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About DetSMART45

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    detroit, mi

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  1. For the price they're charging, you're MORE than "right" to expect a clean bus (since Peak is when the MTA counts on customer traffic). Local buses are a *bit* more excusable (not in my book, but) to have some "wear and tear" from full loads and the like throughout the day, but for the MTA to be operating Express buses almost like "Charter" service (price-wise) and not delivering on basics such as a clean environment is unacceptable. If the MTA/NYC got tons of complaints about such conditions on Academy buses, they'd be the first to go after Academy and threaten to take their contract away. (Same if you actually did charter a bus and had to deal with poor maintenance or cleanliness -- you'd complain over your money's-worth as well as never use that company again.) Just another way the MTA chases its own customers away, then blames them for clogging the streets in other modes of transportation.
  2. Sad thing is that unless all of you playing on BusTrek were on VPNs (or on TOR), all your IPs were tracked and harvested. So, on the one hand, MTA could come after you for accessing their private network, blah blah blah. But then OTOH, they were lax in not seeing all the traffic as well as having it open. Plenty of blame to go around, and questions to be answered. But if you're not asking the MTA to be TRUTHFUL about their operations, you're missing one hell of an opportunity here, IMO.
  3. Guess I missed something (probably because I'm so "far detached" by being a few hundred miles away), but just when exactly was the MTA in some sort of "recovery"? In tracing history, they've been trying to catch-up for past wrongs pretty much since the 1970s. So when exactly was the MTA "just on the cusp" of having everything righted, and somehow their "success" was thwarted by outside forces, leading to what's happening today?
  4. ROFLMAO with all the panties in a wad over the whole BusTrek stuff. So let's go through this: a] MTA "somehow" lets BusTrek access be on the public side -- with all their highly-paid characters who *should* be guarding against that actually happening letting it happen. b] People take advantage of it. c] People blab all over about it, and actually use it to "shame" the MTA. d] MTA finally decides to secure it, leading to even more 'secrecy' all of you are up in arms about. MTA has already said (at least I saw @Via Garibaldi 8 make specific mention of how they told him/his group) to rely on the BusTime for 'true' data, so why do you want to make the "shamer" part of your ridicule? THE MTA IS THE ONE AT FAULT, NOT THE PERSON WHO "BLABBED". WHY DON'T YOU HOLD THE MTA ACCOUNTABLE? There should be NO discrepancies, period. Unless there IS something to hide. Apparently there is, but you want to hold the wrong person to account.
  5. My main point was that straight diesels should have already been in place on SI, and not hybrids. Makes me laugh how all of you put so much stock into the hybrids, CNGs, and now, the electrics. The purchase order DDOT inked with New Flyer had XDE40s tagging out at an additional $167,000 per bus, and those were not ordered. In fact, the last time the "let's pay more taxes for regional transportation" crowd flew that flag up the pole (nobody saluted), both SMART and DDOT let it be known they were NOT going to be buying hybrids in the near future (and had it so noted in the regional transit plans) because of lack of savings overall for extra amounts spent, as well as maintenance problems. In the times that I've attempted to find "real numbers" that back the use of hybrids and CNGs over straight diesels -- and I've gone to what should be "THE" source for such information: ALTOONA -- nothing really sticks out to show a superior advantage. In that regard, as the MTA touted in their "Farewell, RTS" press release, they have all these "clean" buses running around -- and are proud that they're so eco-conscious -- yet they produce NO numbers showing how the hybrids/CNGs have cost them less to operate over the years of spending extra money not to just purchase them, but to continue to support them on the road. Now the fascination with electrics. If you're not on the "European Plan" with electric rates (peak/non-peak usage billing), you're all gonna be to pay for the added burden to your grid once those electric buses become more common. Those $2.75 rides are going to be much higher, AND you'll be paying more at home to support your rides around town.
  6. All of that goes completely against what the MTA/DOT preaches to the commuting public about the wonders of SBS and its implementation. Vision Zero just adds another complication, something that you'd think both agencies would have pushed-back on. Look on page 44 of the Bronx Overhaul Report and how the MTA makes it seem like the Bx12 today is getting people around at a 20% savings in travel time -- which is unchanged from their first touting the figure over ten years ago. Every time a route is to be changed to SBS, the same propaganda goes out, mainly that "your route is going to get you there faster" once we tear up streets, slap down the wondrous "bus lanes", and put pay stations in. The whole B82 thing, though, takes the cake. The route supposedly warrants SBS-treatment due to all the boxes being checked when it comes to the service-side. But the oddest thing is the whole "weekdays only" thing, and not running artics. (Once again, look at the SBS propaganda, and how much "all-door" and "3-door" boarding is touted as part of what makes SBS the best thing since sliced bread.) So, there's enough ridership to warrant all of the implementation costs, but only on weekdays? Major contradiction by itself, but also goes against Byford's whole "let's get more people riding by putting more service into off-peak/weekend service" part of his Bus Plan. The bus-being-packed issue will always be there, but should NOT be such a problem because of all that is promised to the riding public by having SBS in place.
  7. Nah, they should just be running straight diesels on SI and be done with it.
  8. True, but for all that infrastructure investment, the Silver Line is not exactly producing a great return. For a route to only average around 16,000 weekday, with MTA-level Peak headways sub-10 minutes, in a place where car-culture is very strong (even though it's populated with those hypocrite 'eco-warriors' that should be using LACMTA instead of exempting themselves) -- not really anything to crow about. Weekends operate 20 minutes on a "BRT" line, and doing a WAG of maybe 8,000 customers riding, that just doesn't add up IMO.
  9. The most expensive treatment for bedbugs -- especially for soft surfaces -- is the heat trailer, basically putting your stuff in an oven. More than likely the operator seats will be destroyed. But even a good "fumigation" can still leave them behind. In homes, the bedbugs get behind mouldings/skirting boards, in electric outlets and other sorts of overlooked nooks and crannies. It takes multiple treatments, no matter what environment, and on a bus, they're gonna have to spray in all the little gaps -- or else they're gonna be back. One of the safest and cheapest treatments -- for almost all bugs -- is diatomaceous earth. It's basically "glass sand" that when bugs get it on them, it cuts through their bodies. And it works pretty fast on bedbugs, in around 24 hours -- and you clean up by simply vacuuming it up. Home Depot sells bags for about $8 and it goes a long way.
  10. That window design was never used around here, but it looks like a style possibly used when GMC was trying to convince Canadian TAs to start buying the RTS. Or some of the TAs wanted such a design to create a more "open" feel for customers (like what Mercedes-Benz and the European builders have with their oversized windows). That's surprising the MTA went with every-other, given that those buses could become saunas if any problems with the A/C develop, let alone being totally packed (and no real "breeze" created because of how slow travel is). If you go to this link: Detroit Transit History you can see the styles our RTSes had. While that page goes into the Nova 1995s, the picture of #3263 with the openable windows was what the first-generations RTSes were retrofitted with (still trying to find the YouTube videos of those first RTSes being unveiled by the local news reports to check original deliveries). Further down that page where those SMART buses are lined up at Shoemaker Terminal illustrate how -- even as late as 1995 -- SMART was buying the "solid" windows. Those 1995s (the remaining 7 SMART kept of the order) were the last RTSes they used, while DDOT kept ordering them up to the 2001 orders. (Those SMART Champions shown there were absolute disasters, with customers as well as falling apart mechanically -- but they satisfied politicians and transit naysayers [the money was still flushed down the drain].) All of those 33 buses had the factory windows removed and openable ones installed to look like #3263. In the write-up, it's noted that DDOT decided to stop ordering the GMC RTSes after their original "gift" fleet due to unreliability, and they never had any of the TMCs like SMART had switched over to once GM killed their bus business. But DDOT ran those originals into the ground and got every last mile of service out of them (they switched over, like the Canadian TAs, to MCI Classics in the 1980s, over to New Flyer D40HFs in the early-90s, and back to RTSes). IIRC, after that Nova 1995 order sale to DDOT and the early writing on the wall that the Champions weren't cutting the mustard, in 1997 SMART started getting the Gillig Phantoms since the TMCs were getting to mid-point life, and all the TMCs were gone (pretty much) by 2002 at the latest.
  11. So the old GMCs and TMCs had the unopenable windows, then that was changed beginning with Novas? I think DDOT *may* have run the factory-first GMCs (that I believe were just "given" to Detroit by GM, since the buses were built in Pontiac/HQ in Detroit/MAJOR public outrage over piss-poor service forced the issue) with the solid windows all around, but soon had the openable windows installed. All the later DDOT GMCs that I remember surviving into the 1990s had openable windows (and those had to have been some of the originals). SMART (via its predecessor SEMTA) ran all of the GMCs and TMCs with unopenable windows. Wasn't until the Gillig Phantoms when openable windows appeared.
  12. Worked for all those Manhattan crosstowns.
  13. I'll go even farther and say that it's not simply a disconnect, but an openly, in your face, middle-finger salute. Accompanied by the shrug of the shoulders, and look of, "What the f*** you gonna do about it. Suck it up, we run the show." Once again, the "Director of Buses", or whatever his big, prestigious title is, has NO IDEA OF WHAT IS GOING ON. (Reread that article and listen to him moan about traffic conditions "costing him money" -- he didn't KNOW that already on that route?) And if it wasn't for CUSTOMERS complaining loud enough, the small advancements on the Express Bus side wouldn't have occurred. (And in mere MONTHS, if you haven't been following the Express Bus topic. Pretty damn good, I'd say.) Sorry for sidetracking the RTS thread, but just like all good things must come to an end (the glorious RTS on NYC streets), maybe incompetence in MTA management will follow.
  14. If you have packed buses and high-ridership routes that get service cuts, you're not good at operations -- whether you just sign-off on what your planners concoct or actually involve yourself. And it's plain to see that all of Irick's "operations knowledge because of coming up through the ranks" hasn't amounted to a hill of beans. Just the irregularity of "quality of service" behind the scenes across the depots speaks for itself. A real "transportation director" may not get their hands into everything that happens on a daily basis, but has competent people that he can hold responsible, and get prompt action from when problems arise. Questioning what comes before you is important, and AFAIC, Irick pays scant attention to the MTA's own service-assessment parameters and results. In that regard, @Via Garibaldi 8's group of customers point out all the trips unfilled, post pictures of half-assed/no-assed conditions on your own "premium transport" buses, and schedules that are just a plain inconvenience to those customers -- BUT prior to these customers' involvement, everything was going swimmingly. (With the Staten Island bus fiasco being the one hot issue that gets a bit of a mention being an anomaly.) Byford may be playing both sides when he's doing his rounds with his "paparazzi" on the subway, etc., but when's the last time the MTA photogs trailed Irick out on his own buses (or at stops waiting for his own buses to finally show up) to gauge the conditions/what customers say? THAT is a key way to find out just how competent the people reporting to you are, and also a good way to CYA at the same time. Good riddance.
  15. I just can't understand how practically all of your "brainstorms" presented on these ideas threads are nothing more than brain-fart-drizzles. Everyone else you expose these to has an umbrella at the ready, yet you keep getting drenched and wandering aimlessly. You seem to have a penchant for thinking that serving a minority of customers across any given route, through 20, 30, 40-minute extensions, or totally changing of a route's focus, is going to somehow be a success. You've come up with some doozies, the smackdown over your Harlem/Randall's Island "reorganization" being one of the most amusing to watch. This whole Rockaways/Brooklyn obsession is getting close to overtaking that one. All of these overlaps of coverage are nothing more than wastes of resources. What is there, exactly, to gain by adding coverage to Arverne for those few customers who may get a "one-seat ride", when you're stripping them from an already-running route? Even though Bloomberg encouraged new/renewal of housing around that area, the amount of new residents is really a drop in the bucket when it comes to being actual bus customers. And unless you have some sort of "major draw" (significant-enough size shopping center or a similar office/industrial development) then you're just cannibalizing your own service. Those who specifically want to go to Brooklyn/Kings Plaza/Primark already know what they have to go through to get there -- you're not going to be meeting some unmet need for the vast majority. While your seeming obsession with "one-seat rides" can appear to be a noble one, and similarly with the double-fare problems, much of this could be eliminated if the MTA would just revamp the transfer policy overall. With the increase in travel time systemwide (buses or subway separately or in conjunction with each other), the two-hour, single transfer should be done away with -- and should have been awhile ago. The transfer system should be extended to three hours, with unlimited MetroCard transfers within that period, the only exception being no same-route-different-direction (or make that available only to reduced-fare MetroCard). This would also eliminate the "out-of-system" subway transfers, plus the need to program additional transfers during subway work projects. (Fare differential would still apply to Express Buses.) Paper transfers on buses would be eliminated for cash customers as well (many TAs already use such a policy). You've also definitely got to start delving into the Census Data (it's not that hard to sort through once you do it a few times) for any of these proposals. Although Arverne might not be going through a "gentrification", per se, with the car-culture being what it is on the Rockaways, that definitely should have been considered within your route changes.

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