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2 hours ago, Pace831 said:

The new 307 destination sign is “TOYOTA PARK/TRANSIT CTR” in front and “BRIDGEVIEW TC” in back. At least three buses were displaying the “A1 MESSAGE”.

The original Axess buses 6323-6376 and the NABIs display:

307  TOYOTA PARK

*FLIP*

307  TRANSIT CTR

All newer El Dorados display this in slightly smaller font:

307  BRIDGEVIEW TC 

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I guess I can post here.

When will the new Pace NW garage in Wheeling open?  Since it's supposed to open with a CNG fleet, how will Pace accomplish this?

1.  Will it operate the Wheeling and Des Plaines garages simultaneously?  They would pull a small number of buses from zDes Plaines to be retrofitted for CNG, then send the retrofitted buses to operate from Wheeling. 

2.  If Pace South still has its underground diesel fuel tanks, swap all 81 if South's buses with 91 from NW.  NW can still operate some diesels out of Des Plaines while retrofitting the remaining 30 to 40 buses, but this expedites that process.  Obviously Pace's next order would have to be for CNG.

WOULD Pace consider resurrection of the NABIs to fill in while retrofitting buses for CNG?

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8 hours ago, artthouwill said:

I guess I can post here.

When will the new Pace NW garage in Wheeling open?  Since it's supposed to open with a CNG fleet, how will Pace accomplish this?

1.  Will it operate the Wheeling and Des Plaines garages simultaneously?  They would pull a small number of buses from zDes Plaines to be retrofitted for CNG, then send the retrofitted buses to operate from Wheeling. 

2.  If Pace South still has its underground diesel fuel tanks, swap all 81 if South's buses with 91 from NW.  NW can still operate some diesels out of Des Plaines while retrofitting the remaining 30 to 40 buses, but this expedites that process.  Obviously Pace's next order would have to be for CNG.

WOULD Pace consider resurrection of the NABIs to fill in while retrofitting buses for CNG?

According to the budget, 2020 is earmarked for construction in wheeling. 28 diesel buses will be purchased this year but cngs will be purchased the next 3 years with the lions share being ordered in 2022, 66 buses. They plan on ordering 130 cng buses total. Around 35 of those cngs are for expansion service.  Some other garage construction is on the horizon for the I-55 express service which they want to expand again but currently dont have garage space to do. It sounds like the expansion cngs might be for that service. So will we be getting cng mcis??? Or cmg highway buses. 

Now in saying that it sounds like wheeling will have no choice but to have diesel and cng fueling stations. The wheeling garage is slated to replace des plaines so des plaines will be no more. There going to have some long pullouts from wheeling. I think they should keep des plaines myself. You never know if the 294 flex lanes take off it could be in demand.

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1 hour ago, BusHunter said:

According to the budget, 2020 is earmarked for construction in wheeling. 28 diesel buses will be purchased this year but cngs will be purchased the next 3 years with the lions share being ordered in 2022, 66 buses. They plan on ordering 130 cng buses total. Around 35 of those cngs are for expansion service.  Some other garage construction is on the horizon for the I-55 express service which they want to expand again but currently dont have garage space to do. It sounds like the expansion cngs might be for that service. So will we be getting cng mcis??? Or cmg highway buses. 

Now in saying that it sounds like wheeling will have no choice but to have diesel and cng fueling stations. The wheeling garage is slated to replace des plaines so des plaines will be no more. There going to have some long pullouts from wheeling. I think they should keep des plaines myself. You never know if the 294 flex lanes take off it could be in demand.

Where is the garage being constructed in Wheeling?

 

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16 minutes ago, sht6131 said:

Where is the garage being constructed in Wheeling?

 

I think its 1600 wolf rd. Sorry forgot if its north or south. 

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11 hours ago, BusHunter said:

According to the budget, 2020 is earmarked for construction in wheeling. 28 diesel buses will be purchased this year but cngs will be purchased the next 3 years with the lions share being ordered in 2022, 66 buses. They plan on ordering 130 cng buses total. Around 35 of those cngs are for expansion service.  Some other garage construction is on the horizon for the I-55 express service which they want to expand again but currently dont have garage space to do. It sounds like the expansion cngs might be for that service. So will we be getting cng mcis??? Or cmg highway buses. 

Now in saying that it sounds like wheeling will have no choice but to have diesel and cng fueling stations. The wheeling garage is slated to replace des plaines so des plaines will be no more. There going to have some long pullouts from wheeling. I think they should keep des plaines myself. You never know if the 294 flex lanes take off it could be in demand.

According to what I read, the agreement with Wheeling was that only CNG buses would operate from there from day one.  O also thought z wheeling was slated to open in 2021.  I suppose that Pace could wait until 2922 to open Wheeling,  but I was under the impression that they were anxious to get out of Des Plaines.  Also I dont think the Wheeling site is zoned to have diesel fuel tanks.

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Well there is the option that they could take all the south cngs. It would be counterproductive but they wouldnt have to put a diesel tank at wheeling then. Seems to me long term they are going to have a more 40 foot fleet. They have this order now for 30 foot buses but that may be the only one. Seems like they might want to push out the eldorko type buses to far outlying areas like river or fox valley and garages in the immediate suburbs may be mostly 40 foot. Seems like alot of the 30 foot routes are being eliminated. The #326, #241, they want to can the #210, #421. 

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On 8/31/2020 at 10:08 AM, BusHunter said:

Well there is the option that they could take all the south cngs. It would be counterproductive but they wouldnt have to put a diesel tank at wheeling then. Seems to me long term they are going to have a more 40 foot fleet. They have this order now for 30 foot buses but that may be the only one. Seems like they might want to push out the eldorko type buses to far outlying areas like river or fox valley and garages in the immediate suburbs may be mostly 40 foot. Seems like alot of the 30 foot routes are being eliminated. The #326, #241, they want to can the #210, #421. 

Based on the 2020 budget, Pace is supposed to purchase 38 diesel buses.  Could they possibly go to River. Ns, and possibly W to cover some NW routes while buses are being retrofitted for CNG?  Or could the order be modified to 28 CNG?  Couple those 28 as CNG with South's 91 going to NW, and you nearly have NW at 100 percent CNG. 

However as far as I can tell. Pace hasn't put out a RFP.  Perhaps they will try to increase the New Flyers order by another 28.

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7 hours ago, artthouwill said:

Based on the 2020 budget, Pace is supposed to purchase 38 diesel buses.  Could they possibly go to River. Ns, and possibly W to cover some NW routes while buses are being retrofitted for CNG?  Or could the order be modified to 28 CNG?  Couple those 28 as CNG with South's 91 going to NW, and you nearly have NW at 100 percent CNG. 

However as far as I can tell. Pace hasn't put out a RFP.  Perhaps they will try to increase the New Flyers order by another 28.

I notice you mentioned a cng retrofit twice. According to the budget, they are ordering enough new cngs buses to cover nw but they wont all be here until 2024 most likely. I dont see why they would retrofit cngs into existing buses. It would put too many cngs out there between nw and s. In saying that unless theres a 30 foot cng order coming it looks like nw will become all 40 footers. 

Now we have another issue, if NF is going to make the last 10 buses for Dempster pulse how does that fit into a cng garage build? They may have  to rebuy milwaukee pulse buses and maybe put the older buses at sw for 95th. It may be a little soon but why not just order extra cng pulse buses and you could do halsted pulse too. 

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29 minutes ago, BusHunter said:

I notice you mentioned a cng retrofit twice. According to the budget, they are ordering enough new cngs buses to cover nw but they wont all be here until 2024 most likely. I dont see why they would retrofit cngs into existing buses. It would put too many cngs out there between nw and s. In saying that unless theres a 30 foot cng order coming it looks like nw will become all 40 footers. 

Now we have another issue, if NF is going to make the last 10 buses for Dempster pulse how does that fit into a cng garage build? They may have  to rebuy milwaukee pulse buses and maybe put the older buses at sw for 95th. It may be a little soon but why not just order extra cng pulse buses and you could do halsted pulse too. 

The main reason I say retrofit is because, my understanding of the agreement with Wheeling is that when it opens in 2021  the garage will be 100 percent CNG.  To me, that would mean mo diesel buses.   There are really only 3 options.

1.  Retrofitted buses 

2 swap with Pace South 

3. Delay opening Wheeling until the new CNGS arrive. This means Wheeling wouldn't open in 2021 and possibly 2022.

If you are saying Pace will order new CNGS in the future,  then the NW and S swap makes the most sense  IF Wheeling is insisting on CNG.  They could be open to letting Pace house diesel buses there,  but I'm sure Pace can't build any diesel fuel tanks there.  That would mean that a fuel truck would have to go there every night and fuel the buses. 

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10 hours ago, artthouwill said:

The main reason I say retrofit is because, my understanding of the agreement with Wheeling is that when it opens in 2021  the garage will be 100 percent CNG.  To me, that would mean mo diesel buses.   There are really only 3 options.

1.  Retrofitted buses 

2 swap with Pace South 

3. Delay opening Wheeling until the new CNGS arrive. This means Wheeling wouldn't open in 2021 and possibly 2022.

If you are saying Pace will order new CNGS in the future,  then the NW and S swap makes the most sense  IF Wheeling is insisting on CNG.  They could be open to letting Pace house diesel buses there,  but I'm sure Pace can't build any diesel fuel tanks there.  That would mean that a fuel truck would have to go there every night and fuel the buses. 

Both des plaines and wheeling could coexist for a time. While they mention des plaines closing they didnt say when. Since south goes through buses, it probably would be smart to divide the new bus order between them. This way they could rotate the fleet and keep the miles down. Dont know if that's a pain for mechanics having to service two models of bus but they do that now. The benefits outweigh the negatives in my opinion. If Halsted Pulse had new buses and they probably will, they will have two different models anyway. Probably PACE will be buying nf now. Dont know if Eldorado is being underbid or not, but it's hard to compete with the big tuna.

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On 9/2/2020 at 10:11 AM, busfan2847 said:

1600 South Wolf Rd, Wheeling

Didn't realize how close this is to Palatine rd. That is like a highway. Makes pullouts faster. Most garages if you notice are always built by expressways, it's a faster way to get your equipment in place.

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1 hour ago, BusHunter said:

Didn't realize how close this is to Palatine rd. That is like a highway. Makes pullouts faster. Most garages if you notice are always built by expressways, it's a faster way to get your equipment in place.

Palatine Rd also runs like a highway, with only 3 or 4 lights between Wolf and Rt 53 and none to I 294.  Palatine has an exit ramp for Wolf and for Milwaukee Ave.  I wonder if the 272 goes to Wheeling garage once it opens.

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When the Wheeling replacement garage opens, it will likely cause a shift in the bus route garage assignments. Some of the routes that are currently operated by the current Northwest Division (Des Plaines) will be shifted to the North Shore (Evanston), River (Elgin) and West (Melrose Park) Divisions; however, since the North Shore and River Division garages are currently closed on Sundays - and of those two, North Shore has only two Saturday routes (213 and most trips on the 215) to handle with all of its remaining routes operating only on weekdays, the routes that are currently handled by the Northwest Division that operate on Sundays will be mostly assumed by the Melrose Park (West) garage. The Sunday routes currently operated by Northwest are the Pulse Milwaukee line, the 208, 215, 223, 250, 270 and 290 and selected trips on the 606 (most weekday and Saturday trips on the 606 are operated out of Elgin). This assumes that the new Wheeling Garage will be closed on Sundays. However, it's too early to tell.

Meanwhile, lesser-performing routes like the 209 and the 240 will be contracted out to MV Transportation's Niles facility when the Wheeling garage opens. The 694 and 696, idle since May, may be discontinued as fixed routes and replaced by a new On-Demand call-ahead bus service.

And a major part of the reason for Pace leaving Des Plaines is that the land that surrounds that garage had been sold to developers, who have since built condominiums and apartments in that land.

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17 hours ago, RJL6000 said:

When the Wheeling replacement garage opens, it will likely cause a shift in the bus route garage assignments. Some of the routes that are currently operated by the current Northwest Division (Des Plaines) will be shifted to the North Shore (Evanston), River (Elgin) and West (Melrose Park) Divisions; however, since the North Shore and River Division garages are currently closed on Sundays - and of those two, North Shore has only two Saturday routes (213 and most trips on the 215) to handle with all of its remaining routes operating only on weekdays, the routes that are currently handled by the Northwest Division that operate on Sundays will be mostly assumed by the Melrose Park (West) garage. The Sunday routes currently operated by Northwest are the Pulse Milwaukee line, the 208, 215, 223, 250, 270 and 290 and selected trips on the 606 (most weekday and Saturday trips on the 606 are operated out of Elgin). This assumes that the new Wheeling Garage will be closed on Sundays. However, it's too early to tell.

Meanwhile, lesser-performing routes like the 209 and the 240 will be contracted out to MV Transportation's Niles facility when the Wheeling garage opens. The 694 and 696, idle since May, may be discontinued as fixed routes and replaced by a new On-Demand call-ahead bus service.

And a major part of the reason for Pace leaving Des Plaines is that the land that surrounds that garage had been sold to developers, who have since built condominiums and apartments in that land.

I doubt Pace will contract any routes to contractors.   Unions would object.   Plus Pace has eliminated contractors operating 40 ft fixed route buses..

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On 9/4/2020 at 10:06 PM, RJL6000 said:

When the Wheeling replacement garage opens, it will likely cause a shift in the bus route garage assignments. Some of the routes that are currently operated by the current Northwest Division (Des Plaines) will be shifted to the North Shore (Evanston), River (Elgin) and West (Melrose Park) Divisions; however, since the North Shore and River Division garages are currently closed on Sundays - and of those two, North Shore has only two Saturday routes (213 and most trips on the 215) to handle with all of its remaining routes operating only on weekdays, the routes that are currently handled by the Northwest Division that operate on Sundays will be mostly assumed by the Melrose Park (West) garage. The Sunday routes currently operated by Northwest are the Pulse Milwaukee line, the 208, 215, 223, 250, 270 and 290 and selected trips on the 606 (most weekday and Saturday trips on the 606 are operated out of Elgin). This assumes that the new Wheeling Garage will be closed on Sundays. However, it's too early to tell.

Meanwhile, lesser-performing routes like the 209 and the 240 will be contracted out to MV Transportation's Niles facility when the Wheeling garage opens. The 694 and 696, idle since May, may be discontinued as fixed routes and replaced by a new On-Demand call-ahead bus service.

And a major part of the reason for Pace leaving Des Plaines is that the land that surrounds that garage had been sold to developers, who have since built condominiums and apartments in that land.

I doubt too much will leave nw, 115 cngs are slated to come their way, so that's like 90 percent of the buses they have now. Closing nw on Sunday would just be too ridiculous, some pullouts could be over an hour before they get to there routes. I think nw will lose buses to sw and ns because theyll need to have all 40 foot buses, if they replace the eldorkos with cngs. 

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16 hours ago, BusHunter said:

I doubt too much will leave nw, 115 cngs are slated to come their way, so that's like 90 percent of the buses they have now. Closing nw on Sunday would just be too ridiculous, some pullouts could be over an hour before they get to there routes. I think nw will lose buses to sw and ns because theyll need to have all 40 foot buses, if they replace the eldorkos with cngs. 

I was only stating the possibility of NW closing on Sudays because of the current transit situation in the vicinity of that soon-to-be garage location. All of the NW routes that currently run on Sundays are located towards the far south of the service area, and moving the garage further north would only increase deadhead distances substantially.

Thus, Pace would have to add Suday service to that area or create a new daily bus route in order to make it worthwhile.

 

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2 hours ago, RJL6000 said:

I was only stating the possibility of NW closing on Sudays because of the current transit situation in the vicinity of that soon-to-be garage location. All of the NW routes that currently run on Sundays are located towards the far south of the service area, and moving the garage further north would only increase deadhead distances substantially.

Thus, Pace would have to add Suday service to that area or create a new daily bus route in order to make it worthwhile.

 

If NW can operate the routes Monday through z Saturday,  they can operate the routes on Sundays.

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12 hours ago, artthouwill said:

If NW can operate the routes Monday through z Saturday,  they can operate the routes on Sundays.

Theyll probably have more of an issue with where are the cng buses once the garage opens. Talking about routes the #696 could go to river. It's up there with the #554 and that runs out of river. Wheeling to me seems far from the service area but I guess the tollway will help. I've been thinking maybe the Lake Cook Rd service and deerfield service might actually not be far from wheeling. Could ns  be taking a few nw routes?  I'm surprised municiple vehicles aren't free on the tollway. I wonder what will happen to the #230, but River I believe has its own capacity problems, so they cant be the answer to everything. 

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14 hours ago, BusHunter said:

Theyll probably have more of an issue with where are the cng buses once the garage opens. Talking about routes the #696 could go to river. It's up there with the #554 and that runs out of river. Wheeling to me seems far from the service area but I guess the tollway will help. I've been thinking maybe the Lake Cook Rd service and deerfield service might actually not be far from wheeling. Could ns  be taking a few nw routes?  I'm surprised municiple vehicles aren't free on the tollway. I wonder what will happen to the #230, but River I believe has its own capacity problems, so they cant be the answer to everything. 

River might take the 696, but West is better suited for routes like 223 and 606 and 616.   I also believe NS and NW can swap some routes.  213 could go to Wheeling and 290 could go to NS.  Perhaps 250 and Dempster Pulse could go to NS with the 626 going to Wheeling. 

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On 9/6/2020 at 6:21 PM, artthouwill said:

If NW can operate the routes Monday through z Saturday,  they can operate the routes on Sundays.

 

3 hours ago, artthouwill said:

River might take the 696, but West is better suited for routes like 223 and 606 and 616.   I also believe NS and NW can swap some routes.  213 could go to Wheeling and 290 could go to NS.  Perhaps 250 and Dempster Pulse could go to NS with the 626 going to Wheeling. 

West did run routes as far northwest as Roselle (the 608) until that route (along with several other lesser-used routes) suspended service during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, early and late 608 trips were interlined with the 757 (another route whose service has been suspended during the pandemic). Midday, a single 40-footer stayed up northwest, in the Schaumburg-Roselle area, until the 757 ran its afternoon rush trips back towards Forest Park and Oak Park.

The 230 is in a tough spot right now: Too high of a ridership to justify the downgrade to 30-footers or paratransit equipment, too low of a ridership to expand beyond its current service levels and schedule. In fact, NW had run two low-ridership routes that would be better served by either a third-party contractor such as MV Transportation Niles (using 30-foot buses) or a reservation-based On-Demand service (I am talking about the 241 and the 694) prior to the temporary suspension of service on those two routes during the pandemic (or, in the case of the 241, Pace could eliminate that route completely and partially replace the stronger parts of the route with the 240).

And yes, in order to make daily operation at Wheeling worthwhile, Pace would have to add Sunday service to (at least) the 604. Currently, that route operates Monday through Saturday. The 234 did have Saturday service, but that had been eliminated a few years ago. So did the 696.

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On 9/4/2020 at 11:06 PM, RJL6000 said:

When the Wheeling replacement garage opens, it will likely cause a shift in the bus route garage assignments. Some of the routes that are currently operated by the current Northwest Division (Des Plaines) will be shifted to the North Shore (Evanston), River (Elgin) and West (Melrose Park) Divisions; however, since the North Shore and River Division garages are currently closed on Sundays - and of those two, North Shore has only two Saturday routes (213 and most trips on the 215) to handle with all of its remaining routes operating only on weekdays, the routes that are currently handled by the Northwest Division that operate on Sundays will be mostly assumed by the Melrose Park (West) garage. The Sunday routes currently operated by Northwest are the Pulse Milwaukee line, the 208, 215, 223, 250, 270 and 290 and selected trips on the 606 (most weekday and Saturday trips on the 606 are operated out of Elgin). This assumes that the new Wheeling Garage will be closed on Sundays. However, it's too early to tell.

Meanwhile, lesser-performing routes like the 209 and the 240 will be contracted out to MV Transportation's Niles facility when the Wheeling garage opens. The 694 and 696, idle since May, may be discontinued as fixed routes and replaced by a new On-Demand call-ahead bus service.

And a major part of the reason for Pace leaving Des Plaines is that the land that surrounds that garage had been sold to developers, who have since built condominiums and apartments in that land.

Are the Saturday 606 trips run by the eldos? I thought River was all 30 fts

On 9/7/2020 at 7:48 AM, BusHunter said:

Theyll probably have more of an issue with where are the cng buses once the garage opens. Talking about routes the #696 could go to river. It's up there with the #554 and that runs out of river. Wheeling to me seems far from the service area but I guess the tollway will help. I've been thinking maybe the Lake Cook Rd service and deerfield service might actually not be far from wheeling. Could ns  be taking a few nw routes?  I'm surprised municiple vehicles aren't free on the tollway. I wonder what will happen to the #230, but River I believe has its own capacity problems, so they cant be the answer to everything. 

Wouldn't municipal vehicles just end up paying themselves eventually?

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