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Orion VIII

King County Metro - Seattle, Washington

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Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays to everyone, got a very special one for you as we see the amazing Christmas lights on the GORGEOUS Lake Shore Lines #22/Metropolitan 2962 GM Old Look that has been freshly repaired by the fine folks at MEHVA. Please be safe and enjoy the holidays :)

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One of my favorite operators passed away a few weeks ago. Hadn't seen her in a few years, but she was one of the kindest, most pleasant operators in the system and was one of the most skilled drivers I've ever seen. She put on a driving clinic out there, every day, for nearly 40 years.

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/seattletimes/obituary.aspx?n=tamyra-true-mason&pid=187600590&

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With the incoming 8200s, it turns out that they've already started to abandon the "Touch to Open" rear doors. 

Although, the coaches with the rear door Green light vapor system should be fairly easy to retroactively upgrade to touch to open functionality, right?

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15 hours ago, V3112 said:

On which date was the last SGT-310 retired, what was the coach number, and to which route was it assigned for its last trip?

It was Summer 2007 and I think it was coach 4020. It sort of went out, quietly.

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7 hours ago, northwesterner said:

It was Summer 2007 and I think it was coach 4020. It sort of went out, quietly.

Thanks, northwesterner. When you say that 4020 went out quietly, am I to presume that information about the exact date when 4020 retired, and its last route, was not released to the public? e.g. the last Breda bus, coach 4243, had a farewell ceremony on October 27, 2016 at 1:00 pm (at Beacon/Spokane, the old Jefferson Park terminus from the Route 3 streetcar days) before making one last trip to downtown as a NB 36. It then deadheaded to Atlantic Base via the standard routing of Lenora, 1st, 7th, Virginia, south on 3rd back to AB. This was all announced by Metro and lots of media swarmed on the event. Perhaps coach 4020's last day and last trip was not revealed to the public ahead of time. I mean, even coach #900 got a pretty good sendoff back in 2003.

On a different subject, what sort of skills are necessary to create maps like these?

https://www.flickr.com/photos/viriyincy/4123293273/sizes/o/

https://i1.wp.com/seattletransitblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Aurora_corridor_1997-2011-future.png?ssl=1

Anecdotally, I've heard that you have to use ArcGIS for the base map, then use an SVG editor like Inkscape or Adobe Illustrator to actually draw out the routes. Well, I actually have access to a computer with ArcGIS Desktop 10.5, and Illustrator CC, and I have zero idea on how to even start a project like this. Do I get the base map from ArcGlobe, or ArcScene, or ArcWhatever? Alternatively, I could also ask on the Skyscraperpage.com forums.

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5 hours ago, V3112 said:

Thanks, northwesterner. When you say that 4020 went out quietly, am I to presume that information about the exact date when 4020 retired, and its last route, was not released to the public? e.g. the last Breda bus, coach 4243, had a farewell ceremony on October 27, 2016 at 1:00 pm (at Beacon/Spokane, the old Jefferson Park terminus from the Route 3 streetcar days) before making one last trip to downtown as a NB 36. It then deadheaded to Atlantic Base via the standard routing of Lenora, 1st, 7th, Virginia, south on 3rd back to AB. This was all announced by Metro and lots of media swarmed on the event. Perhaps coach 4020's last day and last trip was not revealed to the public ahead of time. I mean, even coach #900 got a pretty good sendoff back in 2003.

The 4200s were really one of a kind.  The 4100s were too (and maybe even more so, and definitely much less maligned), but they retired quietly with no notice, much to my dismay.

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15 hours ago, V3112 said:

On a different subject, what sort of skills are necessary to create maps like these?

I do this stuff professionally now so here's some background and advice. It's a mixture of technical and design skills. You need to know how to source and process data, and how to present it in a way that's readable and aesthetically pleasing. Look at a lot of examples, try to pick them apart, then apply those techniques to your own maps. In most cases you can download the PDF and open it in Illustrator to edit it.

For the first map, it started out as a map exported from ArcGIS as a PDF or Illustrator file that was cleaned up in Illustrator. You at least need shapefiles for the bus routes which you can get from King County's GIS portal. There's a wealth of data there that you can use to create a base map. It's the same data Metro uses to produce their own system maps. ArcGIS has a pretty steep learning curve; I learned it in college but you don't need to know much to cobble together data, filter it, apply basic styling, and export it. On this map I tried to clean up and simplify the lines exported directly from GIS which is a bunch of points.

I never finished that map but I began a new project to create a Seattle Transit Map three years ago and released it as a web map and printed map distributed by the Transit Riders Union. That map I drew lines over a base map rather than try to clean up GIS data. Don't bother with labels exported from GIS except for reference. Illustrator has superior text tools and rendering.

For the second map, it was much simpler. I just had a background street network for reference and drew lines on top in Illustrator. For something quick and dirty you could screenshot a map and use that as a base. Route information was sourced from historic system maps.

Hope that helps.

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7 hours ago, OranV said:

I do this stuff professionally now so here's some background and advice. It's a mixture of technical and design skills. You need to know how to source and process data, and how to present it in a way that's readable and aesthetically pleasing. Look at a lot of examples, try to pick them apart, then apply those techniques to your own maps. In most cases you can download the PDF and open it in Illustrator to edit it.

For the first map, it started out as a map exported from ArcGIS as a PDF or Illustrator file that was cleaned up in Illustrator. You at least need shapefiles for the bus routes which you can get from King County's GIS portal. There's a wealth of data there that you can use to create a base map. It's the same data Metro uses to produce their own system maps. ArcGIS has a pretty steep learning curve; I learned it in college but you don't need to know much to cobble together data, filter it, apply basic styling, and export it. On this map I tried to clean up and simplify the lines exported directly from GIS which is a bunch of points.

I never finished that map but I began a new project to create a Seattle Transit Map three years ago and released it as a web map and printed map distributed by the Transit Riders Union. That map I drew lines over a base map rather than try to clean up GIS data. Don't bother with labels exported from GIS except for reference. Illustrator has superior text tools and rendering.

For the second map, it was much simpler. I just had a background street network for reference and drew lines on top in Illustrator. For something quick and dirty you could screenshot a map and use that as a base. Route information was sourced from historic system maps.

Hope that helps.

OMG, the legend himself replied to my post! Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you! You've given me a treasure trove of information that will allow me to get started right away.

One question I have for now is related to making maps of historical routes in Illustrator. Suppose I want to draw out the old 54/55 route, you're saying I don't have to go through the trouble of pouring over GIS data? That I could just just draw lines in Illustrator on top of a pre-existing street map? Then I wonder if I could create something like a "Seattle Transit Map, c. 2003" without having to worry about shapefiles. Showing Ryerson routes/174/194 using 2nd SB/4th NB, 39/136/137/174 going down 4th Ave S, the old Route 9 ETB route, etc. Could all this be done just drawing lines over a map in Illustrator? Or would it be easier to use King County GIS data and then hand-draw the edge cases in Illustrator? (e.g. export the Route 26X and 62 shapefiles to SVG, then isolate the [40th/Latona-Woodlawn/Ravenna] portion of the 26X shapefile, and the [Downtown-Fremont Bridge-40th/Latona] portion of the 62 shapefile, and link them manually in Illustrator to create a linemap for the old Route 26.)

Finally, where do you get your historic system maps? I'm guessing the Allen Library at UW. For online sources, I am mostly limited to the Internet Archive. Besides that, the only resources at my disposal are the 70s-90s system maps that are on Flickr, and GuyOnBeaconHill's Page 2 posts on STB. I live in Vancouver, B.C. so I don't have access to the maps at UW.

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22 hours ago, Atomic Taco said:

The 4200s were really one of a kind.  The 4100s were too (and maybe even more so, and definitely much less maligned), but they retired quietly with no notice, much to my dismay.

The 4000s slipped away quietly like the 4100s did. 

They weren't exactly a popular coach ... and without some advocating for an official last trip, the shop quietly pulled them from service. 

The last big retirements were for vehicles recognized as legendary by some in the bus community. There was a big turn out for the last trip on a 900, and we also were able to do a last diesel Breda trip in 2004 (?). I don't think at the time we expected the 4200s to last as long as they did, so it was worth the effort to do it again. 

The 1400s, 2000s, and 3000s also all slipped out without a whisper. There was some expectation that the 2000s would continue longer than they did, as Ryerson Base held on to a small fleet after all the 2300s were delivered as they still needed them to make sign-out. They operated the last day of the shake-up, and then they pulled the plug.

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