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Busjack

Pace Construction

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PA 97-770 was just signed and provides:

The Suburban Bus board shall have the power "to borrow money for the purposes of: (i) constructing a new garage in the northwestern Cook County suburbs at an estimated cost of $60,000,000, (ii) converting the South Cook garage in Markham to a Compressed Natural Gas facility at an estimated cost of $12,000,000, (iii) constructing a new paratransit garage in DuPage County at an estimated cost of $25,000,000, and (iv) expanding the North Shore garage in Evanston to accommodate additional indoor bus parking at an estimated cost of $3,000,000."

I don't know how quickly Pace can implement this, but it seems like Axess buses in the South Division might be only a short term proposition.

As I have often brought up with regard to CTA, it looks like the passengers may have to pay this off, since the Act says that it is to be paid out of revenues or other funds, but that money received from the RTA may not be pledged.

___________

I was tipped off by The NWI Times on this.

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PA 97-770 was just signed and provides:

The Suburban Bus board shall have the power "to borrow money for the purposes of: (i) constructing a new garage in the northwestern Cook County suburbs at an estimated cost of $60,000,000, (ii) converting the South Cook garage in Markham to a Compressed Natural Gas facility at an estimated cost of $12,000,000, (iii) constructing a new paratransit garage in DuPage County at an estimated cost of $25,000,000, and (iv) expanding the North Shore garage in Evanston to accommodate additional indoor bus parking at an estimated cost of $3,000,000."

I don't know how quickly Pace can implement this, but it seems like Axess buses in the South Division might be only a short term proposition.

As I have often brought up with regard to CTA, it looks like the passengers may have to pay this off, since the Act says that it is to be paid out of revenues or other funds, but that money received from the RTA may not be pledged.

___________

I was tipped off by The NWI Times on this.

Surprising they would want to build a CNG facility at Markham. I guess they liked the CNG test bus then. B) In a way it's smart. Pace moves on towards alternative fuel to better the environment. CTA seems to way ahead in the cleaner vehicles catagory. (maybe because they get more money, like Al Piemonte says :P ) I guess this would be Pace's preferred clean vehicle versus CTA's. I don't know now if they will exercise all the options for the Axess or not. They could just be thinking in the future when the #6262's come up for retirement. The negative is I don't know how this would work in a facility that gets overworked like South. If the buses get so bad they need to be traded, they can't if no where else has CNG. I would've picked something smaller or lighter in service demand like Pace North or NS. But at least it's a change for the better and that's positive. :)

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I probably would have selected a smaller facility too, except, of course the smaller ones would have a large proportion of Eldo EZ Riders.

The other possibility that points to South is the sales demonstration for the Compobus, including that it carries about what a 40 foot bus used to, thus making it economic despite the higher cost, according to Coryell. About the only place that benefit could be realized is South.

Thus, besides leaving open how many Axess options Pace has exercised or intends to exercise, whether this turns out like LA, and, in essence, a single source specification, or whether the specification is broad enough that any bus assembler can bid (New Flyer's site says that they have just delivered their 4000th CNG bus).*

If it turns out to be a Compobus, at least we know from the Tollway TIGER application what it would look like (basically 1970s CTA colors, or pretty much the colors in the Xcelsior banner on New Flyer's site).

________

*Pace mentioning in such places as the Tollway proposal that it would piggyback the LA order indicates that it might not even go out to competitive bidding.

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Opinion: MCI produces CNG transit coaches. And since 6900's are soon ending service, these could be possible replacements

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Opinion: MCI produces CNG transit coaches. And since 6900's are soon ending service, these could be possible replacements

The spec for up to 50 OTRs is up, and it is for diesel buses. So, apparently not at this time.

BTW, I don't really see why this has to be bid, given that it was bid before, and Buy America Act certification is required, but is there anyone other than MCI that can meet that requirement?

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As indicated above, Moving Forward of Sept. 14 says about the 2013 budget: "The $111.7 million capital program is mostly devoted to the purchase of new buses, including those powered by compressed natural gas. These are expected to be on the street in 2014."

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The spec for up to 50 OTRs is up, and it is for diesel buses. So, apparently not at this time.

BTW, I don't really see why this has to be bid, given that it was bid before, and Buy America Act certification is required, but is there anyone other than MCI that can meet that requirement?

Prevost and maybe BCI.

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Prevost and maybe BCI.

Prevost, at least from its website, seems completely Canadian assembly. At the bottom of this press release, it says "Prevost has its main manufacturing facilities in Sainte-Claire, Quebec..."

Googling BCI only brings up ads for used coaches; maybe you can elaborate.

Update: Maybe it is this. However, doesn't look like it will be Buy America compliant in time.

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The August 2012 minutes sort of say that the South Division CNG conversion is to be covered by bond funds, and the purchase of CNG buses by Illinois Jobs Now.

I'm not sure how the statement "Mr. Ross added that this works well with the replacement needs at the South Division garage" squares with what they said last year about the South Division's needs and how the first of [what turned out to be] the Axess buses would go there for that reason.

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Happy Holidays from Pace, which just posted the invitation for bids for 40 foot CNG buses.

Surprisingly, this is a 5 year request for up to 250 buses, with a minimum quantity of 91. The budget mentioned 75, but maybe now they want to make South all CNG.

Out year prices are for up to 40 each (39 in year 5).

Also, "It shall be a requirement of the delivery schedule to have a minimum of twenty (20) complete and operational buses delivered to Pace NO LATER than June 1, 2014."

The specs assume a blue bus, although specific colors are to be selected at the preproduction meeting.

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The spec for up to 50 OTRs is up, and it is for diesel buses. So, apparently not at this time.

BTW, I don't really see why this has to be bid, given that it was bid before, and Buy America Act certification is required, but is there anyone other than MCI that can meet that requirement?

The agenda for today's meeting includes:

*Ordinance authorizing a single bid contract for the purchase, manufacture, and delivery of up to 50 Over the

Road (OTR) coaches

As I indicated above, any question about who the single source is?

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The Pace March minutes has a discussion of the difficulties involved in converting to CNG. At least Metzger is doing her homework.

But, if it is natural gas, why did they go to Dallas Area Rapid Transit instead of Frisco or Fresno? :lol:

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The agenda for the July 10 meeting includes:

Ordinance authorizing the award of a contract for the purchase, manufacture and delivery of forty foot low floor Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) powered transit buses.

So I guess we'll find out in a couple of weeks. I figured they had to approve it by now to meet the deadline for the delivery of the first 20.

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From an information standpoint, the Pace website has really gone into the tank. I click Busjack's link and

get a menu of the world, clicking into it and getting nothing !!! Also, no press releases in months (are you

kidding me ???) nor basic past board meeting info. I guess that is a good way to hide what is going on.

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From an information standpoint, the Pace website has really gone into the tank. I click Busjack's link and

get a menu of the world, clicking into it and getting nothing !!! Also, no press releases in months (are you

kidding me ???) nor basic past board meeting info. I guess that is a good way to hide what is going on.

The place where the agendas and past 2 months of board minutes are is under News and Events-->Calendar of Events. The minutes are a month behind because they have to be approved at the subequent meeting before posting.

By prior link, if you mean to where the solicitation was, that still works, although there is no link on the Pace page once the solicitation goes over to opened.

As far as no press releases, maybe Pace doesn't feel a need for them, as opposed to CTA running a $654,000 P.R. department, including the $153,000 head flack, justifying its existence by running a press release every two weeks that according to Mayor Emanuel, the Red Line project is on time and budget, like they were going to issue a release to the contrary.

And, as far as "a good way to hide what's going on," compare Pace minutes to the CTA ones of "the ominbus passed unanimously and ordinances are posted elsewhere on the site." Also, the CTA contract awards database doesn't seem to have been updated recently.

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The Pace March minutes has a discussion of the difficulties involved in converting to CNG. At least Metzger is doing her homework.

But, if it is natural gas, why did they go to Dallas Area Rapid Transit instead of Frisco or Fresno? :lol:

If you mean, San Francisco, then I think the reason is that most SF Bay Area transit systems use straight diesel or diesel-electric hybrid buses instead of CNG. Also, Dallas is in the process of acquiring several hundred CNG low floor buses and already run CNG buses. I would've thought NYC would've been a better place to do research, but that's just one person's opinion.

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If you mean, San Francisco, then I think the reason is that most SF Bay Area transit systems use straight diesel or diesel-electric hybrid buses instead of CNG. Also, Dallas is in the process of acquiring several hundred CNG low floor buses and already run CNG buses. I would've thought NYC would've been a better place to do research, but that's just one person's opinion.

I think you missed the joke.

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Finally: July minutes posted:

Ordinance SBD #13-57 authorizes the award of a contract to Eldorado National (California), Inc. for the purchase, manufacture and delivery of forty foot low floor Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) powered transit buses, in an amount not to exceed $119,913,100.00.

So, even more Axess buses. It looks like $480K/bus, which would be under budget.

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Finally: July minutes posted:

Ordinance SBD #13-57 authorizes the award of a contract to Eldorado National (California), Inc. for the purchase, manufacture and delivery of forty foot low floor Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) powered transit buses, in an amount not to exceed $119,913,100.00.

So, even more Axess buses. It looks like $480K/bus, which would be under budget.

So what is that 240 buses? Well that takes care of the Orion VI's, and either the #6600's or #6162's

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So what is that 240 buses? Well that takes care of the Orion VI's, and either the #6600's or #6162's

The contract was base 91 with options up to 250. My divisor is based on the 250.

I had the feeling that Eldorado was going to protect itself, in that any of these buses were going to come out of the order for up to 416 diesel buses. Don't know if it animated the bid, but it is possible.

In any event, after having received 69 buses, I doubt that Pace is going to exercise the options for a total of 597 more Eldorado buses, within either 5 years of the award of the contract for 416 in Oct. 2011 or 5 years of the award of this contract in July 2013. I mentioned earlier that while the base order of 91 would clear the NABIs out of South, I don't know if the options for another 40 per year for 5 years (39 the last year) are just to lock in prices, or Pace intends to convert another division to CNG. Arguably, the end of this contract would be after the end of the FTA life of the blue NABIs (acquired in 2005).

If we wipe 1999 NABIs from the 2013 budget, it indicates 157 Orion VI, 182 2003 NABIs (35 and 40 foot) and 60 2005 NABIs, or a total of 399, which the options under the first contract and the entire second contract overshoot by about 200. So, as far as your conclusion that Pace is intending to replace those buses, that seems correct.

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Yeah, I forgot about the CNG's at South. (I forgot what's the status of that contract) That would mostly likely wipe out both the #6162's and #6600's, So we will be saying goodbye to the yellow and white livery in the next few years. I wonder if they can convert yet more buses to highway specs? These express buses to me look as capable as an MCI. They could then have an all low floor fleet. Who is using the lower compartment luggage storage anyway?

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