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New OTR Coaches


MetroShadow
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Picture is in Moving Forward. Looks about what you would expect, but the fleet number of the one on display is 6951.

attachicon.gif6951.jpg

Will these be in service along with the Axxess suburban style buses that are currently serving 755 and 855 (this one to a limited degree it seems), or will the Axxess buses be moved to the I-90 routes?

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Will these be in service along with the Axxess suburban style buses that are currently serving 755 and 855 (this one to a limited degree it seems), or will the Axxess buses be moved to the I-90 routes?

We'll have to wait and see, but my count is that there are currently 16 buses on 755/855 (6900-6907 (8) 6920-6925 (6) 6377, 6378). So, unless there is less need for spares or one of the old OTRs is junk, they would be one short, so I don't think that the 2 Axess buses are moving. One would also have to consider that the only other spares at Heritage are 2700s, as opposed to NW and River having larger buses.

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We'll have to wait and see, but my count is that there are currently 16 buses on 755/855 (6900-6907 (8) 6920-6925 (6) 6377, 6378). So, unless there is less need for spares or one of the old OTRs is junk, they would be one short, so I don't think that the 2 Axess buses are moving. One would also have to consider that the only other spares at Heritage are 2700s, as opposed to NW and River having larger buses.

Motorcoaches, unlike transit buses, can last a very very long time. Thus 6900 - 6907 wouldn't necessarily have to be retired for another 10 years. Plus these buses really only run Mon - Fri rush periods only, so compared to other buses in Pace's fleet, they should be in outstanding condition, with relatively low mileage. The only thing really that gives away thier age besides the headlights is the yellow livery.

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I wonder why Pace didn't order D4500 Commuter Coaches. Could it be a hoist issue at their garages that won't support a 45' coach? Do they think that 57 seats is too much capacity?

They had leased them (6920s), so that can't be the reason. Probably price. Remember, they also took bids for hybrids, but didn't buy them.

Motorcoaches, unlike transit buses, can last a very very long time. Thus 6900 - 6907 wouldn't necessarily have to be retired for another 10 years. Plus these buses really only run Mon - Fri rush periods only, so compared to other buses in Pace's fleet, they should be in outstanding condition, with relatively low mileage. The only thing really that gives away thier age besides the headlights is the yellow livery.

The MCI Press Release said:

Pace will use the new coaches to replace older buses and those leased from MCI, on its poplar "Bus on Shoulder" service, which debuted in 2011 between Chicago and the southwest suburbs. (emphasis added)

Now, I suppose that Pace could leave a couple as spares, but I take it that the release meant what it said.

Also, note that that Press Release reinforces what I said earlier that Pace is using 14 motor coaches, but is buying 13.

Finally, the yellow livery gives away nothing, because the buses have to be wrapped to be operated on the shoulder, per the State Police. The only thing that might give away their age is the flip dot sign.

BTW, I had thought that Moving Forward had the wrong location for MCI, but MCI just opened a new headquarters in Des Plaines.

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Also in light of what art mentioned about OTR's lasting longer than transit buses, I remembered that there's also 877 and 888 to consider. Would Pace turn these over to complete Axess suburban coverage or use some of what the new MCI coaches displace? From what I remember Bill V's site mentioning, the original 6900s 6900-07, that Pace actually owns, were for those two routes before Pace shifted them for use on 855, and later the 655 (now defunct) and 755.

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Also in light of what art mentioned about OTR's lasting longer than transit buses, I remembered that there's also 877 and 888 to consider. Would Pace turn these over to complete Axess suburban coverage or use some of what the new MCI coaches displace? From what I remember Bill V's site mentioning, the original 6900s 6900-07, that Pace actually owns, were for those two routes before Pace shifted them for use on 855, and later the 655 (now defunct) and 755.

WebWatch indicates that it is now all 6379-6385.

For the rest, go back and read the MCI release.

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Why did they start the numbers at 6951? Why not 6930???

We don't know that, other than that the one at HQ was 6951. I would guess that 6950 is out there someplace. That guess is based on that the maximum under the contract is 50, which would make the last one potentially 7000. But since they only took 13 this time, maybe they don't intend to take the whole contract.

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WebWatch indicates that it is now all 6379-6385.

For the rest, go back and read the MCI release.

Thanks. Plus I was only asking about what might happen with the OTRs they already have, not the new ones they made a contract to receive which have already been established as going to 755 and 855..

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You mentioned that the last one would end at 7000. If it start at 6950 then it would have to end at 6999. I only remember the Nova Classics ended at xx00 which was 2400.

I said If the first one was 6951, thereby surmising that it wasn't the first.

The Nova Classics were a clear indication of what happens if numbers just follow the same series, as the last Orion I was 2378, and thus the first Nova 2379. Apparently Pace continued this trend with 6323. However, it clearly didn't with this group, which would otherwise start with 6926.

On the CTA side, the analogy is that buses start with 00 while L cars start with 01, making 2600 a 2400 (Boeing Vertol) and 3200 a 2600 (Budd).

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Motorcoaches, unlike transit buses, can last a very very long time. Thus 6900 - 6907 wouldn't necessarily have to be retired for another 10 years. Plus these buses really only run Mon - Fri rush periods only, so compared to other buses in Pace's fleet, they should be in outstanding condition, with relatively low mileage. The only thing really that gives away thier age besides the headlights is the yellow livery.

That's debatable. Where my Father worked was a mix of School Buses and Motorcoaches, and the coaches were in the shop a lot. Those 5.9L's, 7.3L's and CAT 3116's ran circles around the Detroit Diesels. Coaches have around the same life span as a transit bus, perhaps less. You have to remember that a Motorcoaches mileage is mostly highway mileage. These buses get to the 500,000 and 1,000,000 mile marker sooner than a transit bus. The TMC's and Flxibles retired a few years back probably had mileage ranging between 500,000 and 750,000 miles(maybe some of the longest running ones have over that). I don't know if deep in CTA's records they record final mileage for these retired buses and if someone with access or knows someone with access to see if this mileage is about right.

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I said If the first one was 6951, thereby surmising that it wasn't the first.

The Nova Classics were a clear indication of what happens if numbers just follow the same series, as the last Orion I was 2378, and thus the first Nova 2379. Apparently Pace continued this trend with 6323. However, it clearly didn't with this group, which would otherwise start with 6926.

On the CTA side, the analogy is that buses start with 00 while L cars start with 01, making 2600 a 2400 (Boeing Vertol) and 3200 a 2600 (Budd).

6950-6962.

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That's debatable. Where my Father worked was a mix of School Buses and Motorcoaches, and the coaches were in the shop a lot. Those 5.9L's, 7.3L's and CAT 3116's ran circles around the Detroit Diesels. Coaches have around the same life span as a transit bus, perhaps less. You have to remember that a Motorcoaches mileage is mostly highway mileage. These buses get to the 500,000 and 1,000,000 mile marker sooner than a transit bus. The TMC's and Flxibles retired a few years back probably had mileage ranging between 500,000 and 750,000 miles(maybe some of the longest running ones have over that). I don't know if deep in CTA's records they record final mileage for these retired buses and if someone with access or knows someone with access to see if this mileage is about right.

The fact is that highway buses are meant to accrue higher mileage. While it may be rare to be able to purchase a 15 year + old transit bus for revenue service, there are plenty of 20 year+ olf motorcoach for revenue service. Also relative to its NABI fleet, I would venture to guess that the coaches that were at South had relatively low mileage (Mon- Fri rush period service only on 877/888). Therefore it is an easy choice to put them on 755/855 even though they are longer routes. Heck, there are Greyhounds from the early 2000s still on the road. Just because a bus is 12 years old doesn't mean it has to be retired in 12 years, but the agencies purchasing buses with federal money are expected to keep those buses purchased with fed money for 12 years. If maintained properly, I know motorcoaches outlast transit buses.

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I wonder why Pace didn't order D4500 Commuter Coaches. Could it be a hoist issue at their garages that won't support a 45' coach? Do they think that 57 seats is too much capacity?

You don't need a 45' foot coach bus when a 40' can do just the same job.

The fact is that highway buses are meant to accrue higher mileage. While it may be rare to be able to purchase a 15 year + old transit bus for revenue service, there are plenty of 20 year+ olf motorcoach for revenue service. Also relative to its NABI fleet, I would venture to guess that the coaches that were at South had relatively low mileage (Mon- Fri rush period service only on 877/888). Therefore it is an easy choice to put them on 755/855 even though they are longer routes. Heck, there are Greyhounds from the early 2000s still on the road. Just because a bus is 12 years old doesn't mean it has to be retired in 12 years, but the agencies purchasing buses with federal money are expected to keep those buses purchased with fed money for 12 years. If maintained properly, I know motorcoaches outlast transit buses.

There are some transit buses that still use 40' coach buses that have been purchased in 1999-2000 (see: GCRTA and NJT). And albeit some that are being replaced, they don't have the big mileage as some of the smaller transits (in terms of mileage and wear/tear).

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I said If the first one was 6951, thereby surmising that it wasn't the first.

The Nova Classics were a clear indication of what happens if numbers just follow the same series, as the last Orion I was 2378, and thus the first Nova 2379. Apparently Pace continued this trend with 6323. However, it clearly didn't with this group, which would otherwise start with 6926.

On the CTA side, the analogy is that buses start with 00 while L cars start with 01, making 2600 a 2400 (Boeing Vertol) and 3200 a 2600 (Budd).

And you're absolutely right about Pace busses' numberings. My question is that is Pace going to continue that trend with the Eldorados surpassing 6399? Do you think it was CTA's call to have that analogy of busses start with xx00 and trains xx01?

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There are some transit buses that still use 40' coach buses that have been purchased in 1999-2000 (see: GCRTA and NJT). And albeit some that are being replaced, they don't have the big mileage as some of the smaller transits (in terms of mileage and wear/tear).

Can't speak for Cleveland, but keep in mind NJ Transit has some very long routes, with quite a few of the New York City and Philadelphia over 50+ miles. The NJT buses have a lot more wear and tear on them simply because of the long-distance nature of some routes. The 319 between New York and Atlantic City via Toms River Park & Ride is nearly 130 miles long; one of NJT's busiest routes, the 139 between Lakewood and New York via US 9, is nearly 60 miles. The 139 and 319 both run seven days a week. And that's not factoring in deadhead mileage between terminal points and the garage.

By contrast, the 755/855 are approximately 40 miles (Chicago Loop to Plainfield) and run only during peak hours.

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And you're absolutely right about Pace busses' numberings. My question is that is Pace going to continue that trend with the Eldorados surpassing 6399? Do you think it was CTA's call to have that analogy of busses start with xx00 and trains xx01?

As has been said many times, the fleet numbers are merely "asset tags" that put a number that is not duplicated into the computer system. Somebody posted a long time ago a picture taken in the River Garage of a computer program with maintenance information that said that a 27something was a 2600 series bus. To me, that seems too complicated when one has to refer to a 6323 series bus, but apparently Pace can deal with it.

I never got an explanation why CTA bus series start with 00 and L car ones 01. However, whatever numbering system is used is based on that TA's system, and that's it. For instance, I know of some TAs that start a short series with X50 or X51, but Pace hasn't done that before. Pace didn't used to distinguish between 35 and 40 foot buses, but decided to do so in 2003.

There is also the Pace superstition that they do not number any equipment XX13. Maybe that was based on wrecking 8713 (according to Chicago Transit and Railfan).

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I never got an explanation why CTA bus series start with 00 and L car ones 01...

My .02 cents on that(for the record, I'm no CTA expert or have nobody on the inside. This is just observations and pattern guessing)...

All series need a starting point Logically, it would be for most cases XX00 with buses(the exceptions being the Orion I's CTA got from PACE and the New Flyer D60LFR's which, even though they are a different powertrain than the New Flyer DE60LFR's, are still considered the same series). This is to max out numbers in a series, especially if it's a large bus order that takes up most or all of that number block(examples being the TMC's-4400-4875 and 4900-4914, Flxibles-5300-5769, Nova LFS-6400-6883 and New Flyer D40LF-1000-2029). Also, the prototypes which eventually become service buses are always the XX00, with the exceptions being mentioned above.

As far as the "L" cars, the CTA has always used a odd/even pattern for their cars, so all railcars will start with a XX01-XX02 pattern. The exception being 3457 of the 3200-Series. That car was built with the sole intention of being mated to a car of a different series(in this case 3032 from the 2600-Series).

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As has been said many times, the fleet numbers are merely "asset tags" that put a number that is not duplicated into the computer system. Somebody posted a long time ago a picture taken in the River Garage of a computer program with maintenance information that said that a 27something was a 2600 series bus. To me, that seems too complicated when one has to refer to a 6323 series bus, but apparently Pace can deal with it.

I never got an explanation why CTA bus series start with 00 and L car ones 01. However, whatever numbering system is used is based on that TA's system, and that's it. For instance, I know of some TAs that start a short series with X50 or X51, but Pace hasn't done that before. Pace didn't used to distinguish between 35 and 40 foot buses, but decided to do so in 2003.

There is also the Pace superstition that they do not number any equipment XX13. Maybe that was based on wrecking 8713 (according to Chicago Transit and Railfan).

Very interesting. Yeah, I kinda find that very far fetched about the superstition of Pace excluding xx13 from busses beginning with the Orion VI's. I was wondering why I've never seen 6313 because of the fact that I live about 1 1/2 miles from Pace West Garage.
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