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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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As promised, here's a shot from inside Bellevue Base  

Yes, when I saw that on the news this morning, I was stunned.  It's just devastating news.  Zack was truly a bus and train aficionado. I have always enjoyed his contributions here on the forum.  I'v

Waiting to embark on a long Journey to Seattle from Anniston Alabama 

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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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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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18 minutes ago, MiWay0310 said:

@northwesterner, continuing our discussion from the DD thread, you mentioned that KCM tried out some different floors between ‘96 and ‘02. Would you happen to know what types they were?

The 3200s and 2300s came with a rubbery rubber floor, and the 4100s had the sandpaper type floors. The 2600s ordered in 2004 went back to RCA rubber flooring due to large number of slips and falls on board with the other flooring types. However, either the institutional memory was too short, or aesthetics took precedence over safety (I'd bet on the former) and the sandpaper types floors returned a few years ago.

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7 hours ago, MiWay0310 said:

How come KCM sold 7000 back to BAE? Was it an agreement between them that they'd buy it back after some time, or it just sorta happened that way?

If I recall correctly, KCM never owned the 7000 demonstrator. It was eventually sold off when Daimler closed their Orion operations. 

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On 1/16/2018 at 5:18 PM, V3112 said:

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?

Yes. If you know the routes turn by turn or have a reference you could just draw over a street map. You can do that for the entire map or just parts as you described. Try both out to see which one you prefer. This applies to both GIS and Illustrator. You can actually edit the shapefiles in GIS or create your own historic route dataset. That would be useful if you wanted to put them over a Google Map or perform spatial analysis or create multiple variations of maps based on the same data.

On 1/16/2018 at 5:18 PM, V3112 said:

Finally, where do you get your historic system maps? I'm guessing the Allen Library at UW.

That's one source. It is open to the public so if you want to come down and spend a day in the library for research, you can. The 1997 map I found at work (Seattle DOT at the time) and I asked a colleague to digitize it using a large format scanner. I have a 2002 map and a 1950s map in my collection. The other maps on my Flickr, I scanned at the library in sections and merged them together in Photoshop.

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No one marked the date so we all missed it ...

January 20, 1978 was the last day of operation for the original trolley network. Forty years ago. The handful of remaining routes that survived the 1963 cutbacks and the even more egregious ones in the early 1970s were converted to diesel so the overhead could be renewed.

Over the course of the next two years all the overhead was pulled down, replaced, and rehung, and all new substations were installed to support the "feederless" overhead system. Service resumed on two routes in 1979, with the remainder of the system coming back online in phases over the next year.

Anyways - 40 years ago, the last Twin Coach pulled in (off of route 2, I believe) around 2AM to Jefferson Garage, ended 38 years of service for that equipment.

As to the driver... she was very junior at the time, but now is top-five in full time seniority. It's hard to believe that the rapidly dwindling operators who started in the 1970s and are driving brand new equipment today, started their careers in vehicles built in 1940.

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3 hours ago, northwesterner said:

No one marked the date so we all missed it ...

January 20, 1978 was the last day of operation for the original trolley network. Forty years ago. The handful of remaining routes that survived the 1963 cutbacks and the even more egregious ones in the early 1970s were converted to diesel so the overhead could be renewed.

Over the course of the next two years all the overhead was pulled down, replaced, and rehung, and all new substations were installed to support the "feederless" overhead system. Service resumed on two routes in 1979, with the remainder of the system coming back online in phases over the next year.

Anyways - 40 years ago, the last Twin Coach pulled in (off of route 2, I believe) around 2AM to Jefferson Garage, ended 38 years of service for that equipment.

As to the driver... she was very junior at the time, but now is top-five in full time seniority. It's hard to believe that the rapidly dwindling operators who started in the 1970s and are driving brand new equipment today, started their careers in vehicles built in 1940.

Never realized it that way. All the improvements over the years, both internal and external with the buses. Diesels and trolley buses, pretty power steering and chopper controls, and now hybrid electric buses, trolleys with off wire capabilities,  and battery electric buses.  It's a shame Metro did not hold onto Jefferson Base, could have been served by a spur of the First Hill Streetcar. 

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6 hours ago, northwesterner said:

As to the driver... she was very junior at the time, but now is top-five in full time seniority. It's hard to believe that the rapidly dwindling operators who started in the 1970s and are driving brand new equipment today, started their careers in vehicles built in 1940.

That really is something, hats off to them. Huge respect.

They've seen nearly 80 years of change in the public transport sector, and alot more besides. 

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