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Busjack

Niles Free Bus

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I checked out Golf Mill this afternoon. There were about 5 Pace agents there, and a wrapped van.

Destination signs were changed. 412 Niles North/412 Free Bus was straight-forward enough and didn't change.

410 and 411 had actual destinations:

410 East Niles/410 Free Bus/410 Golf Mill

410 East Niles/410 Free Bus/410 Village Xing

411 West Niles/411 Free Bus/411 Golf Mill

411 West Niles/411 Free Bus/411 Village Xing

The problem was that the IBS was obviously not controlling the signs. The buses pulled up at J.C. Penney, sat a bit, the drivers held a laminated sheet and punched something, the sign changed and then they took off. Since 410 and 411 flip there, it appeared confusing. Maybe that's why the agents were there.

The other thing was that WebWatch wasn't programmed properly (no 410 and ghost buses on 411; 411 and 412 did not have updated maps). Maybe if the IBS is properly programmed, this hassle should disappear.

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On 4/15/2016 at 5:00 PM, Busjack said:

I also helped someone fill out a survey saying she goes to Meijer, which is closing.

Yeah, Wal Mart's probably eating up their business. That's probably why Best Buy closed and the mall is kind of naked. Fred Meijer died recently and usually when someone's children takes over, everything changes. They might not want a grocery store only model anymore. We'll have to see if N. Riverside sticks around.

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They finally got Webwatch fixed.

Also, I was cruising around Dempster and Harlem yesterday and saw that they have "Village of Niles/410/Pace" bus stop signs posted, with, where necessary, 250 or 423 also on them.

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I went there to check out if the late buses flipped to 411 Garage, and ran into someone (to whom I said "you should ride the free bus") who said "it is all f----d up." And it was.

A bus* pulled up with "410 Niles East/Golf Mill" and the Walker Brigade went up to it with the debate "it says 410" "but it is switching to 411..." They didn't get on, the bus left, but the sign did not change,

About 10 minutes later (and about 15 minutes late) "411 Niles West/Golf Mill" pulled up and the Walker Brigade got on. The driver engaged me in conversation, at some point I said "why don't you change your sign?" to which she said ""it does automatically" to which I said "it did not," to which she said "it will in five minutes," and then she pulled out, again with the wrong sign.

I'm not sure what to believe, but if the sign was under the control of the IBS, some dummy programmed it to swap southbound somewhere short of Golf Mill instead of on the northbound trip, like opposite Golf Mill Ford,

On the other hand, 270 appeared to work properly, as the sign automatically switched at the stop sign before it made the left turn to the bus shelter.

Other gripes:

  • "It doesn't pull into Tony's." That is correct, as the 411/241 signs were on Greenwood.
  • "410 doesn't go to Jerry's." It looks like you have to walk through Oasis Park.
  • "I could barely see the signs." "You saw 410. Don't they have auditory announcements?" "What?"
  • "It stops running [northbound] at about 4:00." Again, true; I don't know when the old 411 quit.

On the other hand, they put up some bus stop signs on Washington St.

But it seems like for insignificant changes, they found ways to confuse the ridership.

___________

*2601, which kills my theory for the moment.

 

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I can't help but laugh at your post. xD I probably shouldn't say that but it's true. :$ It's good though you mentioned it on the forum, they have CTA guys that monitor this forum and I'm sure they have Pace guys too. I saw a #410 sign this week and could see it from Milwaukee but I was looking at the rear. I wouldn't doubt what you said is true though. They obviously have some glitches to work out.

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56 minutes ago, BusHunter said:

I can't help but laugh at your post. xD I probably shouldn't say that but it's true.

Aside from one Saturday Night Live reference, everything here is literally retold. Again, the only good thing is that the driver to 410 was friends with the passengers and seemed to take good care of them, other than "you can't walk on the ramp."

I spent about 3 years corresponding with Pace about messed up signs on 422. I'm not going to get involved with that again.

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The "it will change in 5 minutes" is classic. :P And i bet your right about the IBS being set to switch after it pulled off. These silly signs don't make sense, but it is free what did you expect? It's about as bad as when I reported a #68 at Jeff was still displaying it's former route a #85A i believe.for like 5 minutes. Maybe they need a Moe slap. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3eaX9QmmfWE

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19 hours ago, Busjack said:

Other gripes:

  • "It doesn't pull into Tony's." That is correct, as the 411/241 signs were on Greenwood.
  • "410 doesn't go to Jerry's." It looks like you have to walk through Oasis Park.
  • "I could barely see the signs." "You saw 410. Don't they have auditory announcements?" "What?"
  • "It stops running [northbound] at about 4:00." Again, true; I don't know when the old 411 quit.

 

No longer pulling into the YMCA, Tony's, etc. really hurt the elderly and disabled Free Bus riders, which is the majority of ridership. This will most likely be changed back. Also, cutting service in the afternoon by an hour (the 411 used to stop going northbound at about 5 pm) to give service earlier in the morning doesn't appear to be helpful either to the main riders.

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1 hour ago, BusExpert32 said:

No longer pulling into the YMCA, Tony's, etc. really hurt the elderly and disabled Free Bus riders, which is the majority of ridership. This will most likely be changed back. Also, cutting service in the afternoon by an hour (the 411 used to stop going northbound at about 5 pm) to give service earlier in the morning doesn't appear to be helpful either to the main riders.

That's why I wonder (also based on BusHunter's comment about whether they look at this board) whether Pace is getting any feedback on this. Usually it just says "everyone is satisfied" by a restructuring.

The person who complained about Tony's got into a pedestrian-car accident about 1-1/2 months ago (before the restructuring) crossing Milwaukee Ave. from the free bus in front of Jerry's, so I can see why she is perturbed about the current situation at Tony's.

I also wonder:

  • if Walmart paid Niles to retain its stops.
  • why it can't run on time, even though it doesn't pull into places like the YMCA (which one would think would be a community destination).

Since I don't live in Niles, I'm not getting my nose further into this.

 

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20 hours ago, Busjack said:
  • why it can't run on time, even though it doesn't pull into places like the YMCA (which one would think would be a community destination).

 

There is a railroad crossing at Touhy/Lehigh, so maybe the trains slow the buses down.

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2 hours ago, PACE NORTHWEST said:

 

There is a railroad crossing at Touhy/Lehigh, so maybe the trains slow the buses down.

Basically, only Metra and Amtrak run on that part of the line, and they aren't delaying it. Most of the heavy freight takes the switch at Techny. Also, that would not explain why 411 NB was 12 minutes behind 410 NB, as both use Touhy and cross Lehigh.

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Maybe tbey no longer have permission to go on private land. The buses are bigger and heavier than they used to be. Maybe those owners don't want to pay for extra parking lot improvements. CTA seems to have gotton kicked off some private property in the last few years that's why I mention it.

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2 hours ago, BusHunter said:

Maybe tbey no longer have permission to go on private land. The buses are bigger and heavier than they used to be. Maybe those owners don't want to pay for extra parking lot improvements. CTA seems to have gotton kicked off some private property in the last few years that's why I mention it.

But that couldn't have changed in the past 2 weeks. For instance, I know that the bus stopped at the front door of Tony's, not out on Greenwood Ave. That issue seemed to have been broached when the buses were changed from the Chance RT-52s to the Eldorados.

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1 hour ago, Busjack said:

But that couldn't have changed in the past 2 weeks. For instance, I know that the bus stopped at the front door of Tony's, not out on Greenwood Ave. That issue seemed to have been broached when the buses were changed from the Chance RT-52s to the Eldorados.

I don't know, talk to Pace. Do the Niles operators know anything? Maybe it's a new city ordinance. Metroshadow works at Pace HQ, maybe ask or PM him. He would probably know if anyone knew on the forum, but Andrethebusman is very resourceful.

Also you might want to check in with the handicapped advocacy groups. I'm sure they be chiming in with complaints, so we'll probably know soon enough.

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3 minutes ago, BusHunter said:

Maybe it's a new city ordinance

The only thing indicated was that Pace handled the restructuring, but both the Pace and Niles boards had to approve it. Like I said, I don't live in Niles,* so there are limits on how overofficious I can be.

_________

*And they know that, as a couple of times I had business with them, they confirmed they had my phone number on caller ID.

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I was under the impression it is a insurance standpoint and a permission issue. Where the liability comes in if they go onto private property. Like Yorktown buses don't layover at the Mall anymore. They pull in and pull out and end at Branding & Finley.

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33 minutes ago, PNW7380 said:

I was under the impression it is a insurance standpoint and a permission issue. Where the liability comes in if they go onto private property. Like Yorktown buses don't layover at the Mall anymore. They pull in and pull out and end at Branding & Finley.

But you still didn't answer the question why they could stop there 2 weeks before, but because of a restructuring they can't. There is no evidence that the YMCA threw them off the property.

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13 minutes ago, Busjack said:

But you still didn't answer the question why they could stop there 2 weeks before, but because of a restructuring they can't. There is no evidence that the YMCA threw them off the property.

Obviously whoever did the restructuring made that decision for you and the riders of Niles. The big question is what brought on Yorktown? Did someone sue the mall or something? Probably they need a transit center at all of these big malls served as Pace terminals or drive thru's. Didn't they propose something like that at Golf Mill?

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3 hours ago, BusHunter said:

Obviously whoever did the restructuring made that decision for you and the riders of Niles. The big question is what brought on Yorktown? Did someone sue the mall or something? Probably they need a transit center at all of these big malls served as Pace terminals or drive thru's. Didn't they propose something like that at Golf Mill?

Yorktown was explained. Pace was using their parking lot as a marshaling place for buses and tearing it up. Pace now serves it, but the stop is restricted to a concrete pad outside J.C. Penney.

There is supposed to be a Pulse station at Golf Mill, but the Pulse meeting materials said there had to be an agreement with the new owners.

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On ‎5‎/‎14‎/‎2016 at 1:23 AM, BusHunter said:

The "it will change in 5 minutes" is classic. :P And i bet your right about the IBS being set to switch after it pulled off. These silly signs don't make sense, but it is free what did you expect? It's about as bad as when I reported a #68 at Jeff was still displaying it's former route a #85A i believe.for like 5 minutes. Maybe they need a Moe slap. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3eaX9QmmfWE

This is a strange quirk in the system. If a bus is "on route" at Jeff, the sign will change as it pulls up to the loading bay. However... If a bus is changing routes, such as 68 to 85A, since it now is going into the north terminal instead of the south one, the not-so-clever device thinks it has not "arrived" at Jeff yet, so sign stays on 68 to Jeff Park for ten minutes, then the not-so-clever device gives up and changes the sign to correspond with the next scheduled trip, in this case 85A to Touhy/Lehigh. If layover is under 10 minutes, the sign will not change until bus is pulling out of the loading bay, then the not-so-clever device decides "bus is now on route, better change the sign to show the next scheduled destination". This is really only a problem at this one location, Jeff Park, because just about all other cases, a bus goes to its programmed "terminal" before changing routes.

This is also why you sometimes see pullins still carrying their last destination. For instance, Addison pullins from Harlem run west on Addison and north on Harlem. However, the not-so-clever device is programmed for a routing via Addison-Neva-Waveland-Harlem-Addison EB, with terminal being Addison east of Harlem EB. So a pullin goes "off route" at Addison and Neva, and for same reason as above, sign stays on 152 to Harlem for 10 minutes, then finally changes to Forest Glen Garage. It will not change earlier, because while a pullin is a "route", since it is "undefined", the system can't think it is "on route" while the bus is going north on Harlem!

 

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On the Clever Devices I noticed a "Dest" button on the touch pad, can the operator just type in the destination code and override the sign?

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6 hours ago, andrethebusman said:

... If a bus is "on route" at Jeff, the sign will change as it pulls up to the loading bay.....

 

Which has nothing to do with this topic, for about 4 reasons.

5 hours ago, jesi2282 said:

On the Clever Devices I noticed a "Dest" button on the touch pad, can the operator just type in the destination code and override the sign?

I'm not a driver, you are, but it has been said here that the Luminator box is still available on Pace. As I said about 3 weeks  ago, the drivers were reaching up to something, but didn't 1-1/2 weeks ago.

I was in Niles last week, and the bus (same one, separated by 3 hours) had the correct sign on Washington St., but I wasn't going to hang out at Golf Mill again.

 

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"Dest" just shows you what sign is being displayed. On CTA at least there are still actual sign control panels, but they are hidden, and drivers are not supposed to even know they exist. However... If say you are doing an extra run, the way you program a sign is as follows:

1) Log in as you normally would, including the run number.

2) System does not recognize run number, goes into "manual mode"

3) Put in run number to be displayed. Screen now goes to "Route number"

4) Put in a route number, say "152"

5) Screen gives you a list of all programmed origin/destination pairs for that route, such as in this case Waveland to Pontiac, Waveland to Harlem, Pulaski to Pontiac, etc. There can be many, many items in the list.

6) Select the pair you want, and the appropriate destination is now displayed. Upon arrival at other end, you put in the route number again, and select pair for going back.

It would appear that at that time at least, the system was not recognizing Niles run numbers, so drivers had to do this manual login in order to get the AVAS to work at all.

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9 hours ago, andrethebusman said:

It would appear that at that time at least, the system was not recognizing Niles run numbers, so drivers had to do this manual login in order to get the AVAS to work at all.

If WebWatch is any indication of this, only 70% are succeeding (4-5 buses, when there should be 7)

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4 hours ago, Busjack said:

If WebWatch is any indication of this, only 70% are succeeding (4-5 buses, when there should be 7)

That was cured, but for a "410" on Greenwood, so something with the IBS is still fouled up.

2642.png

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