I know, I know…. it’s been too long since my last blog update. I know I said the workload was slowing down, however things came up which made me busy. I won’t get into detail on that, but I will on what’s happening at VIA.
So what’s new with the fleet? Not much at this point. Since my last update, the NABI’s were mostly retired. There are 2 remaining buses (917 and 929) that are left to be retired, however they remain in the storage lot. As for the 2005 New Flyers that were placed into the same storage lot, some of them actually returned to service. Due to a shortage of working Nova buses, maintenance brought back some of the better working ones to fill in. However at the beginning of this week, some of the ones brought back into service have returned to the storage lot.
The hybrids are still getting repainted into the new livery. Bus #383 should be out of the paint shop by now, and #384 should be next in line. Speaking of repaints, NABI CNG #950 got repainted into the PRIMO livery a couple of weeks ago. Out of the 4 buses in this order, #949 remains in the red livery. It has been red tagged and placed out of service. I’m not sure if this one will get repainted into PRIMO at this point. More than likely once the 101 PRIMO is downgraded to a metro route these buses will serve on the new 103 Zarzamora PRIMO.
As for progress on the new PRIMO route, it goes slowly. The stations have yet to be installed, only the sidewalk/bus pad concrete work has been done. I haven’t seen any progress in a couple of months. I have however seen buses traveling in the garage sporting the new sign codes for the new PRIMO routes. This tells me IT is ahead of the game and is ready for the January service changes. As for buses to be used, more Nova’s are expected, this time painted in the PRIMO scheme. I saw a photo online and the bus itself doesn’t actually look half bad. It sports flush mounted windows and roof “fins” to hide the A/C. At this point I’m not sure of any changes to the interior. These new buses are expected to be delivered between now and the beginning of December.
And as usual, the Nova’s are still problematic. Because most of them tend to be out of service for repairs, this means that any available working bus has been filling in on any route. I’ve seen several express and 40′ PRIMO buses used on local metro routes, as well as regular New Flyer’s filling in on the PRIMO routes. I’m currently working on my review of the Nova fleet, so that’s coming eventually. I have lots of ideas for blog entries, but it’s just a matter of putting it together in the free time I get.