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Old 08-12-2009, 05:50 PM
 
Location: Gilbert, AZ
1,983 posts, read 2,800,808 times
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In recent years, it seems that ABQ RIDE has largely moved away from CNG for their buses and moved towards diesel-electric hybrids.

When the Daytona Transit Facility on the Albuquerque Westside opened in 2004, ABQ RIDE chose not to equip that facility with CNG pumps.

This year, ABQ RIDE has replaced most of those 400-series Thomas/Dennis SLF CNG buses (the smaller low floor ones with the couch in the back) with the new 900-series New Flyer DE40LFR 40-foot diesel-electric hybrid low floor buses.

The 300-series Neoplan AN440A CNG buses (the 40-foot high floor buses) are also getting ripe for replacement. They are in fact older than the 400-series buses, but were kept due to their capacity and greater reliability vs. the 400-series. I am really curious on what will ABQ RIDE order to replace the 300-series.

While I personally prefer diesel-electric hybrids over CNG buses, I am sure that Mr. Pickens is angry with ABQ RIDE for abandoning CNG. And of course, ABQ RIDE cannot order any CNG buses for the Rapid Ride, as there is no room at the Yale Transit Facility for articulated buses.

So, what do you think will be the future for CNG in ABQ RIDE's fleet?
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Old 08-12-2009, 05:52 PM
 
Location: Burque!
3,695 posts, read 6,480,859 times
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Which is more efficient?
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Old 08-12-2009, 06:41 PM
 
Location: Gilbert, AZ
1,983 posts, read 2,800,808 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rybert View Post
Which is more efficient?
Well, in terms of fuel economy, it is no contest, diesel-electric hybrids always come out on top. In terms of emissions, diesel-electric hybrids are usually lower in NOx and CO2 emissions, but may occasionally be higher in particulate matter emissions.

Keep in mind that out of ABQ RIDE's diesel-electric hybrids, the 6400-series and 6600-series New Flyer DE60LF Rapid Ride buses have EPA 2004 specification Caterpillar C9 engines, while the 700-series and 900-series New Flyer DE40LFR buses and the 6900-series New Flyer DE60LFR Rapid Ride buses have EPA 2007 specification Cummins ISL engines. The new EPA 2010 specification Cummins ISL engines should be available next year, so ABQ RIDE might perhaps be waiting until next year to replace the 300-series buses when the new engines become available.

All of ABQ RIDE's diesel-electric hybrids use an Allison parallel hybrid drivetrain.
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Old 08-12-2009, 07:44 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque, NM
1,446 posts, read 3,067,875 times
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Great information provided Andros! Nicely done!
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Old 08-12-2009, 08:14 PM
 
Location: Gilbert, AZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abqsunport View Post
Great information provided Andros! Nicely done!
Of interesting note, Santa Fe Trails in Santa Fe remains comitted to CNG, and continues to only purchase CNG buses today. I once rode on one of their new ElDorado E-Z Rider II MAX CNG low-floor buses.

Also, didn't the Albuquerque Sunport once use CNG buses for the car rental shuttle, but now uses buses powered by ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD)? I know the current car rental shuttles are ElDorado E-Z Rider II ULSD buses. What model of buses were used before?
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Old 08-13-2009, 09:13 AM
 
Location: Albuquerque
81 posts, read 108,054 times
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CNG was an experiment for ABQ-Ride that turned out to be a miserable failure. The engines lack the torque to enable the bus to climb up into the foothills, thus limiting these buses for use on north south routes having limited capacity. The seating capacity on the 400 CNG buses is also much less then other buses in the fleet, further limiting the usefulness of this bus series. I have seen these buses used on routes where they probably should never be considered (the 16/18 comes to mind) where many times I have witnessed standing room only which due to the increased loading only makes these buses less efficient and unable to maintain a proper headway (keep to the schedule). I do know that ABQ-Ride has unloaded over half of their CNG 400 series buses, but to whome, I'm not aware.

I do know that once a bus is purchased using federal funding, the FTA requires that it remain within the fleet a minimum of 10 years. Some of the 400 series buses haven't quite reached that level of maturity yet. Personally, I think they should be all given to the film industry to be blown up in a firey ball of flame. Lets hope that CNG is a mistake that ABQ-Ride will walk away from and never re-consider.

The 300 series remain the workhorse of the fleet, but are becomming more and more expensive to maintain. I believe they're over 15 years in age. ABQ-Ride first plans to rid itself of all 400 series buses replacing them with the new 900-series New Flyer DE40LFR 40-foot diesel-electric hybrid low floor buses at around $600,000 a bus. Unfortionately, with the current budget the way it is, replacements wont be comming anytime soon. The 1/4 cent tax extension may help if voters approve the extension. ABQ-Ride is to get 36% of this tax revenue which should be a big improvement to their overall budget. Lets all hope they use some of this additional revenue to purchase more buses.

Last edited by abegofet; 08-13-2009 at 09:26 AM..
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Old 08-13-2009, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Gilbert, AZ
1,983 posts, read 2,800,808 times
Reputation: 784
Quote:
Originally Posted by abegofet View Post
CNG was an experiment for ABQ-Ride that turned out to be a miserable failure. The engines lack the torque to enable the bus to climb up into the foothills, thus limiting these buses for use on north south routes having limited capacity. The seating capacity on the 400 CNG buses is also much less then other buses in the fleet, further limiting the usefulness of this bus series. I have seen these buses used on routes where they probably should never be considered (the 16/18 comes to mind) where many times I have witnessed standing room only which due to the increased loading only makes these buses less efficient and unable to maintain a proper headway (keep to the schedule). I do know that ABQ-Ride has unloaded over half of their CNG 400 series buses, but to whome, I'm not aware.

I do know that once a bus is purchased using federal funding, the FTA requires that it remain within the fleet a minimum of 10 years. Some of the 400 series buses haven't quite reached that level of maturity yet. Personally, I think they should be all given to the film industry to be blown up in a firey ball of flame. Lets hope that CNG is a mistake that ABQ-Ride will walk away from and never re-consider.

The 300 series remain the workhorse of the fleet, but are becomming more and more expensive to maintain. I believe they're over 15 years in age. ABQ-Ride first plans to rid itself of all 400 series buses replacing them with the new 900-series New Flyer DE40LFR 40-foot diesel-electric hybrid low floor buses at around $600,000 a bus. Unfortionately, with the current budget the way it is, replacements wont be comming anytime soon. The 1/4 cent tax extension may help if voters approve the extension. ABQ-Ride is to get 36% of this tax revenue which should be a big improvement to their overall budget. Lets all hope they use some of this additional revenue to purchase more buses.
The 400s that were removed from service are currently being stored at the Daytona Transit Facility. Initially, ABQ RIDE was actually going to sell them to Santa Fe Trails in Santa Fe, however, from what I heard, when ABQ RIDE sent one of them to Santa Fe, the bus wouldn't start, and thus Santa Fe Trails backed out of the deal.

And actually, 10 years is the minimum FTA requirement for medium-duty buses like the 400s. For heavy-duty buses like the 300s, the minimum is 12 years. The 300s were built in 1996, so they are currently 13 years old, while the 400s were built in 2001, making them 8 years old. As for what will replace them, ABQ RIDE currently has 68 options with New Flyer for DE40LFR buses.

Also, I wonder what will replace the 400s on the D-Ride. The D-Ride is actually one of very few routes that smaller buses useful due to their narrower turning radius. New Flyer does make 30-foot buses, but they only have one door. Some options could be some 30-foot Gillig BRT Hybrids or NABI 31-LFW Hybrids.
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Old 08-31-2009, 11:07 PM
 
Location: Gilbert, AZ
1,983 posts, read 2,800,808 times
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Default ABQ RIDE 300-series buses to remain in service until 2011

Well, today I rode one of ABQ RIDE's 300-series Neoplan AN440A CNG buses on the 140 San Mateo.

For curiosity, I asked the driver how many more years will ABQ RIDE operate the 300-series buses, and he said that they will remain in service until 2011. He said that as part of the negotation ABQ RIDE made with the FTA to retire most of the 400-series buses two years earlier than their normal service lives, ABQ RIDE agreed to run the 300-series buses for two more years.

The 300-series, built in 1996, are the oldest buses still operating for ABQ RIDE. They are the last remaining high-floor buses in the fleet.

Hopefully that quarter cent transit tax passes.
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Old 09-03-2009, 10:29 AM
 
Location: Albuquerque
81 posts, read 108,054 times
Reputation: 17
Andros

Just a sub note...

ABQRide will begin to phase out the 300 Neoplan's beginning mid 2011. depending on their budgit to replace these buses with newer ones (at around $600,000 a bus), we probably will see the Neoplan buses on the road untill 2015.
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Old 09-07-2009, 03:51 PM
 
Location: Gilbert, AZ
1,983 posts, read 2,800,808 times
Reputation: 784
Default ABQ RIDE Discussions Thread

Public Surplus: Auction #371571

Well, now with the ABQ Trolley Company running their own trolley route, I'm not surprised that ABQ RIDE's Old Town Trolley is officially dead. The last of ABQ RIDE's trolleys is up for sale online.
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