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Any word on Millennium? (UPDATE)
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KCRam3500




Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 32
Location: Lake Hopatcong NJ

PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 7:42 pm    Post subject: Any word on Millennium? (UPDATE) Reply with quote

We're now midway through April after the "inventory shutdown". I have not seen any news articles regarding the company restarting, nor has NJT re-issued the RFP (they won't unless it's the absolute last resort). Anyone else hear any news about MTS?
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Mr. Linsky
BusTalk's Offical Welcoming Committee



Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 5071
Location: BRENTWOOD, CA. - WOODMERE, N.Y.

PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 2:02 am    Post subject: MTS RTS Millennium Reply with quote

KCRam3500,

I've heard nothing either, and I rather doubt that we will!

I think they bit off far more than they can chew and unless they can find an 'angel' (a broadway expression for backer), they're dead meat!

I sure would like to see someone (maybe even GM) take it over and start to make real buses again!

NJT has to make some kind of move shortly one way or another and we'll probably be reading about it soon.

It should be interesting to see the outcome!

Mr. Linsky

"The Green Hornet" Green Bus Lines, Jamaica, New York
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RailBus63
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Joined: 16 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's hard to see a future for Millennium if the current management group can't make a go of it. It would be an attractive merger or takeover candidate if they had an established product line, but the RTS low-floor model is unproven and there is little demand for the traditional high-floor RTS. This may be 'the end of the line'.

Jim
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Waynejay



Age: 53
Joined: 16 Apr 2007
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Location: Silver Spring, MD

PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm no RTS fan so I wouldn't mind if they went away, but I do feel for the employees as their job situation is looking very shaky at this time.

I'd love to see Flxible make a comeback and for NYCTA to get something other than Orions for local service. Both of these seem very much like dreams that will never materialize.
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RTS_04




Joined: 26 Apr 2007
Posts: 66

PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oy - no offense, but I think the only thing more unrealistic than an RTS comeback is a Flxible comeback - as neat as that'd be for nostalgia's sake.

Things are still difficult down there, but I know they're still building RTS' for NJT - I've pictures of one on the line in mid-March. They were going to let me down there to photograph things; however, one individual nixed that. I had the support of the owner and two VP's, though...

Don't expect much of the LF Extreme, either. There's one at Altoona (along with an NJT-spec bus) undergoing testing, but MTS is treating that as what it was for Nova - a prototype. They're not actively bidding nor accepting bids for the low-floor design - a shame, because I see that as really their only way to stay afloat.

I'll be calling back in a few weeks to see how things are within the company - and to see if this "inventory" process has been completed.

From what I hear, the two NJT demos are no longer with NJT. WITHOUT launching into speculation, can anyone CONFIRM this?

BTW - it's good to be back @ BTN!

-Evan
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busdude2




Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 12:30 pm    Post subject: A nabi suburban demo at NJT. Reply with quote

A NABI suburban from dallas [dart] has arrived at NJT. Bus 5722 is on site so I guess nabi might get the millenium order too !
RTS_04 wrote:
Oy - no offense, but I think the only thing more unrealistic than an RTS comeback is a Flxible comeback - as neat as that'd be for nostalgia's sake.

Things are still difficult down there, but I know they're still building RTS' for NJT - I've pictures of one on the line in mid-March. They were going to let me down there to photograph things; however, one individual nixed that. I had the support of the owner and two VP's, though...

Don't expect much of the LF Extreme, either. There's one at Altoona (along with an NJT-spec bus) undergoing testing, but MTS is treating that as what it was for Nova - a prototype. They're not actively bidding nor accepting bids for the low-floor design - a shame, because I see that as really their only way to stay afloat.

I'll be calling back in a few weeks to see how things are within the company - and to see if this "inventory" process has been completed.

From what I hear, the two NJT demos are no longer with NJT. WITHOUT launching into speculation, can anyone CONFIRM this?

BTW - it's good to be back @ BTN!

-Evan
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KCRam3500




Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 32
Location: Lake Hopatcong NJ

PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RTS_04 wrote:
Oy - no offense, but I think the only thing more unrealistic than an RTS comeback is a Flxible comeback - as neat as that'd be for nostalgia's sake.

Things are still difficult down there, but I know they're still building RTS' for NJT - I've pictures of one on the line in mid-March. They were going to let me down there to photograph things; however, one individual nixed that. I had the support of the owner and two VP's, though...

Don't expect much of the LF Extreme, either. There's one at Altoona (along with an NJT-spec bus) undergoing testing, but MTS is treating that as what it was for Nova - a prototype. They're not actively bidding nor accepting bids for the low-floor design - a shame, because I see that as really their only way to stay afloat.

I'll be calling back in a few weeks to see how things are within the company - and to see if this "inventory" process has been completed.

From what I hear, the two NJT demos are no longer with NJT. WITHOUT launching into speculation, can anyone CONFIRM this?

BTW - it's good to be back @ BTN!

-Evan
There were likely quite a few buses in the plant during the shutdown... at one bus per weekday, they should have produced at least 40 by mid-February, but only the 5 that made it to NJ "officially" exist - so quite a few should still be in Roswell. I don't think that's very strong evidence that they'll be able to complete the contract on time - MTS would have to immediately go to 3 units per day to meet the contract. Let's face it... I think this order was more than they should have handled so soon in their history. They should have gone after the small TAs and shuttle operators, built some cash flow and reputation, THEN gone after the big orders.
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KCRam3500




Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 32
Location: Lake Hopatcong NJ

PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 8:37 pm    Post subject: Re: A nabi suburban demo at NJT. Reply with quote

busdude2 wrote:
A NABI suburban from dallas [dart] has arrived at NJT. Bus 5722 is on site so I guess nabi might get the millenium order too!

There are suburbans in the existing NABI order... they'll replace the Flx Metro D suburbans.
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RTS_04




Joined: 26 Apr 2007
Posts: 66

PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
There were likely quite a few buses in the plant during the shutdown... at one bus per weekday, they should have produced at least 40 by mid-February, but only the 5 that made it to NJ "officially" exist - so quite a few should still be in Roswell. I don't think that's very strong evidence that they'll be able to complete the contract on time - MTS would have to immediately go to 3 units per day to meet the contract. Let's face it... I think this order was more than they should have handled so soon in their history. They should have gone after the small TAs and shuttle operators, built some cash flow and reputation, THEN gone after the big orders.


I don't disagree with you at all. Although, to an extent, they did pursue the smaller contracts (2 NJT-spec buses for Pueblo, fleet of repowered 08's for El Paso). However, they weren't really enough for them to jump right into full-scale production.
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busdude2




Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 3:58 pm    Post subject: Re: A nabi suburban demo at NJT. Reply with quote

It may be the reason a suburban demo has arrived now is to add-on milleniums order which is mainly suburbans.
KCRam3500 wrote:
busdude2 wrote:
A NABI suburban from dallas [dart] has arrived at NJT. Bus 5722 is on site so I guess nabi might get the millenium order too!

There are suburbans in the existing NABI order... they'll replace the Flx Metro D suburbans.
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KCRam3500




Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 32
Location: Lake Hopatcong NJ

PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2007 12:08 am    Post subject: Re: A nabi suburban demo at NJT. Reply with quote

busdude2 wrote:
It may be the reason a suburban demo has arrived now is to add-on milleniums order which is mainly suburbans.

Since this is an FTA-funded contract, NJT is not in position to just switch builders as they wish. Millennium has to state that they can not meet the contract, or they have to be sued by NJT for breach of contract. NJT can then either re-issue the RFP to all qualified bidders, or ask the FTA for a waiver (which is not a guaranteed "yes") to transfer the contract to NABI.

As of now, Millennium has not stated they are unable to meet the contract, so NJT's hands are tied. Plus, the DART suburban is not a true demo. NABI has to build a unit to NJT specs for that. The DART unit is a loaned bus so that NJT can examine the layout and features. NJT has likely specified the Cat C9 and ZF transmission (as they did with Millennium), so the DART bus wouldn't perform the same.
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RailBus63
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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2007 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

According to a posting on the NEBusNews Yahoo board, NJ Transit canceled the Millennium order on 2/28 when the plant shut down. Supposedly there were 5 production buses in New Jersey, but these were refused.
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KCRam3500




Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 32
Location: Lake Hopatcong NJ

PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2007 2:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RailBus63 wrote:
According to a posting on the NEBusNews Yahoo board, NJ Transit canceled the Millennium order on 2/28 when the plant shut down. Supposedly there were 5 production buses in New Jersey, but these were refused.

The only reason I would dispute this is because the Associated Press posted this article on March 5... NJT spokeswoman Penny Basset gives the impression the contract was still in place at that date. If NJT had canceled on Feb 28, there would have been articles all over New Mexico about it, as MTS would then be in loan default and likely bankruptcy soon after.
----------------
Roswell bus plant expected to reopen in few weeks

Roswell bus plant expected to reopen in few weeks

— The Associated Press —

ROSWELL — A Roswell- based bus manufacturing company that suspended its operations last month will reopen in “a few weeks,” the company’s major stockholder said. Millennium Transit Services laid off 40 production workers and 25 percent of its management staff as part of a restructuring plan to raise new working capital and reopen the plant, said James Ludvik. The facility had employed about 60 production workers. Ludvik did not know the exact number of employees in management. Ludvik said an inventory tied to the company’s year- end financial audit is being performed and the company is taking the opportunity to develop plans to

modify and improve its plant operations. “We’re putting together a startup plan. We have frozen our inventory to get an accurate count,” he said. “ We needed to take care of some issues.” A reduced work force is conducting the inventory, he said. “I felt we needed it now,” he said. “We plan on reopening the facility in a few weeks.” Millennium Transit began building buses last November under a $94 million contract to produce 289 RTS buses for the New Jersey Transit Authority. Those buses were to be completed within a year. New Jersey Transit spokeswoman Penny Basset expressed concern over whether the production schedule will be met. “ We expect to hear from them in the next several days,” she said. Millennium has a completion date for the contract, but Ludvik but it’s under discussion. “We expect to have the buses built by the end of the year,” he said. “ Yes, we need operating capital. We are like any other business, and we are in the process of finalizing it.” Roswell city finance director Larry Fry said Millennium has secured loans of $2 million from the city, $ 2.3 million from the state and a $250,000 bank loan. Jane Somes, Millennium’s chief financial officer, said the company will meet with city officials Monday to request a loan modification. If approved, the city would release some of the equipment and inventory originally tied up in the company’s initial $3 million building purchase loan.

“ We’re concerned about their welfare and if we can help them in some way to gain the financing they need without jeopardizing our agreement or financing, then we would seriously consider doing that,” said Roswell City Councilor Steven Henderson. The Millennium Transit Services facility in Roswell is a successor to bus manufacturing firms that have been located at the Roswell Industrial Air Center for about three decades. Millennium investors bought the bus assembly facility from NovaBus, which shut down about four years ago. The NovaBus factory once was Roswell’s largest private employer with 850 workers.
----------------
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RailBus63
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

According to a contributor on another board, a Millennium RTS transit demo #4103 has been sold to Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut.
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RTS_04




Joined: 26 Apr 2007
Posts: 66

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RailBus63 wrote:
According to a contributor on another board, a Millennium RTS transit demo #4103 has been sold to Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut.


Although I hardly consider that poster to be the most reputable or polite individual, this isn't completely outside of possibility. Nova production records indicate that 4 72VNs (T70-206) were delivered to the Mashantucket Pequot Gaming Enterprises in 2002.

Google Mashantucket Pequot Gaming Enterprises, and what's the first result? Foxwoods Casino.

Apparently, they like RTS. I'm working on following up with their PR people to see if they have an MTS bus.
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