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Designline turbine hybrid buses for Disney World?

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I came across this picture posted at Subchat:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/traveling-aro...57604302183795/

and it looks like Disney Transport will be ordering Designline turbine hybrids. While I don't know if this is a confirmed order or simply a test bus, I am quite surprised that they would choose Designline over any diesel-electric hybrids offered in North America. I am prety sure that Designline's turbine hybrids are more expensive than any diesel-electric hybrid. Because Disney is a corporation rather than a public transit authority, I always thought that their business model is to make money, not spend it.

I personally wanted to see Disney Transport replace their aging TMC RTS buses with New Flyer DE40LFR buses.

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Sweet.

They don't have any New Flyers.

Also, they are probably the richest private operator of buses so money isn't really an issue.

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I came across this picture posted at Subchat:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/traveling-aro...57604302183795/

and it looks like Disney Transport will be ordering Designline turbine hybrids. While I don't know if this is a confirmed order or simply a test bus, I am quite surprised that they would choose Designline over any diesel-electric hybrids offered in North America. I am prety sure that Designline's turbine hybrids are more expensive than any diesel-electric hybrid. Because Disney is a corporation rather than a public transit authority, I always thought that their business model is to make money, not spend it.

I personally wanted to see Disney Transport replace their aging TMC RTS buses with New Flyer DE40LFR buses.

I rather see them replace keep the RTS and replace them with newer Nova LFS over time. Also, I wish they replace their Gilligs with LFS too. As for the Designline, it looks good, but I want to see more pics of it. From the side, it looks kinda like the RTS and LFS in a way.

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I understand that it's a confirmed order for DesignLine. I don't know for how many buses. Also, I read somewhere that, they're in talks with both the CTA in Chicago and the LACMTA in LA, about purchasing their turbine HEV model.

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Sweet.

They don't have any New Flyers.

Also, they are probably the richest private operator of buses so money isn't really an issue.

Well, by your statement, they could have easily ordered Gillig Advantage hybrid buses (or Nova LFS Hybrids). Okay, I may be biased towards NFI as ABQ RIDE orders from them, however, it is pretty obvious they are not loyal to one manufacturer as they now have a Designline turbine hybrid. I don't know however if they have made an official order with Designline, as the bus pictured simply might be a test model. I think they have also tested a Gillig BRT hybrid before.

And actually, I even spoke to ABQ RIDE director Greg Payne, and he told me that they aren't even 100% loyal to New Flyer. While he personally prefers New Flyer's current lineup over Gillig's, he said that they will continue to be open to any manufacturer that can meet their specs. I personally think that ABQ RIDE should order the Gillig Trolley Replica Hybrid to replace ABQ RIDE's old Chance CNG trolley, and some 30-foot Gillig BRT Hybrids to replace the remaining SLFs that are used for the D-Ride downtown circulator (most of the SLFs will be replaced by New Flyer DE40LFRs, however, a few such as the D-Ride buses will be kept).

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Disney's past bus purchases have shown that acquisition cost is not the major factor considered by the company. The RTS was one of the most expensive buses on the market and yet Disney chose to make it the mainstay of their fleet. If cost was the only consideration, they likely would have purchased Gillig Phantoms back in the 1980's. I'm sure the environmental advantages and quiet ride promised by the Designline hybrid bus are very attractive to an image-conscious company like Disney.

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With Disney Transport I assume it is inside the confines of Disney so you would need to pay admission to get in and ride, correct? If these are just public shuttles that serve the outside then maybe next time i'm out that way...

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With Disney Transport I assume it is inside the confines of Disney so you would need to pay admission to get in and ride, correct? If these are just public shuttles that serve the outside then maybe next time i'm out that way...

No passes/tickets/etc. reqired to ride, AFAIK. I've never had to show anything to ride them before.

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I came across this picture posted at Subchat:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/traveling-aro...57604302183795/

and it looks like Disney Transport will be ordering Designline turbine hybrids. While I don't know if this is a confirmed order or simply a test bus, I am quite surprised that they would choose Designline over any diesel-electric hybrids offered in North America. I am prety sure that Designline's turbine hybrids are more expensive than any diesel-electric hybrid. Because Disney is a corporation rather than a public transit authority, I always thought that their business model is to make money, not spend it.

I personally wanted to see Disney Transport replace their aging TMC RTS buses with New Flyer DE40LFR buses.

You'll have to look at the pros and cons about the Designline bus before one would say that some other model (like the DE40LFR bus) would be fine instead of this. Besides, New York City's MTA is getting a bunch of them. How many total? I don't know. Whether or not people think the New Flyer models are the best, it's most certainly not the only choice for model selection. Perhaps they could of gotten the Orion VII NG model? Maybe any models from NABI? The choice is endless.

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I came across this picture posted at Subchat:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/traveling-aro...57604302183795/

and it looks like Disney Transport will be ordering Designline turbine hybrids. While I don't know if this is a confirmed order or simply a test bus, I am quite surprised that they would choose Designline over any diesel-electric hybrids offered in North America. I am prety sure that Designline's turbine hybrids are more expensive than any diesel-electric hybrid. Because Disney is a corporation rather than a public transit authority, I always thought that their business model is to make money, not spend it.

I personally wanted to see Disney Transport replace their aging TMC RTS buses with New Flyer DE40LFR buses.

Also, they are probably the richest private operator of buses so money isn't really an issue.

Interesting. Like Ashton said, they don't need to worry about the money issue, they have the dollars to spend on a higher quality ride, which will in turn make the riders happier and thus leave a positive impression and make them more money.

Cost is not always the deciding factor when it comes to making a profit, investments are also necessary.

If Disney spends more, and thus invests in a more expensive, better bus, then the return on that will be greater than if they had gone the cheap way.

As a transitfan, I have to ask, why would you want them to get rid of their old (GOOD) stuff?

I rather see them replace keep the RTS and replace them with newer Nova LFS over time. Also, I wish they replace their Gilligs with LFS too. As for the Designline, it looks good, but I want to see more pics of it. From the side, it looks kinda like the RTS and LFS in a way.

I can't really agree with you on the LFS front, because I come from LFS land, but I do understand that it is a better product elsewhere. That is not the main reason why I would rather see NFI over Nova though, that would be because I believe that overall that NFI has a better product than Nova.

I cannot really compare with the other USA manufacturers, other than Gillig, but from what I have seen, these Designlines look pretty impressive, and if they are more of a premium model, then that would be the best choice.

Disney's past bus purchases have shown that acquisition cost is not the major factor considered by the company. The RTS was one of the most expensive buses on the market and yet Disney chose to make it the mainstay of their fleet. If cost was the only consideration, they likely would have purchased Gillig Phantoms back in the 1980's. I'm sure the environmental advantages and quiet ride promised by the Designline hybrid bus are very attractive to an image-conscious company like Disney.

Exactly!

No passes/tickets/etc. reqired to ride, AFAIK. I've never had to show anything to ride them before.

That's how it works as I am aware of as well. Downtown Disney is open access to the public, and there are shuttles from there to the resorts and hotels and all over, and not to mention it would be a real hastle for guest to need to have a ticket, or a pass etc to ride. And if a guest looses it, then that's a real pain, it would just be a bunch of needless bureaucracy that guests don't want to have to deal with, and have to come to Disney to escape from in the first place.

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I think I saw NABI 416s with a livery for Downtown Disney, but then again that could have been a separate resort/destination shuttle. I will have to check my pictures.

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I think I saw NABI 416s with a livery for Downtown Disney, but then again that could have been a separate resort/destination shuttle. I will have to check my pictures.

NABI 416s run (ran?) from DTD to a few other area stops, IIRC. RTS, LFS, and Advantage shuttles run rampant on Disney's other lines.

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You'll have to look at the pros and cons about the Designline bus before one would say that some other model (like the DE40LFR bus) would be fine instead of this. Besides, New York City's MTA is getting a bunch of them. How many total? I don't know. Whether or not people think the New Flyer models are the best, it's most certainly not the only choice for model selection. Perhaps they could of gotten the Orion VII NG model? Maybe any models from NABI? The choice is endless.

The NYC MTA is getting 30 with an option of 60.

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NABI 416s run (ran?) from DTD to a few other area stops, IIRC. RTS, LFS, and Advantage shuttles run rampant on Disney's other lines.
Yup that is correct. I checked my shots (April-May 2008) and it was the Downtown Disney livery on the NABI.

Do you know if those buses would fall under Disney Transport?

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I'm sure that Disney wants to provide its visitors with the best possible image -- and going with the quiet, comfortable DesignLine hybrid buses is an excellent way to accomplish this.

That being said, I hope that DesignLine establishes itself strongly in the North American bus market in the next decade. I had the chance to ride on their test bus in New York back in 2007 and it was better (from a passenger perspective) than any other bus I've been on.

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I spoke with my friend who works for a USA bus manufacturer--he told me that Designline is building the pilot bus for the MTA, at their plant in NC right now. I guess it will be sent to NYC in the next several weeks.

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