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CTA New Bus Order 2020

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To the surprise of absolutely no one, the bid opening date has been bumped back again, this time to Friday, June 12, 2020.

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3 minutes ago, MrH345 said:

Apparently Newflyer laid off some staff. I wonder if this will play a part in their choice to bid. 

I'm sure they will bid.   If they win,  they can add back workers if needed. 

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2 hours ago, artthouwill said:

I'm sure they will bid.   If they win,  they can add back workers if needed. 

I’m hoping that they do!

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4 hours ago, artthouwill said:

I'm sure they will bid.   If they win,  they can add back workers if needed. 

CTA loves new flyer and u can even tell they got  700’s 800’s 1000’s 4000’s and 4300’s

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On 2/23/2020 at 5:18 PM, Mr.cta85 said:

I agree with this 100%. If I was to take a guess I would say New Flyer get the contract for the 600 since we got 450 New Novas. CTA seems to favor New Flyers more and us operators are more familiar with those buses and like em more than Novas for the most part lol. Me personally would love to see more new Flyers as well but I dont have a problem with the Novas neither tho.

Its kind of Awkward that NYC MTA's Nova LFs got same number Series as CTA Novas which they are around same age. 

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On 5/6/2020 at 10:30 PM, Mr.NewFlyer1051 said:

CTA loves new flyer and u can even tell they got  700’s 800’s 1000’s 4000’s and 4300’s

And from the past, 1600s/ 9900s Flyer D901, D40LF 5800s and 900s.  D40/D60 High Floors are only thing that was missing from CTA 

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On 5/31/2020 at 12:33 AM, andrethebusman said:

You bet NFIL wants that order. There won't be many more once the current batch of grants are done. 

Why not? They’re going out of business too??

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35 minutes ago, Mr.cta85 said:

Why not? They’re going out of business too??

You guys lost me too. Transit agencies will always need buses. As long as you don't make a bad product like Boeing you are ok. Now they are the ones that could lose work. Airbus is more fuel efficient. Some airlines have ditched the Boeing's they have for airbus'. This 737max was a big mistake for them. 

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5 hours ago, Mr.cta85 said:

Why not? They’re going out of business too??

He meant many more grants.   Most agencies purchase buses and trains with federal dollars.  That's why purchase and options are subject to funding.  New Flyer, Nova, and anyone else wants to bid this contract.   

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52 minutes ago, Anthony Devera said:

With the pandemic and its aftermath, it might make sense to order more artics to reduce the crush loads. These should be 3-door artics, which would be useful on local routes.

I explained this a while back, but 3-door artics don’t really make sense for CTA, at least on the routes they’d be used on. 3-door artics are at their most effective with all-door boarding, which are meant for routes that consistently experience high amounts of boarding and alighting at the same time. The routes CTA uses artics for, don’t really have this. People board en masse towards the direction of travel during peak and alight en masse during reverse peak. 3 door artics would make sense for a route like the 9 or 49, maybe the 4 or the 6, maybe. But routes like the LaSalle, Michigan expresses, the J14, 26, 125, 156, etc, there would be no advantage other than maybe people alight slightly faster, since CTA doesn’t even do all-door boarding anyway (I know there’s a pilot)

3-door artics (along with all-door boarding) would require CTA to re-prioritize how they assign artics. They would be most useful on the north-south crosstown routes that experience high demand (9, 49, 53, 54 apparently, 82) and a few other routes that would also probably meet demand (4 maybe, 6, J14, 29 maybe, 79, 94 maybe, if it didn’t have all those blasted turns)

Lastly, CTA has a surplus of artics. There aren’t that many routes that still experience normal levels of crowding that they don’t have enough buses to handle it. And 40fts still exist, service would just need to be frequent.

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32 minutes ago, NewFlyerMCI said:

I explained this a while back, but 3-door artics don’t really make sense for CTA, at least on the routes they’d be used on. 3-door artics are at their most effective with all-door boarding, which are meant for routes that consistently experience high amounts of boarding and alighting at the same time. The routes CTA uses artics for, don’t really have this. People board en masse towards the direction of travel during peak and alight en masse during reverse peak. 3 door artics would make sense for a route like the 9 or 49, maybe the 4 or the 6, maybe. But routes like the LaSalle, Michigan expresses, the J14, 26, 125, 156, etc, there would be no advantage other than maybe people alight slightly faster, since CTA doesn’t even do all-door boarding anyway (I know there’s a pilot)

3-door artics (along with all-door boarding) would require CTA to re-prioritize how they assign artics. They would be most useful on the north-south crosstown routes that experience high demand (9, 49, 53, 54 apparently, 82) and a few other routes that would also probably meet demand (4 maybe, 6, J14, 29 maybe, 79, 94 maybe, if it didn’t have all those blasted turns)

Lastly, CTA has a surplus of artics. There aren’t that many routes that still experience normal levels of crowding that they don’t have enough buses to handle it. And 40fts still exist, service would just need to be frequent.

I made this suggestion because I saw that NP lost many artics and sent them to C and 77th (if I understand correctly) and it seems like routes 22, 146, and 147 have some crowding issues due to their new abundance of 40-footers. I would not have made that suggestion if the pandemic didn't happen.

I suggested 3-door artics to reduce dwell times on local routes, as that was previously a problem on the 66 and 79. I think all-door boarding would be nice, but there has to be a way to enforce it. Since you mentioned they would work better on some routes than others, I think NP and 103rd can have the 2-door artics, and the 3-door artics would be at the other garages.

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6 minutes ago, Anthony Devera said:

I made this suggestion because I saw that NP lost many artics and sent them to C and 77th (if I understand correctly) and it seems like routes 22, 146, and 147 have some crowding issues due to their new abundance of 40-footers. I would not have made that suggestion if the pandemic didn't happen.

I suggested 3-door artics to reduce dwell times on local routes, as that was previously a problem on the 66 and 79. I think all-door boarding would be nice, but there has to be a way to enforce it. Since you mentioned they would work better on some routes than others, I think NP and 103rd can have the 2-door artics, and the 3-door artics would be at the other garages.

Makes sense considering 103rd and NP artics focus on going to and from downtown whereas 77th or Chicago has crosstown travel that they use artics on. Honestly the only thing out of 77th where 2-door makes sense applying your logic would be the 2 Hyde Park express which could be moved to 103rd therefore giving reason for exclu 3 door artics at 77th 🧐. Honestly the scheduling department can put in more work and this wouldn't be so hard 

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2 hours ago, Anthony Devera said:

With the pandemic and its aftermath, it might make sense to order more artics to reduce the crush loads. These should be 3-door artics, which would be useful on local routes.

Exactly what I'm thinking.

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On 5/29/2020 at 2:28 PM, qwantae said:

And from the past, 1600s/ 9900s Flyer D901, D40LF 5800s and 900s.  D40/D60 High Floors are only thing that was missing from CTA 

I would have loved to have seen NF D40/60HFs in Chicago  I rode them on the west coast and they were amazing and the coolest sounding buses.  What could have been!!!!   I also always wonder why Gillig is never a contender. Or do they even bother to submit a bid  Theyve been building buses just as long as any other manufacturer left! Maybe they have the west coast systems in the bag probably 

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On 6/4/2020 at 6:24 PM, geneking7320 said:

I imagine CTA won't publish the losing bids but I would like to see who losing bidders were.

Not too many choices left

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On 6/18/2020 at 11:14 AM, Anthony Devera said:

I made this suggestion because I saw that NP lost many artics and sent them to C and 77th (if I understand correctly) and it seems like routes 22, 146, and 147 have some crowding issues due to their new abundance of 40-footers. I would not have made that suggestion if the pandemic didn't happen.

I suggested 3-door artics to reduce dwell times on local routes, as that was previously a problem on the 66 and 79. I think all-door boarding would be nice, but there has to be a way to enforce it. Since you mentioned they would work better on some routes than others, I think NP and 103rd can have the 2-door artics, and the 3-door artics would be at the other garages.

I've ridden each of the NP routes you mentioned for rationale, and I can personally say that the numbers aren't there to justify more artics. Any larger loads are more from folks on my side of town still acting out of pack mentality and an overrated sense of entitlement more than anything else as evidenced by folks wanting to jam in that bus that comes first whether it be artic or 40 footer when there is literally another bus of that same route within eyesight one or two blocks away. And lo and behold that bus is carrying far less riders. Plus NP has been dispatching articts on the 147 for example in higher numbers much in line with what the published service monitoring reports say are busier times for that route. And if one looks closely enough at those reports, they will see that 147 spends many hours in the green zone of fairly light passenger loads and never pushes past the yellow zone of ridership, which according to the report means that ridership is higher but doesn't hit high enough that social distancing becomes too difficult. However south side routes like  3, 4, 6, and 79 spend most hours in the yellow and have still been hitting red zone very heavy counts at different parts of the day. The same has been true of the 20, 53 and 54. This is why we've seen the return of artics at C and 77th and an increase of them at 103rd, while artics at K and NP decreased. CTA has the published evidence that this is how the dynamics of ridership has changed given ridership is still largely essential and the city's essential workers are largely on the south and west sides. CTA doesn't really need more artics especially given folks keep forgetting the social distance component added to why more routes are seeing artic used than we're used to seeing. I would argue the present pandemic driven spreading out of artic assignments is more efficient given that before even when K, NP and 103rd kept their artic routes fully run with artics, 100 out of the 300 total artics CTA has sat parked at the garage and unused even during AM and PM rush periods. That dynamic was already a result of the last time CTA made the mistake of making a long term bus purchase for short terms conditions and reasons in the form of buying the 4300s to help cover the Dan Ryan replacement shuttle bus routes during the few month long total shutdown and rebuild of the Dan Ryan leg of the Red Line. 

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25 minutes ago, jajuan said:

I've ridden each of the NP routes you mentioned for rationale, and I can personally say that the numbers aren't there to justify more artics. Any larger loads are more from folks on my side of town still acting out of pack mentality and an overrated sense of entitlement more than anything else as evidenced by folks wanting to jam in that bus that comes first whether it be artic or 40 footer when there is literally another bus of that same route within eyesight one or two blocks away. And lo and behold that bus is carrying far less riders. Plus NP has been dispatching articts on the 147 for example in higher numbers much in line with what the published service monitoring reports say are busier times for that route. And if one looks closely enough at those reports, they will see that 147 spends many hours in the green zone of fairly light passenger loads and never pushes past the yellow zone of ridership, which according to the report means that ridership is higher but doesn't hit high enough that social distancing becomes too difficult. However south side routes like  3, 4, 6, and 79 spend most hours in the yellow and have still been hitting red zone very heavy counts at different parts of the day. The same has been true of the 20, 53 and 54. This is why we've seen the return of artics at C and 77th and an increase of them at 103rd, while artics at K and NP decreased. CTA has the published evidence that this is how the dynamics of ridership has changed given ridership is still largely essential and the city's essential workers are largely on the south and west sides. CTA doesn't really need more artics especially given folks keep forgetting the social distance component added to why more routes are seeing artic used than we're used to seeing. I would argue the present pandemic driven spreading out of artic assignments is more efficient given that before even when K, NP and 103rd kept their artic routes fully run with artics, 100 out of the 300 total artics CTA has sat parked at the garage and unused even during AM and PM rush periods. That dynamic was already a result of the last time CTA made the mistake of making a long term bus purchase for short terms conditions and reasons in the form of buying the 4300s to help cover the Dan Ryan replacement shuttle bus routes during the few month long total shutdown and rebuild of the Dan Ryan leg of the Red Line. 

I see where you're coming from, but I was thinking less about the present moment and more about the time in a few months when more jobs reopen and ridership picks back up. When that happens, ridership will increase on the south and west side routes you mentioned (which currently have a few 40-footers), as well as the K and NP routes that lost artics. And before the pandemic, there were many 40-foot routes that consistently experienced crush loads and are not getting artics now (e.g. 55, 63, 77), so those routes might experience heavy loads again. With the current situation, CTA might want to avoid having those crush loads again. I'm not saying new artics are an absolute must, but I think CTA's priorities are very different now compared to before the pandemic, and it might be in their interest to order new artics.

There are many routes that do not currently have artics but are hitting red zones during many hours of the day, such as the 21, 29, 36, 66, and 82. Are these routes only crowded for short portions of the route, or are these routes hitting the bare minimum load for red zones while still not having enough ridership to justify artics?

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