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Cherriots - Salem, Oregon


M. Parsons
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Salem Area Mass Transit District aka Salem Keizer Transit aka Charriots http://www.cherriots.org/

Charriots had perhaps one of the most interesting fleets of the smaller operations that we visited.

We saw RTS's, as well as a 1992 Orion 01.507 for older equipment (this was midday too).

I believe we saw 3 RTS's in total: 1542 and 1543 where 1985 GMC's (nice find!), and 1552 is a 1989 TMC.

It seems in recent years they have moved more towards CNG.

They have a fleet of 10 1998 El Dorado Ez Rider CNG buses. We only saw one while we were there and I can't help but wonder if some of that fleet has already been retired.

The rest of their CNG fleet appears to be 35' and 40' Orion VII's. Certainly not a common bus at all in this corner of the US.

The newest buses appear to be Gillig Low Floor's. These, of course, are diesel powered. Charriot's website promotes the new diesel buses as being as clean or cleaner than CNG.

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  • 3 years later...

So I visited Salem in July 2012. It appeared that it was all just low floors (Orion VII CNG and Gillig Low Floor diesels). They do have quite a few more Gillig Low Floors then what the wiki lists, so I am suspecting the older equipment has been retired. Though I was only there to observe the downtown terminal for about 2 hours during the morning from about 730AM to 930AM.

Anyways, I uploaded some pictures about a week and a half ago.

http://www.kevinsbusrail.com/cherriots.html

Here are some previews, please do not quote images.

cherriots_113.jpg\\cherriots_234-2.jpg\cherriots_212.jpg

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So I visited Salem in July 2012. It appeared that it was all just low floors (Orion VII CNG and Gillig Low Floor diesels). They do have quite a few more Gillig Low Floors then what the wiki lists, so I am suspecting the older equipment has been retired. Though I was only there to observe the downtown terminal for about 2 hours during the morning from about 730AM to 930AM.

Last time I was there in Oct 2010, they were expecting an order of Gilligs in the next few months to replace all the high floors. This confirms that they arrived.

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It appears that the order for the 21 New Flyer CNG buses never went through. It was denied by the FTA somehow. Not sure why still trying to figure that out, so they had to re-tank the other 12 2002 Orion VII's. 

They may be switching back to Gillig

http://www.cherriots.org/sites/default/files/PDF 02-23-17 H.2 Amending Contract for CNG Tanks-Valves.pdf

http://cherriots.org/sites/default/files/PDF 01-26-17 H.1 Adopt 2017 Legislative Agenda_0.pdf

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Judging from the first document, it sounds like it was more so an issue on Cherriots end with procurement. 

 


The initial procurement process was delayed due, in part, to the prolonged process for the procurement of a Buy America vendor.  Buy America certifications are a requirement of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), for agencies purchasing vehicles with Federal funds.  Moreover, there were changes to staff in the Procurement/Contracts Department, which further delayed the process.

 

My suspicion is it may have something to do with the pre-award audit? https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/01/17/2017-00873/buy-america-handbook-conducting-pre-award-and-post-delivery-audits-for-rolling-stock-procurements

There is a hell of a lot of documentation that needs to be audited and maintained:

"pre-award audit must include: A Pre-Award Buy America Certification, a Pre-Award Purchaser's Requirements Certification, and, where appropriate, a Pre-Award Certification of Compliance with or Inapplicability of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS)"

"Two commenters sought clarity on how to determine whether an auditor is “qualified.” FTA has not attempted to define who is a “qualified” auditor in the Handbook, and instead relies on its recipients to make that determination. One commenter asked what “independent from the procurement process” means; specifically, whether an entity that develops and writes the specifications for a procurement would be barred from conducting Buy America audits. The original intent was that the auditor be independent from the manufacturer; we have amended the text of the Handbook by removing the requirement that an auditor be independent from the procurement process."

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  • 2 months later...
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On May 18, 2017 at 10:00 PM, OR Transit Fan said:

May 25th is when we find out what kind of buses will be replacing the 2002 Orion VII's.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPjqUhsDZ1I (live stream of upcoming May 25th board meeting)

 

My bad, the bus purchases from that board meeting were for Cherriots Lift (CherryLift) and Cherriots Regional (formerly CARTS)

The purchase included 5 low floor paratransit vehicles, most likely ARBOC. The other buses purchased were 3 Blue Bird All American RE transit buses for Cherriots Regional.

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Went up to Yamhill County Transit Area yesterday. Saw and rode former Cherriots Orion I #1560. This oldie could definitely go another 5-10 years! Definitely nice to see, especially since it has the 6V92 and Allison HTB 748 which is becoming extremely rare.

 

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  • 4 weeks later...
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Today Cherriots released the file of the September 11th Board Work Session. They will be placing an order for 12 Gillig Low Floor or Low Floor BRT CNG buses on Sept 28! 6 will be 35' and 6 will be 40'. Very glad they got Gillig.


http://www.cherriots.org/sites/default/files/PACKET WS 09-11-17.pdf

 

UPDATE: The new buses will be delivered by May, 2017. A pilot bus will come sooner.

Edited by OR Transit Fan
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