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M. Parsons

Regina Transit

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To answer OCSTOFan: Another question how many new Nova did Regina get this year?

 

 

At least seven are known, 692 to 698. The last of these is shown above, and apparently not in service yet. I rode on 697 two weeks ago. These buses were purchased specifically to be able to provide increased service to the University of Regina, due to their adoption of the UPass program. However, they have in fact been used on routes throughout the city, at least partially because of the retirement of a number of older buses. I wonder - is the small NovaBus eLFS 36-902 shown in the photo, a demo, or is it a bus RTS bought to replace the removed EZ Riders.

 

 

 

 

 

It looks like RTS will have to open up a new number series for any further buses - probably in the 800`s from 810 onwards. 

 

 

 

 

 

The bus designated as 222 (former ETS 955) was never actually placed in revenue service. I saw it being test-driven, but it was obviously rejected. It appears to have been disposed of without any RTS markings or special equipment ever having been added.

 

 

 

 

 

David Onodera had bought another used bus whose fate is unknown - an ex-Toronto Orion low-floor. Before he was fired for criticizing the downtown Square Project traffic schmozzle, he was photographed for the Leader-Post in a published article, in front of this very bus. I saw it being test-driven northbound on Broad Street, but it never was placed in service in Regina. Does anyone know - apparently another used bus bought from Letbridge or USA was rejected due to a defective bulkhead according to news reports. Apparently there was never a 219 or 220, those numbers are unaccounted for in the lists. By the way, where is David O now...

 

 

  

 

 

I know what happened to the four ex-Montreal STM older NovaBus low floors that were parked behind the garage for the longest time - Saskatoon got those as their 501 to 504. But they since disposed of them, keeping one of them (502) for parts.

 

 

 

 

 

Regarding the first three used Fishbowls bought from Saskatoon c. 2007-08, numbered as 201-203, but fairly short-lived in Regina, they were known as the Riders buses, because they kept Saskatoon`s green color scheme.

 

 

 

 

 

Regarding ex-Moose Jaw 21, a 1987 Orion 1 which was supposed to become Regina 207, but ended up being rejected. It was sold to Ackerman`s, who re-sold it to a Regina man who rents it out as a party bus. I saw this bus parked on Mikkelson Place (where the owner lives) just yesterday. For full details and photos see the Moose Jaw Transit page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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FROM MY POST ON MOOSE JAW PAGE: (re Regina`s rejected would-be bus 207)

 

 

Ever wondered what happened to Moose Jaw bus 21? It's an Orion 1 from 1987. It was sold to Regina in 2008, it was supposed to become #207, but RTS rejected it and sold it to Ackerman's, who then resold it to a Regina man who rents it out as a party bus. The photo on the left shows how it was earlier this year, since that time a rooftop air-con unit was added and the rear window covered with black vinyl. The right photo shows the same bus while still in service in Moose Jaw. Its clone, another Orion 1 in Moose Jaw colors, was spotted in a field on the east outskirts of Odessa, SK this summer, probably not running.

 

 

The Orion bus make is no more. The factory shut down permanently last year.

 

 

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More Regina bus musings:

702 and 704 are still in service, I spotted 702 with its Carpetworld adwrap a couple of days ago on Route 17; I saw 704 today (Sunday) on Route 12. I assume 706 and 707 are also still being used, but have not seen those for at least a month. One of them has a red Co-op adwrap, the other has a green adwrap from some other advertiser. 704 is `plain`, no adwrap at present time.

During the week, the EZ Riders and the small Ford or Chevy mini-buses 105, 106 and 107 are generally used on the weekday-only routes 5, 6, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21, or 22.

On weekends they are often found on other routes such as 12 (most commonly), sometimes on others like 1 or 8. For some reason, RTS likes to switch a small bus on to at least one of the evening Route 12 runs, on weeknights. 12 and its predecessors 11 and 13, before the route change, tended to get the oldest buses (Classics, Fishbowls, Orion, ex-Charlotte Novas) in the days of high-floor, and in past two years, tended to have at least one or two Flyers on, most days. At least those have been my observations.

Why are there no small buses numbered 101 to 104.

When I first saw ex-Moose Jaw Orion bus 21 being operated on Mikkelson Drive about three years ago, I thought it had been pressed into service by RTS on an emergency basis due to the chronic bus shortage. But then I found out it is owned by a private operator, I actually talked to the fellow. He is a trucker on weekdays, does the party bus thing on weekends.

I think one of the Flyer low-floors was sold to a Regina limo service and painted black - I saw one such driving on Ross Ave.- 4th Ave. a couple of months ago, but didn`t notice the limo company`s name (it was late evening, too dark to read it).

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20 minutes ago, Ralph Watzke said:

More Regina bus musings:

702 and 704 are still in service, I spotted 702 with its Carpetworld adwrap a couple of days ago on Route 17; I saw 704 today (Sunday) on Route 12. I assume 706 and 707 are also still being used, but have not seen those for at least a month. One of them has a red Co-op adwrap, the other has a green adwrap from some other advertiser. 704 is `plain`, no adwrap at present time.

During the week, the EZ Riders and the small Ford or Chevy mini-buses 105, 106 and 107 are generally used on the weekday-only routes 5, 6, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21, or 22.

On weekends they are often found on other routes such as 12 (most commonly), sometimes on others like 1 or 8. For some reason, RTS likes to switch a small bus on to at least one of the evening Route 12 runs, on weeknights. 12 and its predecessors 11 and 13, before the route change, tended to get the oldest buses (Classics, Fishbowls, Orion, ex-Charlotte Novas) in the days of high-floor, and in past two years, tended to have at least one or two Flyers on, most days. At least those have been my observations.

Why are there no small buses numbered 101 to 104.

When I first saw ex-Moose Jaw Orion bus 21 being operated on Mikkelson Drive about three years ago, I thought it had been pressed into service by RTS on an emergency basis due to the chronic bus shortage. But then I found out it is owned by a private operator, I actually talked to the fellow. He is a trucker on weekdays, does the party bus thing on weekends.

I think one of the Flyer low-floors was sold to a Regina limo service and painted black - I saw one such driving on Ross Ave.- 4th Ave. a couple of months ago, but didn`t notice the limo company`s name (it was late evening, too dark to read it).

Actually, 705 was the one that had the Co-op ad-wrap.  It was wrapped since at least in May of 2015, all the way up to it's retirement.  20182624762_4c3a2df3f0_c.jpg

20002586270_a14e3e1982_c.jpg  Heres a picture of 588 as well I took, back when I had my tour of the Garage before it retired..

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I think one of the Flyer low-floors was sold to a Regina limo service and painted black - I saw one such driving on Ross Ave.- 4th Ave. a couple of months ago, but didn`t notice the limo company`s name (it was late evening, too dark to read it).

EZ Riders - the 2007 ones (702, 703, 704) said on the back: Eldorado by Thor. The 2008 ones (705, 706, 707) omitted the `by Thor` as the brand had been sold. Thor had started out as a maker of motor homes. They were also the only Regina buses that had internal signs bilingual in English and Spanish (instead of the usual English and French). Probably because of being made in USA.

A historical note about American buses that were purchased by Vancouver and Calgary in fifties-sixties: Vancouver and Calgary each bought used trolley buses (Pullman-Standards) from Southern cities. But before they could be put in service, the signs that said `Colored persons must sit in the rear of the bus`` had to be removed! Vancouver`s ran very poorly and were scrapped after only 3 years. Calgary had problems with theirs, because of inadequate heaters, thus very uncomfortable in Alberta winters! Theirs also didn`t last long, and were retired long before some of the CCF Brills that were older.

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USED BUS BARGAIN OF THE CENTURY!

Regina retired its electric CCF Brill trolley buses in 1966. But ten of these buses were purchased by Edmonton for $700 each (bargain of the century!) and placed in their fleet as the second 121 to 130 (replacing earlier wartime Pullmans and ACF Brills 113 to 130). These buses remained in service for 12 years in Edmonton, until the entire remaining CCF Brill fleet was retired in late 1978, after the Commonwealth Games.

Two of the former trolley bus (and previously, streetcar) loops remained intact until just recently despite not having been used for a long time. These were on Dewdney and Horace, and on 13th Av and Edward. Both have now become affordable housing sites, the first buildings ever to be built there.

Forgotten streetcar lines in Regina: 

1.   A special peak hour extension was put on the Winnipeg St. line circa 1915, to transport workers to and from Imperial Oil Refinery on a street that no longer exists.

2.   After WW I, a very long rural extension from Albert Street South, went along no longer existing Sommerville Road to Wascana Country Club. Due to low usage, it was discontinued after only a few years, eventually the tracks and wiring were removed.

3.   A freight-only line went along 5th Avenue in the west, all the way to the western edge of the city, where the city dump then was, west of what is now McCarthy Blvd. Special freight cars hauled the city`s garbage along this line. The dump was close to where the present water and sewage plants now stand.

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Did you know that in the forties, there was a Regina Transit (then Regina Street Railway) city bus to the Airport. Too bad there isn`t one now. It wouldn`t be too hard to adjust one of the existing routes to include a stop at airport. NovaBus suburban versions exist, that have luggage racks at top instead of advertising, Sherwood Park AB has those. Would suggest buying several used, to place on the route that includes Airport.

Regina is notorious for a shortage of taxis on Friday afternoons and evenings, as most of the drivers are at prayer. Likewise, this situation occurs each year, for every evening in an entire four week period, shortage of drivers on the job (due to religious fast that only allows eating after dark). That`s what happens when this occupation is so heavily dominated by one societal group. Just saying.

Or how about Downtown-Airport-Harbour Landing route to replace, or supplement, existing Route 18

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Seen in Regina today: As alluded to previously, New Flyer low-floor has been bought by Carpe Diem limousine service, painted black, and named "The Crusader". It is not known which RTS fleet number this had been. (I recall that in Edmonton, circa 2007-08, a limo service bought a former ETS Fishbowl, and also painted it black).

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Speaking of the Eldorado EZ Riders, it seems they have a horrible reputation for lack of longevity. Timmins, ON bought 4 of the earlier model EZ Rider in 1998, but retired them all in 4 years, in 2002. By the way, who remembers a few years back, many RTS buses had on the front, Spirit of...and then the name of a neighborhood? These were introduced during David Onodera's time, but have since been all removed. I've noted that Timmins used to have the Spirit of... signs too!

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6 hours ago, Ralph Watzke said:

Seen in Regina today: As alluded to previously, New Flyer low-floor has been bought by Carpe Diem limousine service, painted black, and named "The Crusader". It is not known which RTS fleet number this had been. (I recall that in Edmonton, circa 2007-08, a limo service bought a former ETS Fishbowl, and also painted it black).

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Seems like a 1997 unit for sure.  588 was up for auction, 590 is still believed to be in service.  Also a good fact, some units had their original flipdot removed and some kept them.  586 & 588 had a retrofitted Luminator Titan signs, while I believe the rest including 590 kept the flipdots.

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Speaking of the Eldorado EZ Riders, it seems they have a horrible reputation for lack of longevity. Timmins, ON bought 4 of the earlier model EZ Rider in 1998, but retired them all in 4 years, in 2002. By the way, who remembers a few years back, many RTS buses had on the front, Spirit of...and then the name of a neighborhood? These were introduced during David Onodera's time, but have since been all removed. I've noted that Timmins used to have the Spirit of... signs too!

Three former RTS buses, all bought second-hand, photographed in the early part of 2013, their final year of service. Nos. 213 and 211 (both ex Red Deer), and 210 (ex Timmins, and before that, Santa Monica). 211 was from 1977, so it would have been 36 years old at that time, and still going.

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Three former RTS buses, all bought second-hand, photographed in the early part of 2013, their final year of service. Nos. 213 and 211 (both ex Red Deer), and 210 (ex Timmins, and before that, Santa Monica). 211 was from 1977, so it would have been 36 years old at that time, and still going.

Remember I wrote that Regina sold Edmonton ten trolley buses, dirt cheap, for $700 each? Here is a Leader Post photo showing Regina 125 being shipped, it became ETS 125. Next, is an ex-Regina bus in operation in Edmonton, which kept most of the ten, until 1978 (12 years!) - from the book "Edmonton's Electric Transit"

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Here are photos of the RTS 100th anniversary commemoration in 2011, first one shows bus 200 (ex BC, ex California but resembling actual Old Looks once used in Regina); the second shows a poster of different vehicles they had used over the century. The third shows the interior of #200. (City of Regina photos)

I actually offered to write a commemorative book for them to celebrate their 100th anniversary; David Onodera was sympathetic to the idea, but regretted they had no budget for it.

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Edited by Ralph Watzke
correction
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On 11/5/2016 at 1:23 PM, OCSTOFan said:

Any sign of 590 or is it officially the end of New Flyer era?

I was in Regina in about Mid-August, and it was still running.  Not sure about right now though, since I won't be coming back to Regina until about near the end of December so until then I can probably keep my eye on the tracker..

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OCSTOFan   
On 11/7/2016 at 1:31 PM, AbbyTransitFan said:

I was in Regina in about Mid-August, and it was still running.  Not sure about right now though, since I won't be coming back to Regina until about near the end of December so until then I can probably keep my eye on the tracker..

According to this video it looks like all the New Flyers have been retired since none of them appear in the video:

 

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4 hours ago, OCSTOFan said:

According to this video it looks like all the New Flyers have been retired since none of them appear in the video:

 

Yes you will see a lot of Novas in the downtown core, but that doesn't prove anything.  When I was there, that's mostly what I saw but there was still the 2 New Flyers out that I saw on the tracker.  The New Flyers mostly do School Trippers, or small routes now and 590 is most likely the last surviving one.  So there hasn't been solid evidence that it has been retired yet...

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Nevermind, I read a FB post confirming all the flyers have unfortunately retired...  Kind of a sad sight, and I'm surprised none of the 01's or 02's remained in service but I guess they had more miles than the 97's or the ISC's maybes in them just wore out early.  I wonder if Regina Transit will ever order from New Flyer again, that's one of my biggest questions but they seem loyal to Novabus unfortunately.

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OCSTOFan   
8 hours ago, AbbyTransitFan said:

I have removed the D40LF from the Active roster on the wiki, also the lone Thomas bus has also been retired for a couple of years or so now...

Can you also add the 2016 Nova LFSes too. I think it should be numbered 692 to 698.

 

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Grande West posted 2 images of Regina's Vicinity buses on their twitter feed. I believe they are getting 3, perhaps numbered 708-710 after the Eldorados. Interesting combination with the front plug door and 2 piece rear door.

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13 hours ago, bus is coming 1965 said:

Looks like a 2001 unit, hence the bench seats inside and the rear door style.  The 1997's had the bench seats, but the different rear door style and the 2002's had the American Seating Metropolitan seats.  Wonder which unit it is, the number is too faded to see but looks like it could be #593.  Some were repainted to new scheme, but some kept old scheme.

Edited by AbbyTransitFan

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