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andrethebusman

Hammond Transit

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1998 - Hammond new fleet:

3 1998 39-passenger Thomas Transiliners, 9 1998 22-passenger Thomas Transiliners, 1 1998 28-passenger Freightliner trolley

1999 - large Thomases increase to 4, small decrease to 7

2001 - add 1 2001 14-passenger Ford van - apparently temporarily assigned because of bus shortages, as gone in 2002

2002 - add 4 2002 25-passenger Opus, 4 2002 or 2003 29-passenger Opus

2003 - delete 1 large Thomas (3 left), 4 small Thomas (3 left), 1998 Freightliner Trolley, add 3 2003 28-passenger Freightliner (trolleys??)

2005 - add 1 2005 16-passenger Ford Van

2008 - delete 6 remaining Thomases, 1 small Opus (wreck?)

2010 - final HTS report shows 3 small Opus, 4 large opus, 1 Ford Van, the three 2003 Freightliners are gone

(can anybody provide fleet numbers for any of this??)

From 2010 Indiana DOT Public Transit Annual Report:

• January 1- Northwest Indiana Regional Bus Authority assumes responsibility for service formerly operated by City of Hammond.
• February - March - Public Meetings and Hearing held to propose and discuss service improvements.  RFP issued for new service contract(s).
• June - Service Contracts awarded for reorganized and expanded Fixed Route and Paratransit services.
• August 2, reorganized and expanded service implemented.
• December - Fixed route contractor begins phasing in new contractor provided buses.
 

RBA apparently did not submit annual reports for 2011 or 2012 to state. Note it specifically states "contractor provided buses".

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That's real cute. Does any of that support anything you littered the River Metro topic with, except the last thing about the RBA? So the RBA cutaways were contractor provided. The Optimas were not.

Opus numbers were 0200s (small, Chance) and 0300s (large, Oprima). But those were unofficial as they also had NIRPC numbers.

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0200 and 0300 numbers were actual bus numbers. NIRPC asset numbers are same as City of Chicago asset numbers 92201-92350 for CTA 2201-2350.

Anybody know what the Thomases were numbered?

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16 minutes ago, andrethebusman said:

0200 and 0300 numbers were actual bus numbers. NIRPC asset numbers are same as City of Chicago asset numbers 92201-92350 for CTA 2201-2350.

Anybody know what the Thomases were numbered?

I take it then that CTA didn't own those cars, as there would be no other reason to count them as City assets. IIIRC, the city was the grantee.

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Questin.  Who was the contractor?  When I first migrated to Hammond  in the late 80s, the contractor at that time was American Transit Corporation (ATC).  They had a facility in South Holland.  I believe at some point,  Viacom became the contractor.  I believe Viacom was the parent company that Van Der AA used for Viacom for transit, VanDerAA for school buses, and Royal American Charter for motorciaxhhes.  I don't  know who the contractor was after that when the Thomas and Opus fleet came to be, except I know that these buses, unlike the prior contractors,, were kept in Hamm while the others  were garaged in Illinois.  My guess would be First Transit was the last operator of Hammond Transit before and during the BRA era.  But the more I think about it, I remember Coach USA being the contractor in the early 2000s.

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1 hour ago, andrethebusman said:

0200 and 0300 numbers were actual bus numbers. NIRPC asset numbers are same as City of Chicago asset numbers 92201-92350 for CTA 2201-2350.

Anybody know what the Thomases were numbered?

Easygo Lake Transit

Chance Opus 0201-0204, 0301-0304 - ex Hammond Tranist System

Ford (bodyon chassis) 0311 - ex HTS

Champion 0400-0408 and 0500-0511 - new to Easygo

RBA assumed responsibility for the management and operation of Hammond Transit Systems through a partnership with the City of Hammond from 4th  January 2010 with operation continuing by First Transit. Fixed route and complementary paratransit remained unchanged as the RBA conducts public hearings throughout the service area and prepares specifications for new operations contracts which will include new services and changes to existing services.

New services started 2nd August 2010 with RH increases in frequency to every 30 minutes on the main two routes and Saturday service restored.

Easygo Lake Transit services provided from 1st July 2010 to 30th June 2012 by First Transit and Easygo Complimentary Transit service provided during same period by Triple A Express. Easygo Chicago provided from 1st Feb 2010 to 31st December 2011 by Free Enterprise with 2x 12 month extensions allowed.

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1 hour ago, Busjack said:

I take it then that CTA didn't own those cars, as there would be no other reason to count them as City assets. IIIRC, the city was the grantee.

Correct - which is also why they spent entire careers on Kennedy and Ryan services (mostly Kennedy). However, ownership transfered to CTA for disposal.

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ATC was an old outfit going back to 1930's. VanDerAA was even older, 1910's. Merged as Vancom about 1999. Later sold to Veolia (Dutch outfit), who sold school bus part to Laidlaw. 

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First Transit (british) is successor to ATE, also a very old outfit. ATE sold out to Ryder, who sold the bus business to FT about 2006.FT bought CUSA's transit business about 2006 also.

I vaguely remember the Hammond Thomases as being run by ATE/Ryder when new. Anyone know bus numbers on  these? Might be five digit.

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A few additional details:

Hammond 0311-0313 were the big 2003 Freightliners, gone by 2010. These were about 35-foot long.

The Thomases were apparently:

9800? - trolley

9801-9804 large

9805-9811 small

 

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15 hours ago, andrethebusman said:

Correct - which is also why they spent entire careers on Kennedy and Ryan services (mostly Kennedy). However, ownership transfered to CTA for disposal.

Which reinforces my view of "fake" numbers, as far as ownership. Similarly, the 5 big DG buses were 0001-0005m but that must have only been for city dispatch purposes, as Pace owned them and leased them to DG, but it turned out that their official numbers were 1951-1955.

For that matter, the junk list demonstrated that the old Schaumburg trolleys were 1941-1947,

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16 hours ago, busfan2847 said:

Chance Opus 0201-0204, 0301-0304 - ex Hammond Tranist System

So your impression that they were swapped out when RBA took over was false, as I had indicated.

Why don't you use the 'EDIT' function and clean up your posts in the River Metro thread?

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17 hours ago, artthouwill said:

Questin.  Who was the contractor?  When I first migrated to Hammond  in the late 80s, the contractor at that time was American Transit Corporation (ATC).  They had a facility in South Holland.  I believe at some point,  Viacom became the contractor.  I believe Viacom was the parent company that Van Der AA used for Viacom for transit, VanDerAA for school buses, and Royal American Charter for motorciaxhhes.  I don't  know who the contractor was after that when the Thomas and Opus fleet came to be, except I know that these buses, unlike the prior contractors,, were kept in Hamm while the others  were garaged in Illinois.  My guess would be First Transit was the last operator of Hammond Transit before and during the BRA era.  But the more I think about it, I remember Coach USA being the contractor in the early 2000s.

Looks like your auto-correct got you again, as the company in Lansing was VanDerAA, later Vancom for some operations.(Viacom owns Showtime.)

As I had noted before, the yellow and blue buses before the Opus buses had a 'Progressive Coach USA' decal. That appeared to be some bus company in Ithaca, New York, and I didn't know how some company that far away got the contract.*

_________

*A reference here. Maybe it is just Coach USA's local transportation company, sort of like that Megabus was Chicago Doubledecker or Van Gaulder.

 

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6 minutes ago, Busjack said:

Looks like your auto-correct got you again, as the company in Lansing was VanDerAA, later Vancom for some operations.(Viacom owns Showtime.)

As I had noted before, the yellow and blue buses before the Opus buses had a 'Progressive Coach USA' decal. That appeared to be some bus company in Ithaca, New York, and I didn't know how some company that far away got the contract, unless it was remote management.

 

When Hammond Transit System began operation in 1976 it was operated under contract by Gary PTC.

In 1983 Hammond Yellow Coach Lines begins operating Hammond Transit System under contract, as operation by Gary Public Transportation Corporation outside Gary city limits was determined to be illegal. (Earlier in 1980s Chicago Gray Line bus service into downtown Chicago was sold to Hammond Yellow Coach Lines).

In 1989 Hammond Yellow Coach Lines ceases operations, with no replacement for downtown Chicago service, as downtown service had lost ridership due to company unreliability. Hammond Transit System contract assumed by ATC/Vancom (ATC was sold to Vancom in 1989 becoming ATC/Vancom).

In the mid 1990's Progressive Transportation Services begins operating Hammond Transit System under contract. In 1996 Progressive was acquired by Coach USA (subsidiary of Stagecoach Group from mid1999) who in  2003 sold their contract transit division, Progressive, to First Transit.

First Transit continued to operate Hammond Transit through the RBA takeover in 2010 until the closure on June 30th 2012.

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1 hour ago, busfan2847 said:

When Hammond Transit System began operation in 1976 it was operated under contract by Gary PTC.

In 1983 Hammond Yellow Coach Lines begins operating Hammond Transit System under contract, as operation by Gary Public Transportation Corporation outside Gary city limits was determined to be illegal. (Earlier in 1980s Chicago Gray Line bus service into downtown Chicago was sold to Hammond Yellow Coach Lines).

In 1989 Hammond Yellow Coach Lines ceases operations, with no replacement for downtown Chicago service, as downtown service had lost ridership due to company unreliability. Hammond Transit System contract assumed by ATC/Vancom (ATC was sold to Vancom in 1989 becoming ATC/Vancom).

In the mid 1990's Progressive Transportation Services begins operating Hammond Transit System under contract. In 1996 Progressive was acquired by Coach USA (subsidiary of Stagecoach Group from mid1999) who in  2003 sold their contract transit division, Progressive, to First Transit.

First Transit continued to operate Hammond Transit through the RBA takeover in 2010 until the closure on June 30th 2012.

After Hammond Yellow ceased Hammond Transit service, it continued operating its downtown Chicago commuter service until about 1996 when INDOT effectively shut down the company after a fatal accident and subsequent investigation including equipment,  driver logs, maintenance records, etc.

I thought it odd that when Coach USA acquired Progressive that it didn't "merge" with Tri State/United Limo after its acquisition from Vector, once known as Travelways.  That name change to Vector was the result of a lawsuit filed by Trailways.  But I digress.  Perhaps Coach wanted to keep transit ops separate from coach ops.  Or maybe  Coach had to honor lease agreements made by Progressive for its Hammond location.

Back to Hammond Yellow  for a minute.  If I am not mistaken,  didn't  they operate the NW Indiana to MDW and ORD service at one time?  I also seem to recall a company called Indiana Motor Coach.  Does anyone remember that?

I See that CUSA sold Progressive soon after Tri State acquisition so no merger would've been  possible.

Edited by artthouwill

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1 hour ago, busfan2847 said:

who in  2003 sold their contract transit division, Progressive, to First Transit.

First Transit continued to operate Hammond Transit through the RBA takeover in 2010 until the closure on June 30th 2012.

That doesn't really explain why Hammond getting the Opi was reported as an emergency matter, but does explain why yellow and blue buses were seen somewhat shortly thereafter.

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2 minutes ago, artthouwill said:

After Hammond Yellow ceased Hammond Transit service, it continued operating its downtown Chicago commuter service until about 1996 when INDOT effectively shut down the company after a fatal accident and subsequent investigation including equipment,  driver logs, maintenance records, etc.

I remember when it was mostly airport service, in competition with Tri-State. Consumers were complaining that the name "Hammond Yellow Airport Limousine" meant a limousine, and instead of looking for a bus, they took a limo and were charged something like $50/ride (big bucks in the early 1970s). Tri-State seemed more dependable.

If you want to go really far back, whoever owned Shore Line used Chicago express buses to also run Gray Line tours.

6 minutes ago, artthouwill said:

Perhaps Coach wanted to keep transit ops separate from coach ops.

That's undoubtedly the reason for its branding decisions, especially since the source I cited earlier said that Coach USA acquired the companies. It doesn't seem to be a franchise operation, like the old Trailways system was (before being acquired by Greyhound). As previously noted, that must be the explanation of how Keeshin supposedly kept operating Pace routes after it disappeared--the operations just went to another Coach USA company.

The separation is also indicated by @busfan2847 saying that Coach USA sold off the transit management business to First Transit. It's not much different than Safeway converting the insides of Dominick's into Safeways, but not changing the name to Safeway. Safeway soon discovered that it had acquired a turkey, and decided to get rid of it.

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10 minutes ago, Busjack said:

That doesn't really explain why Hammond getting the Opi was reported as an emergency matter, but does explain why yellow and blue buses were seen somewhat shortly thereafter.

Don't know the specifics of the  contracts, but ATC/Vancom operated RTS buses that I think we're 1983 models and possibly older.  Thus by the time Progressive  took over those buses had reached their GTA life and replacements  were  needed 

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2 minutes ago, artthouwill said:

Don't know the specifics of the  contracts, but ATC/Vancom operated RTS buses that I think we're 1983 models and possibly older.  Thus by the time Progressive  took over those buses had reached their GTA life and replacements  were  needed 

If Vancom was running its own equipment (and apparently was running the same type of equipment in Naperville), once it no longer had the contract, the new contractor had to provide it.

The mystery is that if Progressive became First Transit, and thus never lost the contract, what made it necessary to acquire the Opi. Apparently the contracts were changed from contractors provide the equipment to contractors providing only the spares.

Also, as has been documented here, in The Times, and on andre's posting, RBA rebid the contract when it took over; there was the stink that GPTC said it was entitled to be the contractor (somehow 2010 was distinguishable from when GPTC was last the contractor).

________________________________

To get back to my other point, the About Us page for Coach USA says: "Coach USA owns more than 25 bus carriers in North America, operating scheduled bus routes, motorcoach tours, charters, and/or city sightseeing tours."

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10 minutes ago, Busjack said:

If Vancom was running its own equipment (and apparently was running the same type of equipment in Naperville), once it no longer had the contract, the new contractor had to provide it.

The mystery is that if Progressive became First Transit, and thus never lost the contract, what made it necessary to acquire the Opi. Apparently the contracts were changed from contractors provide the equipment to contractors providing only the spares.

Also, as has been documented here, in The Times, and on andre's posting, RBA rebid the contract when it took over; there was the stink that GPTC said it was entitled to be the contractor (somehow 2010 was distinguishable from when GPTC was last the contractor).

________________________________

To get back to my other point, the About Us page for Coach USA says: "Coach USA owns more than 25 bus carriers in North America, operating scheduled bus routes, motorcoach tours, charters, and/or city sightseeing tours."

The article also says that they operated services owned by govt agencies under contract, like some NJT services.

I m  not sure that ATC owned its buses.  I remember  those buses operating  with Indiana tags (license plates).  I don't know if  the law would allow a private contractor  providing  equipment  for a municipal service  would be allowed to plate municipally, especially an out of state conrractor.

Edited by artthouwill

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2 minutes ago, artthouwill said:

The article also says that they operated services owned by govt agencies under contract, like some NJT services.

Obviously, they operated Pace services until roughly 2014.

Apparently, though, they no longer wanted to manage the services, as Veolia does. Only analogy in the RTA area was around in 1983, when the RTA took over the private bus companies and hired something called "Transit Management" to manage them until Pace was organized.

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Transit Management was actually ATE of Harvey, ATE of West Towns, etc. Only had Pace contract short time, maybe 2-3 years.

CUSA bought Progressive Transportation Services Inc in 1996, sold to First Group 2003.

Keeshin ended charter and casino shuttle work before the Pace contract. I knew a driver who did one of those runs. Towards the end Keeshin became a very minimal operation with only a few buses and drivers, and when contract was up, Keeshin closed completely.

Indiana Motor Bus was a large intercity operator in Indiana from 1920's until sometime in 1970's when it shut down. Buses were painted orange and green.

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2 hours ago, andrethebusman said:

Transit Management was actually ATE of Harvey, ATE of West Towns, etc. Only had Pace contract short time, maybe 2-3 years.

CUSA bought Progressive Transportation Services Inc in 1996, sold to First Group 2003.

Keeshin ended charter and casino shuttle work before the Pace contract. I knew a driver who did one of those runs. Towards the end Keeshin became a very minimal operation with only a few buses and drivers, and when contract was up, Keeshin closed completely.

Indiana Motor Bus was a large intercity operator in Indiana from 1920's until sometime in 1970's when it shut down. Buses were painted orange and green.

Keeshin or Coach USA Chicago first ended  the University of Chicago contract it had around 2003 or 2004.  Then at some point it ended it's charter work, focusing only on contract work, which included the Northern Trust, Prudential/Aon, Michigan Plaza, 600 West (Chicago  Ave), Trump Casino,  and Pace.  Then about a year later they ended all contract work and focused solely on Megabus and Trolley/Doubledecker operations.  The Pace contract was absorbed into the  zRrolley ops.  Pace work ended as a result of the transition to BOS operation of Rt 855.  Some of this history is also covered in the Academy/Pace Ops thread.  Academy was actually the Keeshin contract for  Pace operations in the NW burbs that CUSA sold to Colonial. Also, CUSA operated the 895 for a short time.

I remember those  orange and green buses.  I thought  they  operated the NW Indiana to airport  service before Hammond Yellow did.

You said Gray Line sold the commuter service to HY.  Who owned Gray Line?  I remember  in the late 80s, Continental Air Transport was the Gray Line operator, then American Sightseeing which I understand  was sold to Aries Charter.  Aries is now the Gray Line operator.

Finally, apparently  Progressive  won the Hammond Transit  contract in 1996 but wasn't  bought  by CUSA until 1999.  It seems like Progressive originally operated HTS service with the RTS buses ATC/Vancom had.  It seems to be that  the city had title of those buses.

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20 minutes ago, artthouwill said:

Pace work ended as a result of the transition to BOS operation of Rt 855.

As you later noted, not until SW took over operation of 895, which Coach USA seems to have received as a "consolation prize."

 

20 minutes ago, artthouwill said:

It seems like Progressive originally operated HTS service with the RTS buses ATC/Vancom had.  It seems to be that  the city had title of those buses.

Vancom running similar buses in Naperville indicates to the contrary. Seems like Hammond never owned buses, the closest to public ownership being that NIRPC owned the Opi.

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1 minute ago, Busjack said:

As you later noted, not until SW took over operation of 895, which Coach USA seems to have had as a "consolation prize."

 

Vancom running similar buses in Naperville indicates to the contrary.

I was actually  living in Hammond  in 1996 and 1997 and personally  saw these buses, not knowing then that the contractors had changed.  I still hadn't realized that  there was a change  until I moved back to Hammond in  2001.  I noticed  the different fleet, but the Coach USA sticker on the side rear made me investigate a  little more..  I found  out about Progressive  and it turned out  that I lived 5 minutes from their facility.

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