Public Transit News / Current Events (MN only)

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Tcmetro
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Re: Public Transit News / Current Events (MN only)

Postby Tcmetro » February 2nd, 2021, 6:08 pm

Makes sense given Metro Transit provides service to South St Paul, West St Paul, Inver Grove, and Lakeville.

bubzki2
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Re: Public Transit News / Current Events (MN only)

Postby bubzki2 » March 2nd, 2021, 2:45 pm

Met Council considering abandoning electrifying its bus fleet after promising it would do so back in 2018: https://www.startribune.com/biodiesel-n ... 600029359/

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Re: Public Transit News / Current Events (MN only)

Postby seanrichardryan » March 2nd, 2021, 2:52 pm

BOO
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DanPatchToget
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Re: Public Transit News / Current Events (MN only)

Postby DanPatchToget » March 2nd, 2021, 2:57 pm

Have they been using the electric buses on the C Line through the winter? Is it a climate issue, charging issue, both, or something else?

bubzki2
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Re: Public Transit News / Current Events (MN only)

Postby bubzki2 » March 2nd, 2021, 3:00 pm

Some are saying Met Council tried the locally-made (but less known) New Flyer buses and didn't have good luck with early production models. Might be shell shock from this? There are great, reliable brands other than New Flyer, such as Protera.

My only other thought is maybe the corn lobby is heavily pushing for the "bio" part of biodiesel? (that still pollutes, by the way!)

Tcmetro
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Re: Public Transit News / Current Events (MN only)

Postby Tcmetro » March 2nd, 2021, 3:04 pm

Met Council is going to make purchases of 40' and 60' buses which will cover needs over the next few years.

It's probably wise to delay electrics a few more years, hopefully they are more mature by then.

I wonder how Metro Transit's electric experience compares to Duluth (they have had electrics for a few years now) and Chicago (2 in service, 20 coming this year). Even though Chicago is planning on testing more electrics, the CTA is proceeding with a 600 diesel bus order.

Lastly, all the major bus manufacturers offer electrics (New Flyer, Gillig, Nova, and Proterra). Nova's electrics are more limited from what I understand.

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Re: Public Transit News / Current Events (MN only)

Postby SurlyLHT » March 2nd, 2021, 3:06 pm

Some are saying Met Council tried the locally-made (but less known) New Flyer buses and didn't have good luck with early production models. Might be shell shock from this? There are great, reliable brands other than New Flyer, such as Protera.

My only other thought is maybe the corn lobby is heavily pushing for the "bio" part of biodiesel? (that still pollutes, by the way!)
I once talked to someone who worked there. They said the factory was a mess.

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Re: Public Transit News / Current Events (MN only)

Postby tmart » March 2nd, 2021, 3:53 pm

I can understand that sometimes plans fall through for unforeseen reasons, but it would be good for the Council to propose alternative pollution mitigation measures (e.g., policies to reduce VMT, or shifting one or more bus projects to a catenary-based mode like trolleybus or LRT) to make up for abandoning this commitment.

kellonathan
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Re: Public Transit News / Current Events (MN only)

Postby kellonathan » March 2nd, 2021, 7:17 pm

I think the only supplier that has 60' articulated battery-electric bus out in the market is New Flyer. Maybe BYD?
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Tcmetro
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Re: Public Transit News / Current Events (MN only)

Postby Tcmetro » March 2nd, 2021, 7:58 pm

BYD does have 60' electric buses. Albuquerque rejected their order due to quality issues and had to order New Flyers. Indianapolis also had issues with their BYD artics but it seems that they may have overcome them. Palmdale-Lancaster has a lot of BYD buses, but there's a few articles out there that claim backroom deals are going on.

karlshea
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Re: Public Transit News / Current Events (MN only)

Postby karlshea » March 2nd, 2021, 10:52 pm

Who knew there was so much drama in the bus world.

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Re: Public Transit News / Current Events (MN only)

Postby alexschief » March 3rd, 2021, 7:50 am

Some are saying Met Council tried the locally-made (but less known) New Flyer buses and didn't have good luck with early production models. Might be shell shock from this? There are great, reliable brands other than New Flyer, such as Protera.
Other cities have had issues with Proterra models.

I think the long and short answer is that no North American manufacturer has built a reliable BEB yet.

DanPatchToget
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Re: Public Transit News / Current Events (MN only)

Postby DanPatchToget » March 3rd, 2021, 8:09 am

I've heard nothing but bad things about BYD so my personal opinion is we should just avoid doing business with them. For now it seems like New Flyer is our best bet. Battery technology is always advancing, so hopefully the Met Council and Metro Transit will come around to trying electric buses again despite the issues with the trial run of them on the C Line.

Trademark
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Re: Public Transit News / Current Events (MN only)

Postby Trademark » March 3rd, 2021, 11:28 am

I think that using electric buses on some routes (especially shorter ones or aBRT) is a good idea but we should wait until the product advances before transitioning the majority of the fleet to electric. Buses are not cheap and if the technology is not there then we will just have to buy new ones soon after. These are costs that will be attacked as wasteful government spending. And prevent funding more operations.

By all means as soon as EVs are ready we should be 100% there but we shouldn't jump the gun.

Maybe they could buy different models and test them out on different routes. I bet they could probably get a discount from the various companies willing to test there equipment in a cold state. It would be great marketing for the companies that are able to handle the challenges with this climate sort of like how MNRoad tests various road surfaces and is used by companies all over the world to prove their product can be up for the task. Something like that would push forward EV and then as soon as we find a model that meets our transit need then we buy enough to make our rolling stock 100% EV (Do you call busses rolling stock? Who cares y'all know what I mean(

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Re: Public Transit News / Current Events (MN only)

Postby MNdible » March 3rd, 2021, 12:17 pm

The article seems to indicate that the routes that they're purchasing buses for now (Orange Line, D Line, and B Line) are too long to be served by the currently available electric bus options, due to issues with charging. It's suggested that electrics could still be a good option for shorter local routes.

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Re: Public Transit News / Current Events (MN only)

Postby Silophant » March 3rd, 2021, 3:46 pm

That article's been updated to add that apparently all eight C Line electric buses are currently offline due to a charger issue. While disappointing, I really can't fault them too much for not jumping into e-buses with both feet at this point.

What's more disappointing to me is that it sounds like they're going with full diesel, not hybrids. They've worked well enough for the Nicollet Mall routes for years, I'm not sure why we wouldn't at least do that.

bubzki2
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Re: Public Transit News / Current Events (MN only)

Postby bubzki2 » March 3rd, 2021, 3:55 pm

DCFC (DC fast charging) charging infrastructure is a solvable issue and frankly totally separate from bus rolling stock issues. I will be looking into this more as I'm able.

hpan3
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Re: Public Transit News / Current Events (MN only)

Postby hpan3 » March 9th, 2021, 10:34 pm

For those wondering why Metro Transit isn't pursuing hybrids, I wrote about it in Next City https://nextcity.org/daily/entry/some-c ... nce-hassle

COLSLAW5
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Re: Public Transit News / Current Events (MN only)

Postby COLSLAW5 » March 10th, 2021, 8:06 am

One of the big problems right now it seems is that to ensure reliable service ever diesel bus needs to be replaced by 2 electric buses. Considering most of Metro Transits garages are over capacity already it might just be a space issue. MT operates just over 900 buses and that is growing with every BRT line they put into service. It seems to me like this is just an unfortunate trade off right now if we want increased service levels.

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Re: Public Transit News / Current Events (MN only)

Postby mulad » March 10th, 2021, 9:57 am

I do really wonder how Chinese cities manage to operate their big electric bus fleets without everything collapsing, considering the trouble BYD buses have had here. They claim to be able to have extremely high utilization, as seen in this video from Fully Charged a while ago. But a really important thing was that they redesigned their bus routes so they would work with the buses. Meanwhile, US bus agencies are reluctant to adapt to the way the technology works and instead seem to demand that the buses work exactly as the diesels do.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0P7fTPLSMeI


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