BusTalk Forum Index BusTalk
A Community Discussing Buses and Bus Operations Worldwide!
 
 BusTalk MainBusTalk Main FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups BusTalk GalleriesBusTalk Galleries   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

[IL] Aging SMTD Fleet Causing Concern

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    BusTalk Forum Index -> Surface Transit - Eastern United States
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
ripta42
Site Admin


Age: 42
Joined: 15 Apr 2007
Posts: 1035
Location: Pawtucket, RI / Woburn, MA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 12:12 pm    Post subject: [IL] Aging SMTD Fleet Causing Concern Reply with quote

Aging SMTD Fleet Causing Concern
John Reynolds, staff writer, The State Journal-Register

Nearly 60 percent of the Springfield Mass Transit District's 51 buses are at or beyond their 12-year projected lifespan.

Among the oldest buses, six date back to 1984, which means they have doubled their life expectancy.

The transit district's aging fleet was just one topic of discussion Wednesday during a special community meeting that examined some of Springfield's infrastructure needs. The meeting, organized by the Citizens Club of Springfield, featured speakers from the SMTD, Springfield's Department of Public Works, City Water, Light and Power and the Springfield Metro Sanitary District.

Dean Graven, who chairs the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce Development Policy Committee, said a study conducted by the chamber concluded that the city needs to devote about $38 million annually to infrastructure needs such as roads, sidewalks, storm sewers and curb and gutter repair. The city is spending $4.5 million to $5 million per year on such projects.

Because of that, small problems become larger, which means they become more expensive to fix, Graven said.

"It's no different than maintenance to your car or to your house," he said. "It compounds ... the problem gets worse every year."

In March, the chamber of commerce's Quantum Growth Partnership floated a plan for a 5-cent tax on a gallon of gasoline to pay for infrastructure improvement. The tax would raise about $10.5 million annually, but the Springfield City Council rejected the idea.

Bob Gray, co-president of the Citizens Club of Springfield, said the purpose of Wednesday's get-together wasn't to take a position on any one issue, but to instead relay information to the public.

"I think it's pretty obvious that the infrastructure is deteriorating in most of the areas, so that's not exactly a big surprise," Gray said. "We would hope that people would begin to understand the importance of investing in the infrastructure, and begin a dialogue on what it would take to improve the infrastructure."

About 75 people attended Wednesday's meeting, which was held at the Prairie Heart Institute at St. John's Hospital.

Gordon Brown, a board member for the citizens club, said the meeting went well.

"The necessity to get the job done is what comes out in this kind of setting," Brown said.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
The Port of Authority




Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 118
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Busfan trip to Springfield? Smile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
busfreak99




Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 6
Location: Rock Island Illinois Quad Cities USA

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh the RTS' in Springfield IL are showing their age. They have 1984,1987,1989,and 1990 RTS' in thier fleet the remaining buses in their fleet are New Flyer C35LF from 1996,2000,and 2003 and 3 2005 Eldorado National Ez Rider II 30'. They are looking to become a 100% CNG Fleet.

James Roach
busfreak99
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger
Dieseljim
Deceased



Joined: 26 Jun 2008
Posts: 548
Location: Perry, NY

PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 8:01 pm    Post subject: deteriorating bus fleet Reply with quote

That is not good at all. Did they think about having the buses remanufactured a few at a time to bring the fleet up to like new condition. Massaschusetts ought to be thankful they don't have Mr. Magoo for governor like we do here in New York State, lol, or Springfield would be lucky to have any buses running at all. If they cannot get new buses outright at the present time, perhaps remanufacturing the fleet a few buses at a time will buy them time to procure the funding needed for new buses.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website Yahoo Messenger
HwyHaulier




Joined: 16 Dec 2007
Posts: 932
Location: Harford County, MD

PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jim -

Sigh! Silliness is the order of the day! Didn't any of these folks ever hear of the legendary GMC coaches? Buy 'em! Do the upkeep
and repair by the book! Flag the "tickler file" for a twenty (20) years down line date to call for bids on new stuff...

...................Vern.....................
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Dieseljim
Deceased



Joined: 26 Jun 2008
Posts: 548
Location: Perry, NY

PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 1:06 pm    Post subject: BUy Legendary GMC buses Reply with quote

Yes, Vern: they should buy the legendary GMC buses, both Fishbowls and Old Looks. Now those were REAL buses and so were the Mack equivelent of the Old Looks.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website Yahoo Messenger
HwyHaulier




Joined: 16 Dec 2007
Posts: 932
Location: Harford County, MD

PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dieseljim -

Something is just not working in the new bus business. There is no explaining the overwhelming sticker shock of what it takes to,
"...drive this new beauty right off the showroom floor..."

There is no reconciling sticker prices of new transits, from the Old Look Era, adjusting to claimed over the decades inflation, and
arriving with figures anywhere nearly as high as realities of present numbers!

What's going on here? IMHO, suspicion that there is much, too much addition of various micro managed, fad gadgets mandated
by one bureaucracy or another. That's part of it.

Much of it, too, is the destruction of the GM Way system in building coaches. It was a mass production product. The buyer, in fact,
had very little choice in final delivered product. Well, yes, there were choices such as with or without: A/C, Air Ride, Automatic Trans,
and so on. And, yes, decisions whether interior in choices of colors. It was still a mass production vehicle, with a great deal of value
for the price.

So, the entire bus building business is now just a series of job shop products? We are all familiar that a custom, job shop product
is always, necessarily, priced much higher. Oh! And, you have observed of the present day fools in the business. What of the free
spirits at the buying agencies, who think they are smarter than the builders, and want to interject their own design demands?

Looks like the whole business is just a mess, and we all get to pay for it...

....................Vern..................
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
RailBus63
Moderator



Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 1063

PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

HwyHaulier wrote:
There is no reconciling sticker prices of new transits, from the Old Look Era, adjusting to claimed over the decades inflation, and
arriving with figures anywhere nearly as high as realities of present numbers!

What's going on here? IMHO, suspicion that there is much, too much addition of various micro managed, fad gadgets mandated
by one bureaucracy or another.
That's part of it.



In my opinion, that is the major factor that has driven up the cost of new transit buses. Just like today's automobile engines, bus engines are highly-complex devices designed to meet numerous regulatory mandates for fuel efficiency and pollution reduction. Onboard computer systems are needed just to operate. The Americans with Disabilities Act has also introduced low-floor buses which require special steering and suspension systems in the front axle, and any high-floor buses must be equipped with costly wheelchair lifts. On top of those mandated new requirements, transit agencies have transitioned from basic roller destination signs to electronic sign systems, and many now use stop announcement systems to meet ADA requirements that major stops be called out for the benefit of disabled passengers.

Quote:
Much of it, too, is the destruction of the GM Way system in building coaches. It was a mass production product. The buyer, in fact,
had very little choice in final delivered product. Well, yes, there were choices such as with or without: A/C, Air Ride, Automatic Trans,
and so on. And, yes, decisions whether interior in choices of colors. It was still a mass production vehicle, with a great deal of value
for the price.

So, the entire bus building business is now just a series of job shop products? We are all familiar that a custom, job shop product
is always, necessarily, priced much higher. Oh! And, you have observed of the present day fools in the business. What of the free
spirits at the buying agencies, who think they are smarter than the builders, and want to interject their own design demands?


I'm hesitant to blame the current builders for this predicament. Today's buses, by and large, utilize standard designs and most builders do use modern techniques to build each vehicle the same as much as possible. I do agree that too many transit managers fancy themselves as smarter than the builders and love to customize their purchases, though. From what I've read, the recent issues with New York MTA's latest order for MCI cruisers had to do with agency specifications that required certain engine components to run at all times, increasing the temperature of the engine compartment beyond acceptable levels. What ever happened to letting the builder construct the best possible bus? If they build a lemon, then force them to stand behind their product and make it right, but otherwise leave them alone and let them do the best job they can.

Jim
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Dieseljim
Deceased



Joined: 26 Jun 2008
Posts: 548
Location: Perry, NY

PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 4:40 am    Post subject: Time to tell ADA to Go Fly a Kite Reply with quote

It is time someone stood up to those cokeheads in Washington and told them to go fly a kite and leave the bus builders alone. The ADA being the product of a bunch of sniveling crybabies being part of the problem, resulting in so much junk plying the streets. Those New Flyer low floor buses with their oversized windows are very homely looking and do not really have that great a ride to them. I 've been on Cleveland's and I would take a GM fishbowl or Old Look over these pieces of junk any day.
RailBus63 wrote:
HwyHaulier wrote:
There is no reconciling sticker prices of new transits, from the Old Look Era, adjusting to claimed over the decades inflation, and
arriving with figures anywhere nearly as high as realities of present numbers!

What's going on here? IMHO, suspicion that there is much, too much addition of various micro managed, fad gadgets mandated
by one bureaucracy or another.
That's part of it.



In my opinion, that is the major factor that has driven up the cost of new transit buses. Just like today's automobile engines, bus engines are highly-complex devices designed to meet numerous regulatory mandates for fuel efficiency and pollution reduction. Onboard computer systems are needed just to operate. The Americans with Disabilities Act has also introduced low-floor buses which require special steering and suspension systems in the front axle, and any high-floor buses must be equipped with costly wheelchair lifts. On top of those mandated new requirements, transit agencies have transitioned from basic roller destination signs to electronic sign systems, and many now use stop announcement systems to meet ADA requirements that major stops be called out for the benefit of disabled passengers.

Quote:
Much of it, too, is the destruction of the GM Way system in building coaches. It was a mass production product. The buyer, in fact,
had very little choice in final delivered product. Well, yes, there were choices such as with or without: A/C, Air Ride, Automatic Trans,
and so on. And, yes, decisions whether interior in choices of colors. It was still a mass production vehicle, with a great deal of value
for the price.

So, the entire bus building business is now just a series of job shop products? We are all familiar that a custom, job shop product
is always, necessarily, priced much higher. Oh! And, you have observed of the present day fools in the business. What of the free
spirits at the buying agencies, who think they are smarter than the builders, and want to interject their own design demands?


I'm hesitant to blame the current builders for this predicament. Today's buses, by and large, utilize standard designs and most builders do use modern techniques to build each vehicle the same as much as possible. I do agree that too many transit managers fancy themselves as smarter than the builders and love to customize their purchases, though. From what I've read, the recent issues with New York MTA's latest order for MCI cruisers had to do with agency specifications that required certain engine components to run at all times, increasing the temperature of the engine compartment beyond acceptable levels. What ever happened to letting the builder construct the best possible bus? If they build a lemon, then force them to stand behind their product and make it right, but otherwise leave them alone and let them do the best job they can.

Jim
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website Yahoo Messenger
RailBus63
Moderator



Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 1063

PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The New Flyer low-floor bus may be homely to some, but it's lineage actually goes back to the GMC New Look. That is because predecessor Western Flyer's D700 was a thinly-disguised fishbowl knockoff and each new Flyer model over the years evolved from the previous model - they never came out with an entirely new design.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Dieseljim
Deceased



Joined: 26 Jun 2008
Posts: 548
Location: Perry, NY

PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 5:21 am    Post subject: Bus Design-Who's Behind it Really, Mr. Magoo? Reply with quote

With some of the bus designs seen on the streets today, I cannot help but wonder who is behind these designs. The team of Mr. Magoo and Gordy Gluesniffer? And I thought Mr. Magoo was in Albany,NY, lol. As fpr Gordy Gluesniffer, no wonder some of the buses designed seem so wacked out and homely looking.Give me fishbowls and old looks any day.Gordy ought to have that tube of glue he sniffs while designing buses taken away from him, lol. Some of these designs a re almost a joke in themselves and ought to be brought out just on April fools day, Lol. That concludes today's joke about bus designers.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website Yahoo Messenger
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    BusTalk Forum Index -> Surface Transit - Eastern United States All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You can attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group