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Goodbye NABI's

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Goodbye NABI's, even though you were junk, I'll still miss you.

"Based on the current condition of the NABI buses and CTA's projection of future operability of the buses, CTA has concluded that it is no longer prudent to continue to operate these buses in revenue service,'' then CTA president Ron Huberman wrote to the Federal Transit Administration in September. "CTA is requesting FTA concurrence to remove the buses from service and dispose of them as quickly as possible.''

http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2009/04...dion-buses.html

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Goodbye NABI's, even though you were junk, I'll still miss you.

"Based on the current condition of the NABI buses and CTA's projection of future operability of the buses, CTA has concluded that it is no longer prudent to continue to operate these buses in revenue service,'' then CTA president Ron Huberman wrote to the Federal Transit Administration in September. "CTA is requesting FTA concurrence to remove the buses from service and dispose of them as quickly as possible.''

http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2009/04...dion-buses.html

Thanks for finding this quick.

I guess for all of the rest of you who said "I told you so," the Huberman quote indicates that the issue was pretty much decided in September, despite the official decision (such as it is) being announced today. Also, it indicates that the FTA was on board, at least as of September, for those assured about what the FTA would do.

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Something tells me that the MANs the NABIs replaced would've lasted longer in revenue service...
Well, the Seattle ones lasted about 22 years from original assembly, although if you were saying that they would have lasted until today....

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Just saw it on Channel 7. The strange thing was at the end Ravi Baichwal said that the manufacturer has recalled the buses. Hard to tell what that means, since there is only one owner, who took them off the street, so there is no one else to warn about bringing them in for repairs.

For you sticklers, most of the file footage was of NABIs, although they segued into the unveiling of 4005 and 4008, without saying that they were from the other company.

No link yet.

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There is mention of there being quality control issues with how the buses were put together, connecting points, more specifically the chassis welds, not lining up with where NABI's schematics said they should be among other manufacturing issues. There was also mention of failures of doors, air-conditioning issues, suspension issues, and engine filter problems that kept these buses laid up for repairs more than buses 3 more than times their age. So they were possibly getting laid up for repair work more than 6000s, and probably the 4400s, 5300s and 5800s from how the news story on Chicago Breaking News plays out.

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Something tells me that the MANs the NABIs replaced would've lasted longer in revenue service...

The MANs did outlast the NABI, Ten Fold! :) Many other agencies have reported problems with their NABI fleet as well. I know Rockford has had transmission issues with theirs. Several of their 20 bus NABI fleet have experienced transmission failures already. Ive met a few drivers from RMTD, they say they arent happy with them. Im surprised Pace hasant been in the news alongside CTA with the large NABI fleet they own.

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Goodbye NABI's, even though you were junk, I'll still miss you.

"Based on the current condition of the NABI buses and CTA's projection of future operability of the buses, CTA has concluded that it is no longer prudent to continue to operate these buses in revenue service,'' then CTA president Ron Huberman wrote to the Federal Transit Administration in September. "CTA is requesting FTA concurrence to remove the buses from service and dispose of them as quickly as possible.''

http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2009/04...dion-buses.html

oh my god!!!! when i got wind of this i almost burst into tears!it sound crazy but im serious,im going to miss those babes. farewell. :( :(

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oh my god!!!! when i got wind of this i almost burst into tears!it sound crazy but im serious,im going to miss those babes. farewell. :(:(

You know its sad because they are or were, good looking buses. I really liked the design. Too bad theyre lemons. Shame on NABI, they need to get their act together.

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Its sad that CTA got rid of all of them. You'd think some of the ones that weren't falling apart would at least come back to service, I guess they'll play it safe.

I wonder what this will do with NABI's reputation.

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Its sad that CTA got rid of all of them. You'd think some of the ones that weren't falling apart would at least come back to service, I guess they'll play it safe.

I wonder what this will do with NABI's reputation.

From what the Tribune says the documents they got from CTA show, close to none were worth putting back on the rode. Huberman himself way back in September practically said as much in his correspondence to the FTA seeking approval to take them out of commission earlier than the 12 year service life.

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Its sad that CTA got rid of all of them. You'd think some of the ones that weren't falling apart would at least come back to service, I guess they'll play it safe.

I wonder what this will do with NABI's reputation.

You know CTA made the best move they could possibly ever make. They put the safety of the riding public before anything else. Theres no question CTA played it safe in the name of safety. You cant put a price on that!. I for one would hate to respond to a bus accident and then find out it was a structural failure of a NABI artic bus, knowing what I know of this bus. Thankfully there were no injuries or fatalities attributed from the poor condition of these buses, it was only a matter of time! The Nabi artics even made it into movies in the Will Ferrell movie "Stranger than Fiction" youll see scenes filmed aboard 7600 series Nabis.

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Im surprised Pace hasant been in the news alongside CTA with the large NABI fleet they own.
In that connection, one would wonder if other authorities, including Pace would take theirs out of service for inspection, sort of like when everyone pulled their Grumman Flxibles in the 1980s when NY reported their problems. While, through either good luck or nontransparent planning by the former head of the 911 center, the 4000s "just happened" to be delivered when the NABIs were pulled, one can't think where Pace would get 294 buses to cover for that number of NABIs in its total fleet of about 700.

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... The strange thing was at the end Ravi Baichwal said that the manufacturer has recalled the buses. Hard to tell what that means, since there is only one owner, who took them off the street, so there is no one else to warn about bringing them in for repairs.
I see that the home page links to an updated version of Breaking News that sort of explains that. However, given that CTA does't want to spend the money to strip the buses, it is hard to see that NABI would actually spend the money to ship them down there, strip them, rebuild them, and then tell CTA to take them back. I don't think Cerberus is floating in that kind of money, and as Dave suggests, it may just be cheaper to settle the lawsuit.

I'm sure in the two months, the CTA consultant got enough evidence, which Hilevitch and I surmised was the reason for the prolonged inspection.

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It is fortunate that CTA's Optima buses were built by Optima in Kansas BEFORE Optima was bought out by NABI. NABI since has closed the Kansas plant and moved those operations to the NABI plant in 'Bama.

Now if Optima needs warranty work, do you

A. Go to Bus & Truck, Inland Diesel, Jimmy Diesel

B. Do it yourself

C. Let NABI do it

Perhaps the buyout was the real reason why CTA didn't exercise an option for more shorties.

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Thanks for finding this quick.

I guess for all of the rest of you who said "I told you so," the Huberman quote indicates that the issue was pretty much decided in September, despite the official decision (such as it is) being announced today. Also, it indicates that the FTA was on board, at least as of September, for those assured about what the FTA would do.

Too bad the FTA wouldn't tell CTA, "tough, you screwed up, deal with it !!!" Probably the only way they would learn any kind of true lesson....in the pocket book. If I recall, weren't the specs changed so that NABI was the only manufacturer that would qualify. They were not the original low bidder were they ??

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Too bad the FTA wouldn't tell CTA, "tough, you screwed up, deal with it !!!" Probably the only way they would learn any kind of true lesson....in the pocket book. If I recall, weren't the specs changed so that NABI was the only manufacturer that would qualify. They were not the original low bidder were they ??

I agree. CTA fell into the trick of the used car salesman....buy it because its a bargain and not because of the true quality of the product.

While much faster than the New Flyer 60LFW....the NABIs were pure garbage...no contest. Rode bad, drove bad....were bad!

Good riddens!

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I agree. CTA fell into the trick of the used car salesman....buy it because its a bargain and not because of the true quality of the product.

While much faster than the New Flyer 60LFW....the NABIs were pure garbage...no contest. Rode bad, drove bad....were bad!

Good riddens!

Hey...it's really not a big deal. Just your tax dollars being wasted again. Maybe the decision makers should be held liable????

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Hey...it's really not a big deal. Just your tax dollars being wasted again. Maybe the decision makers should be held liable????

In an ideal world they should, but they've made so many mistakes in the past and got off scot free, why should this episode play out differently?

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If I recall, weren't the specs changed so that NABI was the only manufacturer that would qualify. They were not the original low bidder were they ??
CTA fell into the trick of the used car salesman....buy it because its a bargain and not because of the true quality of the product.

While much faster than the New Flyer 60LFW....the NABIs were pure garbage...no contest. Rode bad, drove bad....were bad!

There isn't any evidence of the first. In fact, CTA said that they used the standard bus procurement guidelines, and NABI was the low bidder. 44499 is probably closer to the case.

As I noted, NABI probably got ruled out of the spec for the 900 hybrid articulated buses, because one of the criteria was past history with the product, and CTA knew what NABI's past history was.

Also, as to who gets stuck, there seems to be a reason why CTA needed a STATE CAPITAL BILL to provide $172 million for hybrid articulated buses (which would get you 200 if the price is $840K each). Probably because the feds wouldn't pay for them, given "their investment" in the NABIs. Of course, the former chief of staff for da Mare didn't know that a state capital bill was on the horizon in September. So, the answer is THE STATE TAXPAYER gets stuck, but that's just one project to be hidden in the upcoming probable gas tax increase. Instead of da Mare being at 103rd Garage to say how proud he was of the NABIs, he can do a press event with something else. In the words of da Mare's Press Office: "Top of the Line, 60-foot Buses Bringing Increased Reliability and Comfort." In the words of Nelson Muntz "Ha ha."

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The whole NABI low floor artic fiasco is very sad but it prompts questions I've asked previously.

Such as,

1) When CTA solicited bids for low floor artics how many vendors were able/qualified to bid ?

2) Of those who were able which vendors did submit bids and what were their amounts ?

3) When the NABI apparently did not test well at Altoona was CTA able to cancel the contract?

I have ridden the MBTA's Silver Line which uses Neoplan artics and of course CTA's NABI's and New Flyers. I haven't ridden articulated BRT buses from New Flyer or NABI. I don't know if Boston is having problems with their artics but if so Neoplan USA is out of business.

Has anyone heard about NABI artic problems in other cities?

Bonus question:

Is any bus manufacturer currently making a high floor artic with an engine mounted in the front section?

[like the MAN's which ran here, in Seattle, and also Denver]

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Gene: 1 and 2 probably would take a Freedom of Information Act request.

With regard to 3, since passing Altoona testing is a condition of all FTA supported contracts, the answer is yes.

The only manufacturer making any kind of high floor bus for the U.S. market is NABI (unless one takes Millennium seriously, and I haven't heard anything about them purporting to have an RTS artic.). The only real difference in configuration is Van Hool, with a low floor bus, but which has the engine in a raised well behind the left front wheel (see discussion in BusExplorer).

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Has anyone heard about NABI artic problems in other cities?

LACMTA found some structural problems with their 60BRTs, but they were repaired and returned to service.

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The whole NABI low floor artic fiasco is very sad but it prompts questions I've asked previously.

Such as,

1) When CTA solicited bids for low floor artics how many vendors were able/qualified to bid ?

2) Of those who were able which vendors did submit bids and what were their amounts ?

Back when the NABI bids were solicited the purchase price was $431,000 a bus. I think if my memory is correct New Flyer solicited bids of around $448,000 a bus. That would translate to an estimated value of 4.5 million saved buying NABI. With these buses being more prohibitively expensive than their 40 foot counterparts, it would be harder to afford the purchase. I think that in looking for a good deal for a max amount of buses they were duped into buying these junks. Things have changed with the way these buses are purchased now with them being leased as a cheaper alternative to buying them outright. It seems that more agencies are piggybacking on other orders to save money. I wouldn't be surprised if someone piggybacks on the up to 900 order because that number does seem a little excessive.

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