being mentioned as an obstacle, why did we even create it then?) is simply an excuse to cover up poor management, and lack of will into improving the actual service being offered. The stm needs more than ever to get out of that mentality of "if it looks good, it must ride good" and thinking that doing PR campaigns will somehow bring people back to public transit.

To throw some numbers around, the service level planned for summer 2022 on the 121 is 48 departures less than that of summer 2019, with reductions mostly in rush hours and midday. I'm sure the funding situation is much more delicate than I can imagine of, and they may have legit reasons for everything, but this practice is not sustainable in long run: your average person doesn't give a fudge about COVID or ARTM, he/she wants service and if it's not satisfactory, it shows in the ridership level. When will we be "out" of this pandemic? 2050? 2080? Will we keep comparing it to 2019 forever? It's time for change, because we can't keep up until 2080 always in COVID mode, and then think about everything else such as our environment. End of my parentheses.

===

Today. The early morning 171SL occasionally gets the 2nd gens, but of course never when I can take one of those. 30-221 ended up doing the trip I was hoping to take this morning. I took 29-823 on the 121 instead, for once some change of luck I guess. 29-150 was also on the 171.

Just to give you an idea, there are 8 drivers leaving on May 31. My friend was given the run around for 3 weeks to be able to sign his papers because so many drivers are retiring, that they cannot keep up. They are not replacing these drivers, so instead of having cancelled departures all summer, the STM basically has per-cancelled these departures and will have renforts scattered throughout the garages/stations to help with overcrowding. 1 driver able to help out in various situations instead of making 10 drivers run empty of routes because their is too much service.

The STM no longer has control over their budget. This now falls to the ARTM and they decide how much money can be spent. This is the result of years of abuse by the STM when it came to budget, always overspending and over promising. They have fired or let any one with any sense of how transit works leave the higher management positions and replace them with puppets that have a fancy diploma and zero experience. I was in the process for a position within exo, I was passed over for a candidate that has the diploma/piece of paper they are looking for and no experience. I may not have a diploma, but I have been managing a fleet of trucks and drivers for the past 14 years, I know Montreal by heart.  When me as a photographer with no ties to the STM knows how to operate an LFS more than the CO sent to figure out the problem, there is a problem, but they have a diploma that says they can handle these types of situations.

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RTC sigthings (June 1st):

- L0605 and L0710 are still running. The former was on Express 250 and the latter was on leBus 59.

- L1526, 1607 and 2055 were the 40-footers I saw on Métrobus 800. I think all three of them had bike racks on them.

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On 5/31/2022 at 2:22 AM, MTL66 said:

will have renforts scattered throughout the garages/stations to help with overcrowding

This is the thing I've been hearing over and over since March 2020. Never seen it happening and it won't happen this summer. Instead they'll keep cancelling the runs because they'll keep being short on drivers. Drivers will be on leave, some won't be able to show up last minute and they can't find a replacement asap, etc., so whole shifts get cancelled. It will be fun to know the next 121 is coming in 40 minutes...! I wonder when was the last time the 121 had such a shitty frequency, probably decades ago already. The question is, if ARTM is frugal about the stm, what are they keeping the money for?

The layovers are getting more generous than ever though (not surprising since there are so few trips that none is timed well at the termini). Noticed some 121 runs will have even 20 min layovers in "rush" hours (well if you can still call that a rush hour). 

I just took a look at the 171 schedule, going westbound (so the actual "peak" direction)... departures at 07:21 and 07:34 (so... 13 min frequency in the middle of rush hour on a line that's prone to overcrowding already). Jesus christ.

===

Went for 171SL, ended up on 31-018 on a renfort this morning.

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The RTL sent out some older buses today surprisingly. Spotted 20812 on the 81, 20911 on the 88, 21011 on the 8 (AV), and 21103 on the 74. Normally on weekends the oldest I see tracking are 2013's.

Also, Orléans Express 420-809 was at Berri this afternoon. This one is ex-Skyport I think? It doesn't follow the standard Orléans numbering scheme.

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Some mentally deranged got on 10-57x on the orange line at Lionel-Groulx yesterday, screaming and swearing all along. He decided to activate his pepper spray on a train full of people just after leaving Place St-Henri towards Vendôme. The result is a panicked crowd coughing, screaming and running to escape. The operator was called to assess the situation, and later the entire station was evacuated. It ended up being a mess at Vendôme with all the police cars, fire trucks, ambulances, etc. and confused commuters who were trying to get on the few 90-E towards Atwater (or asking about where the 17-N stop is). The metro wasn't down for long though, about 40 minutes.

Spotted the (finally!) un-wrapped 31-071 today. The rear fleet number is handwritten into the thick layer of dust that somehow accumulated on all windows.

I could have taken 31-094 on the 171 today, but went to grab something and got 31-831 on the 121 instead. 🙄

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On 6/2/2022 at 8:19 PM, Frozen Yogurt said:

The layovers are getting more generous than ever though (not surprising since there are so few trips that none is timed well at the termini). Noticed some 121 runs will have even 20 min layovers in "rush" hours (well if you can still call that a rush hour). 

For all the 27/3 runs at the STM (27 minutes driving, 3 minutes break), drivers appreciate once in a while getting a decent break at the end of their runs.

Sometimes those breaks are also necessary to keep bus route on equal headway, let's get an exemple.

Let's take the 162 Westminster on weeknights, STM wants a 30 minutes headway between trips. WB to CSL takes 33 minutes, they gave 3 minutes break (less then 10%), then the EB trip 28 minutes, add 3 minutes layover = 67 minutes rountrip, then yes bus has to wait 23 minutes to start again to keep that route frequency.

Some low key routes keeps clockwork frequency, some others are just junk for both riders and drivers, 124 Victoria is a perfect example, no consistency during the day on trip times, basically just operate with bare minimum frequency and just put bare minimum breaks to minimize cost.

Finally, a driver sitting on break yes do nothing, but while is in break you pay for only the driver salary and a bit of fuel in the winter. When a bus is running, you pay the driver, fuel, putting mileage on the bus, incoming maintenance and inspections etc...

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On 6/5/2022 at 1:32 PM, eclair14 said:

For all the 27/3 runs at the STM (27 minutes driving, 3 minutes break), drivers appreciate once in a while getting a decent break at the end of their runs.

Sometimes those breaks are also necessary to keep bus route on equal headway, let's get an exemple.

That's more diving into the (approx) half-hourly routes I guess. Having been a regular of the 16 in the past, I understand what you're trying to say. For this specific case, the 121 isn't something you'd expect 20 minute layovers all over the places... already there's so ample run time that drivers need to drive 20 km/h and purposely miss green lights to not be too early, now there's also 20 minutes of layover after each trip. Of course, the stm wants a certain level of service and hastus built the schedule as they required, but really I wonder by how much operational cost it managed to decrease compared to service hour reduction, the fact is not only there is generally more layover but there's more deadheading as well.

On 6/5/2022 at 1:32 PM, eclair14 said:

Finally, a driver sitting on break yes do nothing, but while is in break you pay for only the driver salary and a bit of fuel in the winter. When a bus is running, you pay the driver, fuel, putting mileage on the bus, incoming maintenance and inspections etc...

Maybe the recent fuel price changed the game around, but the argument I've heard a lot before is that the driver salary is by far what costs the most for transit agencies. While I agree that reasonable layovers should be scheduled for various reasons, the 121 specifically seems so wasteful for such a level of service that's offered, already too slow and now too much layover. Anyway.

===

171SL wasn't tracking this morning, didn't bother dealing with whatever it is - enough ISL9. Turned out to be 38-084, oh well. Took 37-066 instead.

31-040 and 28-098 were parked in front of SN yesterday, presumably ready to be shunted away.

Got 31-821 this evening. I wonder if the AC ever worked on those two (or on 31-168).

30-014 was on the 171 yesterday Still not tracking.

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I just saw the retired STM 25-208 passing by terminus montmorency, it had the "En Transit" destination sign. Anyone wonders what the bus was doing in Laval?

On 6/2/2022 at 12:13 AM, West Island Transit Fan said:

SD 29-061 was on the 420, not tracking.

Galland 780 was on the Inter service from Gare St Jérôme to Mont-Tremblant. That was a surprise since it should be normally served by 2017 LFS 7170-7174.

Took Transdev 356216 on Exo Laurentides 9 Express SB at 18:11.

 

IMG_20220601_181305_edit_586810520762015.jpg

I love how unique 780 is, it has the newer light, yet it has the same engine as the 25-xxx to 27-xxx STM LFS

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