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Via Garibaldi 8

No Heat on Express Buses?

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Since it's been brutally cold the last few weeks and I've been battling a nasty bug, something that has been irking me is why in the hell there is no heat on the express buses? You wait in the cold for the bus, get on, and all you feel is this damn draft blowing on you, no matter how cold it is outside and no matter how you close off of all of the overhead blowers.  20 degree weather.... Blowers are on... Why is it that the local buses have heat but the express buses don't?  Everyone on the bus has been coughing and cackling too. Can't blame them. 

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8 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Since it's been brutally cold the last few weeks and I've been battling a nasty bug, something that has been irking me is why in the hell there is no heat on the express buses? You wait in the cold for the bus, get on, and all you feel is this damn draft blowing on you, no matter how cold it is outside and no matter how you close off of all of the overhead blowers.  20 degree weather.... Blowers are on... Why is it that the local buses have heat but the express buses don't?  Everyone on the bus has been coughing and cackling too. Can't blame them. 

Perhaps it has to do with bad maintenance on air conditioning units on the express buses, both those created from scratch by the :nyct: (now the (MTA)) and those that came from the private bus companies (Command Bus Company, Green Bus Lines, Liberty Lines Express, New York Bus Service, Jamaica Buses, Queens Surface and Triboro Coach). Seems to me like the standard buses and articulated coach buses have more maintenance on their air conditioning units than the standard coach buses.

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4 minutes ago, 4 via Mosholu said:

Perhaps it has to do with bad maintenance on air conditioning units on the express buses, both those created from scratch by the :nyct: (now the (MTA)) and those that came from the private bus companies (Command Bus Company, Green Bus Lines, Liberty Lines Express, New York Bus Service, Jamaica Buses, Queens Surface and Triboro Coach). Seems to me like the standard buses and articulated coach buses have more maintenance on their air conditioning units than the standard coach buses.

I may have asked this some years ago because it really makes no sense.  Supposedly these buses can only have hot air or cold air and can't go back and forth, so you're telling me in the dead of winter, these buses are just supposed to have cold air blowing on everyone?   

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2 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

I may have asked this some years ago because it really makes no sense.  Supposedly these buses can only have hot air or cold air and can't go back and forth, so you're telling me in the dead of winter, these buses are just supposed to have cold air blowing on everyone?   

No, these buses are not just supposed to have cold air blowing on everyone. I would wish that every type of bus had working air conditioning all year round - turning cold when the temperature outside is hot, and turning warm when the temperature outside is cold. However, with the way the buses are maintained, there are some depots that are great with their bus maintenance in their air conditioning, compared to others that don't even give any thought of maintaining those units. Therefore, I disagree that these buses are just supposed to have cold air blowing on everyone because every passenger wants to have a comfortable ride - be it either on the bus or the train for that matter.

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Prevost or MCI? On the Prevosts, it's fully automatic. It's 72 however the bus wants to go about it. On the MCIs, they may have to adjust the temperature valve in the operator area to allow the heat to come on. (Forgot how it works, I just know it's there)

If the bus sits for an extended time outside (i.e. overnight) and it's the first trip of the day for that particular bus, it's going to take some time before the water temperature reaches a level in which the heat will come on. I've driven buses that's taken anywhere between 30 minutes to over an hour before the heat kicked.

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2 minutes ago, SevenEleven said:

Prevost or MCI? On the Prevosts, it's fully automatic. It's 72 however the bus wants to go about it. On the MCIs, they may have to adjust the temperature valve in the operator area to allow the heat to come on. (Forgot how it works, I just know it's there)

If the bus sits for an extended time outside (i.e. overnight) and it's the first trip of the day for that particular bus, it's going to take some time before the water temperature reaches a level in which the heat will come on. I've driven buses that's taken anywhere between 30 minutes to over an hour before the heat kicked.

I've been riding all MCIs and they've all been freezing with the damn blowers blowing. It's just absurd that buses this expensive have no heat on them in the dead of winter.  Quite frankly I don't see what any of what you've said above explains why these buses have no heat on them. If they're that antiquated then there's a big problem.  Such expensive buses and it's so complicated to get heat on them.  Makes no sense.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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Just now, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

I've been riding all MCIs and they've all been freezing with the damn blowers blowing. It's just absurd that buses this expensive have no heat on them in the dead of winter.

The blowers will always blow cold air, same on the Prevosts. Idk if maintenance adjusts these valves at a specific time of the year. Again, I can't remember which way is heat, which way is air. 

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2 minutes ago, SevenEleven said:

The blowers will always blow cold air, same on the Prevosts. Idk if maintenance adjusts these valves at a specific time of the year. Again, I can't remember which way is heat, which way is air. 

I get the impression that these buses are set with cold air year round.

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When it comes to the MTA heat seems to be something that doesn't work very well. This is an issue between trains and buses. Maybe 5% of the time I ride any MTA vehicle the heat is actually running. The same problem seems to apply to the buses at my university, rarely is the heat actually running.

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30 minutes ago, IAlam said:

When it comes to the MTA heat seems to be something that doesn't work very well. This is an issue between trains and buses. Maybe 5% of the time I ride any MTA vehicle the heat is actually running. The same problem seems to apply to the buses at my university, rarely is the heat actually running.

Not really because the local buses have plenty of heat.  Ride the Madison Avenue buses and you'll pass out from the heat.

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2 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Not really because the local buses have plenty of heat.  Ride the Madison Avenue buses and you'll pass out from the heat.

Oh and that's the other problem, whenever the heat is on it's beyond excessive to a point it starts making me sick. 

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4 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

I get the impression that these buses are set with cold air year round.

I've always wondered about this but assumed it actually depended on the preference of the operator.

I had an AM B/o who kept the heat on high if it was below 60. Some days it was perfect, on others you roasted if you wore layers. I also remember a PM operator having the air on full blast in 20 degree weather. He made it to 63rd before someone got fed up and asked for the heat to be turned on (we were all shivering). I'm not sure what he did but it warmed up enough to make the rest of the ride bearable. Go, figure he was hot.

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7 minutes ago, Q43 Floral Park said:

I've always wondered about this but assumed it actually depended on the preference of the operator.

I had an AM B/o who kept the heat on high if it was below 60. Some days it was perfect, on others you roasted if you wore layers. I also remember a PM operator having the air on full blast in 20 degree weather. He made it to 63rd before someone got fed up and asked for the heat to be turned on (we were all shivering). I'm not sure what he did but it warmed up enough to make the rest of the ride bearable. Go, figure he was hot.

I did some digging on this forum and see that I asked the same question circa 2013 and couldn't get an answer.  All of these bus aficionados here and no one can answer such a simple question (it should be anyway).  I mean seriously, these buses are so expensive and you would think you could get a little heat.  I'm almost certain that the B/Os have their own climate control anyway, but in the rare cases when part of the bus is warm, the back of the bus will still be cold.  I don't say anything because with the Yonkers express buses, I think they are told to run the blowers no matter how cold it is outside, but it's absurd to stand outside in the cold, sometimes for well over 30 minutes to an hour, and then get on a bus and freeze some more. I've been noticing that since I moved to Riverdale, I've been getting sick as a dog during the winter, and I think this whole AC thing when it's bitterly cold out is the real problem.  I filed a complaint to see if anything would change because quite frankly it really is ridiculous.  

I've also witnessed what you described where the AC is on so high that someone yells out in frustration because it is worse than a meat locker.  It happened years ago on an X30.  Someone was angry and had a few words for the B/O.  Only then did he turn it off.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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6 hours ago, SevenEleven said:

Prevost or MCI? On the Prevosts, it's fully automatic. It's 72 however the bus wants to go about it. On the MCIs, they may have to adjust the temperature valve in the operator area to allow the heat to come on. (Forgot how it works, I just know it's there)

If the bus sits for an extended time outside (i.e. overnight) and it's the first trip of the day for that particular bus, it's going to take some time before the water temperature reaches a level in which the heat will come on. I've driven buses that's taken anywhere between 30 minutes to over an hour before the heat kicked.

On the MCI's there are two valves to the left of the B/O, one is for fresh air and the one adjusts the temperature. It takes some trial and error (edit: not sure if there are stickers - source picture is from an MCI manufacturers manual) and muscle to get it right.

 2vhu7vm.jpg.


Again, specific to the MCI's, I am not sure if there is any seasonal preparations (work behind the bus) that maintenance would have to do at the change of the seasons. 

I concur with SevenEleven, buses left outside will take a while to get comfortable.

Edited by 161 New York

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Those handles in the above illustration, only control the driver's area temperature on the MCI coaches.  

*

Buses that are left outside overnite in very cold weather do take a while for the water to get hot enough to provide heat.   Both MCI and Prevost offer a "pre-heater", that will keep the water warm, and get hot much quicker, but I don't know if MTA buses are equipped with them, or if they are properly maintained.

THE HVAC systems on coaches are somewhat complicated, and do require periodic maintenance to perform properly...Filter's must be kept clean, radiator clutch fans have to operate thermostatically, or else the radiator will never get hot enough, or conversely may overheat.   The overhead blowers in the package racks have very limited to no termperature control....they are mostly just fans to circulate the air.   The main source for heat and A/C in the coach are the floor ducts that blow out at the bottom of the side windows.   The operator does have a temperature control for these.  Maintenance is also required in the hot water valves , pipes, and hoses that regulate the coach temperature.

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3 hours ago, traildriver said:

Those handles in the above illustration, only control the driver's area temperature on the MCI coaches.  

*

Buses that are left outside overnite in very cold weather do take a while for the water to get hot enough to provide heat.   Both MCI and Prevost offer a "pre-heater", that will keep the water warm, and get hot much quicker, but I don't know if MTA buses are equipped with them, or if they are properly maintained.

THE HVAC systems on coaches are somewhat complicated, and do require periodic maintenance to perform properly...Filter's must be kept clean, radiator clutch fans have to operate thermostatically, or else the radiator will never get hot enough, or conversely may overheat.   The overhead blowers in the package racks have very limited to no termperature control....they are mostly just fans to circulate the air.   The main source for heat and A/C in the coach are the floor ducts that blow out at the bottom of the side windows.   The operator does have a temperature control for these.  Maintenance is also required in the hot water valves , pipes, and hoses that regulate the coach temperature.

Thank you for that detailed answer! I've been wondering about this as well 

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