Yet Another (Late) Update

117 Training Bus
2012 Proterra BE35 EcoRide #117, seen on a Training run.

Was my last entry really two and a half months ago?  Yikes have I been slacking.  But that’s only because work on the extra board never ends.  We had Fiesta in April, and in early May the summer signup began.  The downside with the new signup is that work has slowed down drastically.  That meant I got my two days off, however I used that time to catch up on other life activities.

Not to sound like a broken record from my last update post, but not much has changed.  The hybrids are still getting repainted into the new red/white/silver livery, with around less than 10 buses needing the new paint job.  On an interesting note, two electric buses were repainted into the new livery last week (buses 116 and 117).  Bus 115 is still sitting in the storage lot in the old ARC livery (see photo at beginning of post).  I’m not really sure of the reason behind this, as I was once told these buses would never see service again.  Maybe that has changed and the maintenance team fixed the problems with these buses.  I’m going to have to ask around at work to get my answers.

No new buses have been delivered, nor have any retired.  We still have the reserve 2005 New Flyer’s sitting in the storage lot close to the garage.  Also sitting in the storage lot are the unused PRIMO Nova’s, two NABI CNG PRIMO’s, two old 2001 NABI 40-LFW’s, the three preserved buses, and several paratransit vans awaiting retirement.

The new Mobility on Demand program in the northeast region of the city seems to have taken off successfully.  The three bus routes in this region have seen less ridership now that these vans have entered service.  I had the (dis)pleasure of doing these routes a few weeks ago, and I was bored out of my mind (the reason behind my displeasure).  I never had more than 4 passengers on my bus at any given time.  Not sure when routes 640, 641, and 642 will be eliminated since this project is a huge hit.

This summer signup is a slow one.  Working the extra board, I’m used to working 10-13 hour days, six days a week.  Lately I’ve been working 8-10 hour days and getting both of my days off.  While at first I used that extra free time to be a lazy couch potato, I have since used that time to catch up on my personal life.  While I’m sad that I’m not making as much money as before, it has given me time to relax and enjoy life a little.  Driving a bus is really fun, but sometimes you just need to take a break.  Smell the flowers and whatnot.

The next round of changes will happen in late August.  The new 102 Military PRIMO will begin service, as well as the opening of the new Brooks Transit Center.  A few bus routes will be revised or extended to service the transit center.  There will also be a few minor route changes to the downtown area, as some routes will resume service on the busy Commerce Street.

That’s all for now.  I’ve got several blog ideas written down and hopefully I can share them on a regular basis this summer.  Until next time!

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