New Xcelsior buses hit Vancouver streets

12007
12007 on #49 on the first day of revenue service

It has been quite a while since we’ve received new buses, especially a new model, here in Metro Vancouver.  This past Monday, the newest buses of the fleet, New Flyer Xcelsior XDE60s, commenced revenue service on the #49.

1202
A West Vancouver XD40

West Vancouver also has some Xcelsiors, but they are the 40 foot diesel versions as shown on the right.  They have been in service since January.

According to New Flyer, Xcelsiors boast several advantages such as better fuel economy, streamlined design, and a better experience for both the driver and passengers.

12007
12007 on #49 on the second day of revenue service
8148
A DE60LFR, the older diesel-electric hybrid articulated buses with “charcoal top” livery

These new buses look a lot sleeker than their predecessors, however I would have personally preferred the “charcoal top” version of the livery.

XDE60 Rear Door
Push bars are back!

On the inside, there are a few differences in comparison to existing buses.  TransLink made an excellent decision in bringing back push bars to activate the rear doors.  In the past few orders, buses were fitted with ultrasonic sensors to activate the rear doors.  From personal observation, many passengers had difficulty activating the sensors to open the door.  Also, doors wouldn’t close because people were standing too close to the door, although they were not obstructing the door in any way.  The return of the push bars should solve these problems.

XDE60 joint
The articulation joint – no seats

There are no more seats in the articulation joint.  Buses used to have double seats (in the oldest models), or “bum bars” that were later converted into single “angel wing seats”.  Now there’s a nice stanchion on both sides that better allow standees and people moving across the joint.

There are rear-facing seats right before the articulation joint.  Considering you aren’t sitting directly in front of someone, I’d say this is fine, although I prefer the bench seating in the old models.  It seems like the wheel well on these new buses are wider (but why?).

A shot from the back to the front.
A shot from the back to the front.

The Xcelsior buses are air-conditioned, which is a first for urban buses in Metro Vancouver.  The only other buses in the fleet that are air-conditioned are the Orion suburban highway coaches.

There are 25 of these articulated Xcelsior buses and they are assigned to the Richmond depot.  This means you will likely find them on the #49, #480, #403 and #620 in the near future.

The shorter versions of the buses are in West Vancouver, and you can find them now on a variety of West Vancouver routes.

12007 makes the loop around Metrotown Station
12007 makes the loop around Metrotown Station

Check out my Facebook album if you want to see some other photos.

Reindeer Sightings

We have two reindeer buses roaming the streets of Metro Vancouver, one conventional based in Vancouver and a shuttle based in Port Coquitlam.

Rudolph

V9715 Rudolph Bus

Rudolph is a little shy and only comes out occasionally for short trips in the Vancouver area, however, there have been sightings of him in other municipalities in the region. This year, Rudolph was decorated with additional external lighting.
Where is Rudolph?

Rudolph Shuttle

S300 Rudolph Shuttle

The Rudolph shuttle, on the other hand, isn’t shy at all, and is usually out and about on many shuttle routes in the Coquitlam area.
Where is Rudolph Shuttle?

Other Reindeer Buses

V7184 Rudolph
V7184 was Rudolph prior to 2011
P4107 Rudolph
P4107 decorated as Rudolph. P4107 is a historic bus maintained by the TRAMS society.

Finally fully working camera again, and some buses in the snow

In August of this year, some pressure from an unknown source cracked my LCD screen, and since then I have been using it without an LCD screen (quite difficult, but still usable).  A week ago, I ordered a replacement LCD from Foto Geeks and I received it today (coincidentally the day I was home).  Following Andy’s LCD replacement tutorial I successfully replaced the cracked LCD screen I have had almost for half a year.  Wondering what the cracked LCD looks like?

Cracked LCD Screen
Cracked LCD Screen

The replacement was without problem except I made two scratches on the backlight, and nearly damaged the backlight ribbon cable, but hey at least I can see the camera settings without trying to guess whether the flash is on or off.

So while I was running a couple of errands, I quickly went out to UBC to see how the snow is over there.  Along the way I took some photos.  Presenting…snowy Vancouver (and its buses):
Snow on my block 2780 IMG_2488 2107 R3222 2739 2929 2142 2142 2142 2924 2924 2924's pair of trolley shoes Looking east on Agronomy Road in UBC Agronomy Road UBC Main Mall UBC Abdul Ladha Science Student Centre Wesbrook Mall & University Blvd 99 To Boundary B-Line on Wesbrook Mall

Guess I should go back to studying now =)

The wheels on the bus go round and round…

On September 2, 2006, a crowd of people watched as the buses whose home had been the Oakridge Transit Centre for the past years made their way to the new multi-million-dollar state-of-the-art garage called Vancouver Transit Centre. Many of the buses leading the parade were retired buses restored by The Transit Museum Society (TRAMS).
2102 V1109 Bus Parade to VTC 2860 3334 V1109 V1109 3405 4612 3405 2040 2040

I also took 3 video clips:

New Trolley Bus

During the teachers’ strike I caught a look at the new pilot trolley on route 3 Main/Downtown 😀

Pilot Trolley Bus (Fleet # 2101)

Pilot Trolley Bus (Fleet # 2101)

(Photos taken on October 11, 2005)

Now back to sorting out photos for my EE.