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MysteriousBtrain

MTA vows to scrap all of its old diesel buses by early May

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A 21-year-old RTS-06 bus running on the B17 route rolls across Utica Ave in March 2019. (Clayton Guse/New York Daily News)

 

 

The MTA plans to pull all of its 21-year-old, diesel-burning buses from service by May 10.

The agency announced its plans to scrap the vehicles Thursday, less than a week after a Daily News analysis showed that Brooklyn’s poorest neighborhoods are stuck with the MTA’s oldest buses.

The buses in question are the model RTS-06s, which spew hot diesel exhaust out the back and cause major health concerns for the communities they roll through. The MTA currently has 168 of them in service, and they’ll be replaced by a combination of brand new buses and hybrid models, according to MTA spokesman Max Young.

The first of the Volvo-built bruisers to be scrapped this spring will come from the East New York bus depot, which houses buses for routes in two of the borough’s lowest-income neighborhoods, East New York and Brownsville. The depot currently holds 21 of the buses, all of which will be pulled by the end of March.

The Flatbush depot, which also houses buses for routes that serve East New York and Brownsville, currently has 48 of the problematic vehicles. The MTA has vowed to scrap a dozen of those by the end of March, and all but three will be gone by the end of April.

The other three depots that house the buses are Michael J. Quill depot in Midtown Manhattan, Jamaica depot in Queens, and Ulmer Park depot in Gravesend, Brooklyn.

The number of RTS buses in service citywide will drop to 127 by the end of March, 37 by the end of April, and to zero by May 10, agency officials said.

“We’re looking forward to modernizing our fleet in every part of the city,” said Darryl Irick, the MTA’s head of buses. "The significant infusion of funds that would come from congestion pricing, if lawmakers approve it, will allow us to do even more to bring the latest buses to every neighborhood.”

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams responded to The News’ findings earlier this week by calling for the City Council and state Legislature to investigate the issue. He said the inequitable distribution of old buses in Brooklyn showed how important it is to fully fund NYC Transit President Andy Byford’s “Fast Forward” plan to overhaul the city’s transit system.

“This positive development doesn’t negate the need for a thorough review of how we arrived at this situation and I look forward to working with my colleagues in city and state government as well as the MTA to do so," said Adams. "As we roll out new infrastructure, it is important that we prioritize those communities with the highest need, including those with the highest asthma-related illnesses.”

The buses that will replace the RTS models will still run on diesel in one form or another — the MTA has only a handful of fully-electric buses. Still, the newest diesel buses are more efficient than the ones manufactured in the 1990s, and come with amenities like WiFi and phone charging ports.

Environmental justice advocates want the MTA to transition to an entirely electric bus fleet over the next 20 years, which will require major infrastructure upgrades at the agency’s 29 bus depots as well as the implementation of charging stations on city streets.

“We applaud The News for uncovering this disparity and forcing the MTA’s hand,” said Eddie Bautista, executive director of NYC Environmental Justice Alliance. "What communities of color need now is a firm timetable for the full electrification of all NYC buses by 2040, so we’re no longer at the mercy of bureaucratic discretionary abuse.”

 

https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/ny-mta-buses-brooklyn-rts-scrap-diesel-20190322-gnicunimtndgxiwnpjyrrzkxhy-story.html

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Posted (edited)

Do the Bus Depots in the city even have the proper equipment for ALL CNG, and Electronic buses? I can only guess that getting rid of the diesel fuel might take some time.  

Edited by NY1635

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Excellent news!! Good job by the Daily News for putting this issue in the forefront. The paying public NEEDS NEW buses that will be reliable and accessible.  For people that use wheelchairs, these RTS buses have been a NIGHTMARE. They often break down before the lifts don't work, NO AC, poor signage, etc. No good...

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Posted (edited)

Probably will be longer than that, Flatbush has over 40 that's left and can't be gone all by that date. 

They way I'm seeing it: If the XD-40 order is complete with some newer LFS on some depots, next gens will be transfered to fill the gap as well as FB XD-60s to move some 7600s for local service

Edited by Calvin

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2 minutes ago, Calvin said:

Probably will be longer than that, Flatbush has over 40 that's left

They'll be held to it.  They put it out there for the media so they need to be GONE by the date they gave, otherwise they'll have egg on their face, and they're already taking enough heat for poor bus service as it is.

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3 minutes ago, Calvin said:

Probably will be longer than that, Flatbush has over 40 that's left

You can always accelerate delivery and change assignments as necessary. We could see some new LFS displace some NGs to Brooklyn to replace the RTS. The gen Is can last a bit longer for now. 

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They'll probably put extra old gen Orion VII's in depots that has the rts until the rest of the new buses come in.

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37 minutes ago, Calvin said:

Probably will be longer than that, Flatbush has over 40 that's left and can't be gone all by that date. 

They way I'm seeing it: If the XD-40 order is complete with some newer LFS on some depots, next gens will be transfered to fill the gap as well as FB XD-60s to move some 7600s for local service

Yes it can. All 48 can be gone by the end of April. Only thing is that right now the LFS-40 order is plagued with delays and the Bronx has most of the NG’s. 

However, the issue with Flatbush is that they may not get all brand new XD-60’s all b/c Quill is cutting into their order unless there are more changes. 

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We’ll bus fans better hurry up and get their photos and videos of the RTSs. I wonder who’s really upset by this. I’m glad their getting out of these depots early but bittersweet because these were a staple of our bus network for a long time. 

I also wonder what’s gonna happen now since some bus orders aren’t 100 percent complete? 

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15 minutes ago, Brillant93 said:

We’ll bus fans better hurry up and get their photos and videos of the RTSs. I wonder who’s really upset by this. I’m glad their getting out of these depots early but bittersweet because these were a staple of our bus network for a long time. 

I also wonder what’s gonna happen now since some bus orders aren’t 100 percent complete? 

There's a few options. They can accelerate the current orders, and/or exercise the option to add more buses to the current orders if needed. They are clearly accelerating retirement that much we know.

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1 hour ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Excellent news!! Good job by the Daily News for putting this issue in the forefront. The paying public NEEDS NEW buses that will be reliable and accessible.  For people that use wheelchairs, these RTS buses have been a NIGHTMARE. They often break down before the lifts don't work, NO AC, poor signage, etc. No good...

Thing is, these buses were already up for replacement, not to mention the failure to conduct more substantial research in order to have accurate reporting.

For one, the guy that wrote the original article claimed that Flatbush Depot is in a poor neighborhood. While there are certainly poor people in the neighborhood, Flatlands is not a poor neighborhood, nor is the nearby Mill Basin (an even wealthier one). East New York only had them for so long because some of the drivers basically threw tantrums, not because of malice.

Jackie Gleason Depot was mentioned as one of the depots to get Xcelsiors while failing to even mention why. The last time that depot had any significant diesel fleet was over 20 years ago, as it ended up being fully converted to CNG operations. Unfortunately, the tanks have explicit expiration dates (diesel tanks don't expire the same way CNG tanks do), so the only options are to rebuild the buses with fresh tanks and simply replacing them. The latter is more economical than the former, especially since Orion went belly-up years ago. Moreover, the B35 was targeted for articulated buses, and the XN60 proved to be the only suitable option at the time of replacement.

Even this piece has a glaring flaw. Except for school trippers on certain routes, Flatbush Depot does not have a single route in East New York or Brownsville (again, failure to conduct research, as even the closest one is still outside of Brownsville's boundaries).

That's not to say that it's a bad thing that the RTS is being replaced, but the utter failure to accurately report is still there, and the Daily News ought to retract the original article.

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1 minute ago, Lex said:

Thing is, these buses were already up for replacement, not to mention the failure to conduct more substantial research in order to have accurate reporting.

For one, the guy that wrote the original article claimed that Flatbush Depot is in a poor neighborhood. While there are certainly poor people in the neighborhood, Flatlands is not a poor neighborhood, nor is the nearby Mill Basin (an even wealthier one). East New York only had them for so long because some of the drivers basically threw tantrums, not because of malice.

Jackie Gleason Depot was mentioned as one of the depots to get Xcelsiors while failing to even mention why. The last time that depot had any significant diesel fleet was over 20 years ago, as it ended up being fully converted to CNG operations. Unfortunately, the tanks have explicit expiration dates (diesel tanks don't expire the same way CNG tanks do), so the only options are to rebuild the buses with fresh tanks and simply replacing them. The latter is more economical than the former, especially since Orion went belly-up years ago. Moreover, the B35 was targeted for articulated buses, and the XN60 proved to be the only suitable option at the time of replacement.

Even this piece has a glaring flaw. Except for school trippers on certain routes, Flatbush Depot does not have a single route in East New York or Brownsville (again, failure to conduct research, as even the closest one is still outside of Brownsville's boundaries).

That's not to say that it's a bad thing that the RTS is being replaced, but the utter failure to accurately report is still there, and the Daily News ought to retract the original article.

Are there inaccuracies in the story? Sure... Is it all incorrect? I would say no. While you can argue that neighborhoods may not be considered poor as a whole, in general, local bus riders tend to be poor overall with some exceptions, and that can't be disputed.  My boss would be a perfect example... She has several residences, but she opts for taking the local bus in Manhattan along Madison Avenue over driving where possible, but for things outside of Manhattan, she drives.  You have lots of seniors that use bus service, and while they may not live in poor neighborhoods, they themselves tend to be on limited budgets, so we can use that as an example.

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Seen quite a few UP & ENY RTS's out and about today, surreal to think in a little over a month they will all be gone.

 

When the RTS first hit service in the early 80s the R32s & R46 were in service, nearly 40 years later as the RTS era comes to an end the 32s and 46s are still in service! That's pretty cool.

 

2019 is a terrible year from a fan POV..

 

RTS

Bee Line Neoplans

D60HF

Orion VII CNG

 

Possibly the R32s and 42s..

 

ALL wiped out, damn.

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6 hours ago, MysteriousBtrain said:

"What communities of color need now is a firm timetable for the full electrification of all NYC buses by 2040, so we’re no longer at the mercy of bureaucratic discretionary abuse.”

Excuse me?

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9 minutes ago, Bay Ridge Express said:

Excuse me?

Politicians and Transit don't go together. If there is anything we can learn from this is to make sure you have done your research before opening your mouth on some nonsensical bullshit.

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1 minute ago, WestFarms36 said:

Politicians and Transit don't go together. If there is anything we can learn from this is to make sure you have done your research before opening your mouth on some nonsensical bullshit.

Unfortunately though, the politicians will always win, bullshit or not.

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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, Bay Ridge Express said:

Excuse me?

 

13 minutes ago, WestFarms36 said:

Politicians and Transit don't go together. If there is anything we can learn from this is to make sure you have done your research before opening your mouth on some nonsensical bullshit.

Two separate things yes, but the fact is that areas in the City with high asthma rates tend to be poor communities, and communities of color. For example, areas of the South Bronx have some of the highest asthma rates around.  Clean air buses aren't optional. They're a must in those areas.  

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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1 minute ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

 

Two separate things yes, but the fact is that areas in the City with high asthma rates tend to be poor communities, and communities of color. For example, areas of the South Bronx have some of the highest asthma rates around.  Clear air buses aren't optional. They're a must in those areas.  

I do support having Elected officials speak up about their community, anyone can agree on that. It's just the lack of self investigation, and dependence of unreliable sources to make these claims. I personally would not want to be stuck riding on a 23 year old bus, everyone deserves to ride in a modern fleet, but this has nothing to do with poor communities. Jackie Gleason is an all CNG Depot, they can't house Diesels. They got new XN40's in 2016, and new XN60's in 2018 because their older buses which were also CNG's were reaching their expiration date, and after their tanks expire they can't run. The case with the XN60's had to do with articulation of the B35 which is a heavy capacity route. Right now we are in the middle of an order and we still got hundreds of more buses to yet come in, we can't rid these RTS's without replacements because those depot's will have a shortage, and runs will be slashed due to lack of buses. Another point that the author failed to mention is that these depot's with these old RTS's are currently getting new buses at the moment and there is still more to come. That author has not used a single reliable source, and the (MTA) has plans for 251 more diesels and 275 Hybrids, with a plan to fully electrify their fleet by 2042. This isn't rocket science to anyone who does their research. This is taught in grade school, make sure you use reliable resources to state your claim and provide factual evidence to support your claim, this isn't too hard to follow. Journalists are taught this as well as they study, but most likely the Daily News has some biased poorly skilled writer putting out their opinions without evidence, and not using evidence to support their own claim. This writer has dishonored himself, and has affected his newspaper's reputation based on this article without any evidence or background information supporting his claim.. I am not a journalist god damn it, and hell do I know that in order to have reliable information you have to...

1) Research Information from MULTIPLE RELIABLE SOURCES.

2) Make sure those multiple sources POINT OUT A CONSISTENT POV.

3) Make sure to collect evidence necessary to SUPPORT YOUR CLAIM.

4) Make sure you INCLUDE DETAILS and BE SPECIFIC about EACH and EVERY EVENT/CATEGORY.

5) Make sure you are using REAL STATISTICS.

...Simply not hard to follow, and this author has failed to do those 5 simple steps that a Journalist/Writer should be applying on their everyday story. Then the Journalists wonder why their credibility is mopped around the floor.

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1 minute ago, WestFarms36 said:

I do support having Elected officials speak up about their community, anyone can agree on that. It's just the lack of self investigation, and dependence of unreliable sources to make these claims. I personally would not want to be stuck riding on a 23 year old bus, everyone deserves to ride in a modern fleet, but this has nothing to do with poor communities. Jackie Gleason is an all CNG Depot, they can't house Diesels. They got new XN40's in 2016, and new XN60's in 2018 because their older buses which were also CNG's were reaching their expiration date, and after their tanks expire they can't run. The case with the XN60's had to do with articulation of the B35 which is a heavy capacity route. Right now we are in the middle of an order and we still got hundreds of more buses to yet come in, we can't rid these RTS's without replacements because those depot's will have a shortage, and runs will be slashed due to lack of buses. Another point that the author failed to mention is that these depot's with these old RTS's are currently getting new buses at the moment and there is still more to come. That author has not used a single reliable source, and the (MTA) has plans for 251 more diesels and 275 Hybrids, with a plan to fully electrify their fleet by 2042. This isn't rocket science to anyone who does their research. This is taught in grade school, make sure you use reliable resources to state your claim and provide factual evidence to support your claim, this isn't too hard to follow. Journalists are taught this as well as they study, but most likely the Daily News has some biased poorly skilled writer putting out their opinions without evidence, and not using evidence to support their own claim. This writer has dishonored himself, and has affected his newspaper's reputation based on this article without any evidence or background information supporting his claim.. I am not a journalist god damn it, and hell do I know that in order to have reliable information you have to...

1) Research Information from MULTIPLE RELIABLE SOURCES.

2) Make sure those multiple sources POINT OUT A CONSISTENT POV.

3) Make sure to collect evidence necessary to SUPPORT YOUR CLAIM.

4) Make sure you INCLUDE DETAILS and BE SPECIFIC about EACH and EVERY EVENT/CATEGORY.

5) Make sure you are using REAL STATISTICS.

...Simply not hard to follow, and this author has failed to do those 5 simple steps that a Journalist/Writer should be applying on their everyday story. Then the Journalists wonder why their credibility is mopped around the floor.

All of what you have said is fine and good, but the media in this case has helped to put the (MTA) on the spot.  They have talked about retiring these RTS buses by this year and now by putting the (MTA) on blast, they've essentially been forced to come up with a definitive deadline to fully retire these buses. They should've been gone years ago.  As I said earlier, people that depend on the local buses on the most are the ones being short changed by having these buses around, and that's the poor and the disabled. 

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1 minute ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

All of what you have said is fine and good, but the media in this case has helped to put the (MTA) on the spot.  They have talked about retiring these RTS buses by this year and now by putting the (MTA) on blast, they've essentially been forced to come up with a definitive deadline to fully retire these buses. They should've been gone years ago.  As I said earlier, people that depend on the local buses on the most are the ones being short changed by having these buses around, and that's the poor and the disabled. 

In my honest opinion, if I were in charge of the (MTA) I would have had these buses gone ages ago... But I can't say for sure whether there were any underlying factors behind them being in service this long. Those buses are a constant accessibility issue, and the news got people's attention due to the fact that it came on a source where everyone is reading from, and if you market something, or vocalize on an issue via a major communication port, then people will realize and the issues can be tackled. I feel that these buses should also be gone, and especially when we pay for the service. As for the driver's these tantrums have to stop. They are no one but employee's collecting a paycheck, if they don't like it, there is the door. Many other people want to work as Bus Operators and will gladly take their spot. These buses have been meant to retire at some point, and can't be around forever.

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5 minutes ago, WestFarms36 said:

In my honest opinion, if I were in charge of the (MTA) I would have had these buses gone ages ago... But I can't say for sure whether there were any underlying factors behind them being in service this long. Those buses are a constant accessibility issue, and the news got people's attention due to the fact that it came on a source where everyone is reading from, and if you market something, or vocalize on an issue via a major communication port, then people will realize and the issues can be tackled. I feel that these buses should also be gone, and especially when we pay for the service. As for the driver's these tantrums have to stop. They are no one but employee's collecting a paycheck, if they don't like it, there is the door. Many other people want to work as Bus Operators and will gladly take their spot. These buses have been meant to retire at some point, and can't be around forever.

Well it has to do in part with their Capital Plan.  Funding is allocated years in advance for things like new buses and subways.

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Early May huh....

....Nah, don't see that happening at all.

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8 minutes ago, Cait Sith said:

Early May huh....

....Nah, don't see that happening at all.

Well leave it to them to put it out there... I don't think Irick has ever been so preoccupied with bus service, that much I know. LOL

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Oh My GOODNESS!  Finally they're are leaving!.. 🙆‍♂️ Woo hoo for those who doesn't understand or who's depot doesn't carry those buses, they are not some operators favorite due to no space at the operator compartment, and its annoying to load both Wheelchairs and walkers passenger. I salute the RTS for its power and snow weather master, but it was time to move on since now we are on the new buses style. Woo hoo!! 

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