Wow, it’s been a while since I wrote anything. Long story short it’s been really busy at work. The hours are long but it’s still a fun adventure. Anyways at the beginning of June I saw something very odd in the bus yard: and brand new Nova Bus LFS CNG #693, freshly delivered. When I saw that bus my heart sank, as that meant the contract with Nova was NOT cancelled. After asking around the office I found out that it’s confirmed that the contract was never cancelled, and it was just a rumor spread by some drivers. That means once all of the diesel buses are finally retired it will be nothing but Nova’s (not including the specialty buses like PRIMO and VIVA).
I already know what you’re thinking: why is the cover photo for this blog a Nova bus and not a NABI? For starters, I don’t have a NABI photo available right now (at least from today’s adventures I don’t). And second of all, this bus ties in with today’s sightings.
Another week has gone by so quick that I barely recall what happened at all. Luckily, I write everything down day by day so I can go remember the week’s events. And it has been a very interest week of weird bus sightings. Let’s get to it:
It has been a long month since graduation from the driver training program at VIA. So far it has been a blast, driving different types of buses and routes every day. Luckily for me everything has been running smoothly. The only exciting things that have happened are 2 bus breakdowns, one for loss of air and another for suspension issues.
It’s been a pretty good week doing training on the specialty buses in the fleet. I was pretty much excited to train on every bus so far (with the exception of the trolley), but only one bus remained in the fleet: the NABI 60-BRT CNG.
I honestly never thought this day would come. When I started training back in early November, VIA was in the process of retiring the entire NABI fleet. They would stop the process later that same month, but have at least 20-30 buses in storage at the Madla Transit Center. The remaining 10 or so would sometimes enter service. As training progressed, all of my instructors made it seem like I would never get to train on the NABI’s at all. Low and behold today’s greatest achievement, I actually got trained to drive this bus!
Remember a couple of blogs ago when I talked about the New Flyer hybrids, and I mentioned I “wanted to marry them?” Scratch that as the hybrids moved to second place. Xcelsior is now at the top of the list as favorite bus to drive. These buses are the Cadillac of all buses, and I really didn’t want to leave the seat this time. Luckily I was first to drive this morning and got stuck in rush hour traffic. Talk about a good 45 minutes in the seat!