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New Pace Paratransit Vehicles


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Does anyone know if any of the Chicago Pace paratransit contractors drive vehicles with 8000-series vehicle numbers?  Possibly the white minivans? I'm listening to one of these providers on the  https://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?sid=8387 and they're using 8000-series unit numbers (sometimes they leave the "8" off).  Trying to figure out which contractor it is.  Assuming these are vehicle numbers and not route/run numbers.

Thanks in advance!

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On 1/29/2021 at 4:15 PM, kevino said:

Does anyone know if any of the Chicago Pace paratransit contractors drive vehicles with 8000-series vehicle numbers?  Possibly the white minivans? I'm listening to one of these providers on the  https://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?sid=8387 and they're using 8000-series unit numbers (sometimes they leave the "8" off).  Trying to figure out which contractor it is.  Assuming these are vehicle numbers and not route/run numbers.

Thanks in advance!

Solved the mystery - turns out this is SCR that I'm hearing.  The 8000-series ID numbers might be route or driver numbers. 

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  • 1 year later...

I saw in the city paratransit procurement that city contractors are required to provide their own vehicles meeting Pace standards, including Pace decals. Does anyone know what fleet number prefixes such as CL, ML, and RL mean?

BTW, the Pace owned vehicles are 22000s.

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28 minutes ago, Busjack said:

I saw in the city paratransit procurement that city contractors are required to provide their own vehicles meeting Pace standards, including Pace decals. Does anyone know what fleet number prefixes such as CL, ML, and RL mean?

BTW, the Pace owned vehicles are 22000s.

I've been trying to figure out myself.   My initial guess was CL wS CDT, ML was MV Transportation and RL was SCR  

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  • 4 weeks later...
2 hours ago, busfan2847 said:

Saw new Paratransit 22022 being fueled at a gas station in Palatine this week. Looked to be a different design with a much more angular body.

It is. They come from Shepard Bros., Inc. (purchase order). Shepard is the distributor for Coach and Equipment Mfg. Corp. It's apparently this model.

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On 6/22/2022 at 6:37 PM, artthouwill said:

I've been trying to figure out myself.   My initial guess was CL wS CDT, ML was MV Transportation and RL was SCR  

You are correct, CL is CDT(National Express) ML is MV, RL is SCR and FL is first transit 

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On 7/16/2022 at 7:44 AM, Bus fanatic30 said:

You are correct, CL is CDT(National Express) ML is MV, RL is SCR and FL is first transit 

I got close enough to a CL and saw that it had a sticker on the rocker panel that it was Cook-Du Page Transit and an MC number. Also, the Pace logos were not decals, but stickers.

I also noticed that Whitehall (rehab facility) has wrap advertisements on the back of Pace-owned paratransits in the North Cook area (you don't want to go there).

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On 7/16/2022 at 7:44 AM, Bus fanatic30 said:

You are correct, CL is CDT(National Express) ML is MV, RL is SCR and FL is first transit 

Wow.  When did CDT sell to National Express?  I guess that leaves SCR as the only locally owned provider of Pace paratransit?  

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1 hour ago, Bus fanatic30 said:

Back in 2016, I believe SCR was brought out also

It's not obvious, but in 2021, it became part of Beacon Mobilitty. Clue was that when searching, one of the suggestions was "scr transportation sold." The Rakestraws (hence R) still seem to be running it,

BTW, I saw an RL vehicle yesterday, and it had a sticker on the back "Owned and operated by SCR Transpotation."

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2 hours ago, Bus fanatic30 said:

Back in 2016, I believe SCR was brought out also

 

1 hour ago, Busjack said:

It's not obvious, but in 2021, it became part of Beacon Mobilitty. Clue was that when searching, one of the suggestions was "scr transportation sold." The Rakestraws (hence R) still seem to be running it,

BTW, I saw an RL vehicle yesterday, and it had a sticker on the back "Owned and operated by SCR Transpotation."

That's crazy.  I guess the MV Transportations and the First Transits of the world laid a blueprint and a lot if small paratransit operators cashed in.  This seems to be working better than private contractors for transit agencies and it didn't work as well for Coach USA  and Travelways (Vector).

Historically  company owners that sell get contracts from the buyer to continue to run the company, hence CDT and SCR management still run the companies.  Sam Van Galder still ran Van Galder Bus after he sold to Coach USA.  From what I can tell  considering these buyouts, I only know of one owner who sold, gor a contract to continue to run the company but was forced out before that contract expired 

These buyouts are putting the squeeze on DBE companies or the number of DBEs that can do business with Pace.   Unless minority owned school bus companies can get in the game somehow, the big boys have the Pace contracts locked. Art's Transportation was the last (school bus) company to lise the Oace city paratransit contract.  They also list the Board of Education contract which put them out of business    He wasn't a minority owner, but the point is that school bus companies may be large enough to challenge the current companies for future contracts.

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3 hours ago, artthouwill said:

 

That's crazy.  I guess the MV Transportations and the First Transits of the world laid a blueprint and a lot if small paratransit operators cashed in.  This seems to be working better than private contractors for transit agencies and it didn't work as well for Coach USA  and Travelways (Vector).

Historically  company owners that sell get contracts from the buyer to continue to run the company, hence CDT and SCR management still run the companies.  Sam Van Galder still ran Van Galder Bus after he sold to Coach USA.  From what I can tell  considering these buyouts, I only know of one owner who sold, gor a contract to continue to run the company but was forced out before that contract expired 

These buyouts are putting the squeeze on DBE companies or the number of DBEs that can do business with Pace.   Unless minority owned school bus companies can get in the game somehow, the big boys have the Pace contracts locked. Art's Transportation was the last (school bus) company to lise the Oace city paratransit contract.  They also list the Board of Education contract which put them out of business    He wasn't a minority owner, but the point is that school bus companies may be large enough to challenge the current companies for future contracts.

 

The article I linked said that this (like most) was a private equity deal. First Group, National Express, and Stagecoach Group (parent of Coach USA) are English companies (the only question with Coach USA is whether the local operations are franchisees). Transdev (successor to Veolia's transit business), which at least had the Du Page contract, although having its USA headquarters in Lombard, is French. The only company that grew organically is MV.

Pace's requirement in the city contracts that the operators provide new Pace-spec vehicles (as opposed to Pace supplying them to the suburban operators) certainly raised the requirement for available capital.

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14 minutes ago, Busjack said:

 

The article I linked said that this (like most) was a private equity deal. First Group, National Express, and Stagecoach Group (parent of Coach USA) are English companies (the only question with Coach USA is whether the local operations are franchisees). Transdev (successor to Veolia's transit business), which at least had the Du Page contract, although having its USA headquarters in Lombard, is French. The only company that grew organically is MV.

Pace's requirement in the city contracts that the operators provide new Pace-spec vehicles (as opposed to Pace supplying them to the suburban operators) certainly raised the requirement for available capital.

I could be wrong, but franchisees to me would indicate the local owners would pay a fee to the larger brand for the right to be affiliated with them.  While I don't think that's the case at all, it's possible that Coach USA subcontracts with some independent companies to fill a contract.  For instance,  maybe a company or two subcontracts with them to fill some routes Ciach USA contracts with NJT.

You make it great point that all of those companies except MV are based outside of the U.S.  ironically,  though MV doesn't qualify as a DBE, it is African American owned ( unless they sold and I'm not aware).

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1 hour ago, artthouwill said:

I could be wrong, but franchisees to me would indicate the local owners would pay a fee to the larger brand for the right to be affiliated with them.  While I don't think that's the case at all, it's possible that Coach USA subcontracts with some independent companies to fill a contract.  ...

I mentioned only because Keeshin was independent, but when it disappeared, it was said that Chicago Doubledeck was running the Pace service, so by then it didn't make any corporate difference.

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2 hours ago, Busjack said:

I mentioned only because Keeshin was independent, but when it disappeared, it was said that Chicago Doubledeck was running the Pace service, so by then it didn't make any corporate difference.

Kerstin was the first Chicago company to be bought by Coach USA.  Great way Teansportation was second and the operations were merged into Coach YSA Chicago with management from both companies, though the main figures were from Keeshin.  Chicago Trolley and Doubledecker was next to be purchased.  After awhile, the vast majority of the Keeshin personnel ( nin drivers) were forced out and the reigns were given to the Trolley owners.  They were great running the trolley and double-decker aspect but were clueless about mororciach/transit operations.  They handpicked a management staff from Chicago Motor Coach Company, a company that management team ran out of business.  They sold the O'Hare operations to Colonial, which ran the Pace contract portion as Academy.  At that point Keeshin and Robinson Coach  ( joint venture as O'Hare Shuttle Partners) list the remote parking shuttle contract to Delaware and the Employee Parking Shuttle  * AMC Lir) was the only other contract the O'Hare operation had.

As far as independence, you could say each CUSA operator was independent subject to budget and purchasing  oversight.  In order to force a management change, someone higher in the food chain had to give the blessing which at the time was the regional boss Dale Moser, who was based in Des Plaines. 

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