Jump to content

The Bus (Honolulu, HI)


busfreak99
 Share

Recommended Posts

Was recently in contact with a The Bus rep and asked a few questions about their fleet. The first question was just to see if they knew what they were talking about. Seems many of their phantoms have been retired. Also interesting to note that more battery electric buses are already being considered.

C39FB485-1095-4DAA-96CB-7E3E5E3BEE52.thumb.jpeg.fdbb525a194c76521742103691f26db5.jpeg

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, Thomasw said:

Was recently in contact with a The Bus rep and asked a few questions about their fleet.

I would send that rep a hearty thank you. It's pretty rare to receive such detailed operational info directly from the transit system.

I am curious about fleet numbers for future orders.

The new electric buses crack into four digits, yes? My sense is, TheBus deliberately tries to stay "below 1000" for full-size vehicles. It may have to do with license plate numbers matching fleet numbers? Not sure.

What's open now? Any reason the 400 series has been overlooked/underused for so long?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/20/2021 at 3:55 PM, ieko said:

In the USA, the agencies are mostly a public entity that will exist whether or not a policy goal is met. So there's no forces pushing for improvement.

Thanks for your response.

I take another angle on some of the issues you've stated. Nonetheless, I appreciate your perspective and I'm glad we can engage in a productive, respectful difference of viewpoint!

In the US, transit just isn't a high priority period. If it were, all entities involved -- private and public -- would be more motivated to get on board with electric buses and other innovations. There would be serious resources to "do it right".

Thing is, in many cases, new/advanced/innovative projects get pushed on public transit systems as gimmicks -- quick ways for slick politicians to look like "leaders". There is weak commitment to doing it right. After the ribbon-cutting and photo op, the politician can claim a win, wipe their hands and move onto the next gimmick. This is not a Republican or Democrat thing -- it's just how public projects work in the US. It goes far beyond transit.

When projects don't meet expectations, the public transit entity is left to clean up the mess. It eats into scarce resources for maintenance and operations. The public entity inevitably is made to look bad -- even when the private partner is the one who came up short. In many cases, the private partners are just as shortsighted as the politicians.

This has caused transit administrators to be cautious about adopting new technologies. Not closed-minded or opposed -- just "thorough" about making sure all the practical details are accounted for.

 

On 1/20/2021 at 3:55 PM, ieko said:

Additionally, we have concessions, so anyone wishing to win these concessions must have an aggressive plan to meet those policy goals or risk losing the concession bid to another vendor.

Plenty of transit operations in the US are contracted out to private vendors. When it comes to strategic approach, I don't see a dramatic difference between private operators and public operators.

The large private firms turn in a decent performance in some places. However, their "innovation" comes mostly from low wages and running their employees ragged. Not to mention, relying on their public "clients" to cover large shares of the cost.

On the public side, I've been pleasantly surprised. Sure, there's plenty of "lazy bureaucrats" out there -- by and large, though, I've found public administrators to be curious about new ideas and eager to improve. The barriers generally come from higher levels of "leadership" that are many steps above the actual transit operation.

 

On 1/20/2021 at 3:55 PM, ieko said:

It is true that OTS has Hastus, but just because you have the keys to a Ferrari doesn't mean you can drive it!  if you take some time to look at the timetables for TheBus, you'll see they're all over the place.

Low key -- and with all due respect to OTS -- I agree with your assessment.

There's definitely sloppiness in TheBus schedules, and evidence that they're not using HASTUS to its fullest extent.

It's a question of aligning resources and priorities. In the case of scheduling, it's so %#$ing technical -- that most decisionmakers don't have the attention span for it! I'd say that's on "us" to make a stronger case to use our tools more effectively. That may not be happening in Oahu right now -- but it's certainly not out-of-reach for a big, high-profile system like TheBus!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Border City Transit said:

I would send that rep a hearty thank you. It's pretty rare to receive such detailed operational info directly from the transit system.

Agreed! Many transit agencies have ignored me and/or even blocked me in the past so this was a nice surprise. What I'm curious about is that the wiki states 302, 308 and 328 as being retired but this rep did not mention that. I believe that @Only1Moore wrote 328 as being retired in August. I'm curious as to where you got that information. I'm not saying it's wrong because it could very well be that my source missed it. I seemed to have marked 302 as retired in August and 308 as retired in November 2019 based of auction records which I will double check tonight

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/21/2021 at 5:44 PM, Thomasw said:

-snip-

Damned, I was hoping that I could take a ride on the 30' Phantom shorties before they were phased out from the fleet. On the flip-side, I hope that 337 is still out there for me to get before the 1997 and 1998 Phantoms too get completely phased out. 

This pandemic, I swear to God. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/22/2021 at 6:51 AM, Thomasw said:

Agreed! Many transit agencies have ignored me and/or even blocked me in the past so this was a nice surprise. What I'm curious about is that the wiki states 302, 308 and 328 as being retired but this rep did not mention that. I believe that @Only1Moore wrote 328 as being retired in August. I'm curious as to where you got that information. I'm not saying it's wrong because it could very well be that my source missed it. I seemed to have marked 302 as retired in August and 308 as retired in November 2019 based of auction records which I will double check tonight

328 is now part of the NEX shuttle for Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam. I see that bus whenever I’m at the NEX, but they have the retired Gilligs parked due to the service being suspended because of the pandemic.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Has anyone heard if TheBus is anticipating purchasing "off the shelf" driver barriers for their buses? I was in town over the past few days and was shocked to see that the shower curtain (looks like a COVID curtain to me...) is still being used. Are there plans to replace these? Is the other barrier (one with the door knob on the outside) an actual purchased solution or is that something that was engineered in house? I often forget that TheBus thrives using rubber bands...it's just surprising to see that after a year of the pandemic this is the best they have been able to do.

Also, with the COVID service cuts, how many buses are now in the reserve fleet since they have reduced service as much as they have? Upon quick glance at the Kalihi facility during the morning rush hour it seemed like there were quite a few buses parked.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

March changes:

http://www.thebus.org/updates/data/MarchRouteModificationsEffectiveSundayMarch72021.htm

On 2/3/2021 at 9:14 AM, Williamv said:

When Honolulu’s first battery electric bus was introduced on December 14, it was announced that it would be in service in “a few weeks.” Now it’s February. Any updates?

And now it’s almost March. Any information?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi, all good afternoon, 

I saw check on the internet page on the Wiki only -> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TheBus_(Honolulu) <- It has no fleet listings were empty very strange.

 

And anyone, the new bus Gillig Battery where find it listed on the CPTDB Wiki, for the info also did not answer added list page this https://cptdb.ca/wiki/index.php/TheBus and new bus Gillig (Battery) expect coach (4000's) the info. Thank you for understanding.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
3 minutes ago, Amaryah Johnson said:

Welcome, but unfortunately because I saw post your picture they for a little bit blurry own your phone in the dark in Hawaii?

Yeah ik, and plus I knew the 20 is going to be back to pearl city because a lady driver (auntie) from pearl city told me a few weeks ago that she'll be doing route 20 and in my opinion because the route 122 and 121.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, Alika.valdez1234 said:

Yeah ik, and plus I knew the 20 is going to be back to pearl city because a lady driver (auntie) from pearl city told me a few weeks ago that she'll be doing route 20 and in my opinion because the route 122 and 121.

Oh, I see. Thank you for the info 👍🏽.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
On 2/22/2021 at 8:50 AM, Williamv said:

When Honolulu’s first battery electric bus was introduced on December 14, it was announced that it would be in service in “a few weeks.” Now it’s February. Any updates?

And now it’s almost March. Any information?

And now it’s almost April. Does anyone know what’s going on? Driver training? Infrastructure? Waiting for future deliveries? Or is it because the 40-foot Gillig electrics are still not listed as having passed the Altoona test?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Honolulu’s Division of Purchasing website lists a new solicitation today (4/17) “To Furnish and Deliver Forty (40) Foot Heavy-Duty Low-Floor Clean Diesel Buses,” presumably for 2022. There are existing bid results listed for various diesel and battery electric buses for 2021.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And now another solicitation to “Furnish and Deliver Sixty (60) Foot Articulating Clean Diesel Buses” for 2022. Looks like the early 800s and the early 100s will be gone next year. Interesting this is happening the week of Earth Day and the nation, the state, the city and Hawaiian Electric all committing to a clean energy and carbon free future. Does this indicate a lack of confidence in electric buses and explain why the ones already delivered have not been put into service yet?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Williamv said:

And now another solicitation to “Furnish and Deliver Sixty (60) Foot Articulating Clean Diesel Buses” for 2022. Looks like the early 800s and the early 100s will be gone next year. Interesting this is happening the week of Earth Day and Hawaiian Electric’s commitment to a clean energy future. Does this indicate a lack of confidence in electric buses and explain why the ones already delivered have not been put into service yet?

Honestly I think it indicates a lack of current charging capability along with the inability to furnish the vehicles in the timeframe that replacement buses are required. 100-116 are 2002 (?) buses and will hit their 20 year mark next year - considering they retired 132-141 (the "silver bullets") years ago tells you that these buses are more than ready to be sent to pasture (or recycle). In a typical agency, the mid-life rehab of buses occurs around the 6-7 year mark - these were repainted in at least year 12 of their lives. TheBus has a big issue with the 300's being a 65 bus fleet, the 800's being a 68 bus fleet, and their replacement fleets being significantly less than that over the past few years. I am guessing that they will need a significant order to make up for some of that lost time. Just conjecture...but I can't say it's not without some at least relative data.

I recently had a conversation with some people at DTS and they explained that New Flyer will not equip the hybrids with smaller engines than what they equip the clean diesel buses with (at least the 60' buses) so they have drifted away from the hybrid model as those buses offer limited cost savings over the lifetime of the bus. I believe that they will purchase buses based on grant $$ they receive, but will Hopefully this means that they will have the ability to purchase additional vehicles with the initial purchase price savings of clean diesel vs. hybrid. The contact also indicated (what has been heard anecdotally) that New Flyer is increasingly difficult to work with, leaving them with no choice but to reconsider Novabus for their 60' LFSA. I have to say, I have been super impressed with the latest New Flyer articulated buses in the fleet (silent kneeling - what innovation!) but I don't think the business is guaranteed for them.

Regardless, I think this is more a "timing isn't ideal" situation for a full transition to electric vehicle procurement - TheBus is still in the beta phase. Word on the street is that the Gillig electric buses drive better than any other buses in the fleet, but it will take time (and money) - more than mainland agencies - to bring a full electric future to TheBus. I would say that TheBus will leverage all the "green" benefits of rail starting next Earth Day and beyond, while continuing to test the abilities of electric vehicles for a few years more. One last side note - rumor has it that there will be a rail circulator once they open all the way to Kalihi TC, and the plan is for that route to be fully electrified. Also noted - there are ambitions to make route 40 a fully electric route with charging capabilities at Alapai TC, which would enable TheBus to keep buses on the road without seeing the garage potentially for days on end. My guess is that these would be enabled by rooftop charging or ground induction charging, which are technologies that I am not aware of Gillig deploying with its Cummins propulsion system at this time.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...