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Friday, April 29, 2011

The mysterious white D40LF shows up at Barbur TC



The mysterious, unknown white D40LF was sitting at Barbur TC on the left side of the driveway where the 94s that make a return inbound trip as a 12 layover.  Interestingly, there is a trip permit in the windshield.  No driver to be found, nothing on the headsign.

It appears that the bus, judging from the gray paint pattern on the top of the bus, is an ex-OCTA bus built in 1995 (making it 16 years old).  Apparently after retirement a number of these buses served as shuttles for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, and some have found their way to tour operators.  However if this is ex-OCTA, the OCTA buses were in the 5300 and 5400 series so it's been renumbered.

I don't know of any PCC buses that serve the Barbur TC, and Wilsonville SMART buses always layover at their designated stop (the first stop) and not this side of the driveway.  However I didn't see the Operator.  So the mystery continues...it would be interesting if this was actually in TriMet service, but why would TriMet be replacing 21 year old buses with 16 year old buses?  After all, New Flyer has a bunch of 2001-2004 built D60LFs for sale...they are at least only 7-10 years old...

12 comments:

jeffw66seattle said...

A 60 foot bus won't go everyplace a 40-footer can go. We have some D40LF's here in King County. I've driven them and like them just fine. Much better accessibility, old folks and wheelchairs and even regular ambulatory passengers board a lot quicker. The driver sits up high. They have A/C.

Al M said...

Just plain fascinating!
WOW!

Max said...

Yeah that is odd. I concur with Erik (happy Al?) - I've never seen SMART layover anywhere except in their designated space (first stop as you enter the TC).

Raz does a lot of stupid stuff - like take up SMART's spot to load/unload passengers without SMART's permission; so maybe it's them. The Raz bus that I'm thinking of goes direct to Salem.

Erik H. said...

Hmm, if there's a direct Portland-Salem bus that isn't Greyhound, that'd be interesting but why no advertising for it?

AFAIK, the Wilsonville-Salem buses are run by Cherriots or SMART, not Raz...

Ross Wrede said...

I remember several years ago I would spot one of the casino buses using the Tualatin Park and Ride for for their patrons. I never got any response from TriMet from my inquiry. Didn't make much sense to allow casino customers to park their cars and use TriMet property when fare paying riders were unable to find parking in the lot.

Max said...

Erik yes that's correct - SMART and Cherriots partner to offer the WV to Salem service. The Raz bus from Barbur to Salem has existed for years as a more direct duplicate of that service. The Raz bus I've seen (i.e. when SMART is irritated because Raz is in their spot and they can't pull in) doesn't have any sort of identifying markings on it other than a Raz logo.

So maybe this is a replacement for that bus, or (more likely) it's something else. That Raz bus doesn't layover -- I don't think they have permission to use the transit center AT ALL; so they don't tend to stick around. ;-)

Max said...

... and no, I have no idea why Raz doesn't advertise this service.

Erik H. said...

Didn't make much sense to allow casino customers to park their cars and use TriMet property when fare paying riders were unable to find parking in the lot.

Because technically TriMet parking lots are open to "carpool" use as well...and there isn't a law or rule that would prohibit non-TriMet buses from using TriMet transit centers. I guess TriMet could somehow cite a non-TriMet buse user for using a transit facility for a non-transit use, but somehow if that got public it would be just more bad P.R. for TriMet (for discouraging mass transit on the sole grounds that it wasn't TriMet).

However, I wish YCTA would get a designated stop within the Transit Center. It's tacky to force the YCTA riders onto Commercial Street far removed from a designated stop, shelters and benches, when the sole purpose of YCTA's stop in Tigard is for transfers to/from TriMet.

Erik H. said...

The Raz bus from Barbur to Salem has existed for years as a more direct duplicate of that service.

Well, it looks like this is it:

http://www.valleyvanpool.info/Routes/portland-salem.htm

Scroll down to "Route 3" and it looks like that "vanpool" is really a bus. However that route doesn't take it on Highway 217 (where it's been spotted twice) or on 99W near Bull Mountain (where it's been spotted once).

There is also the "Commuter Club, Inc.":

http://home.comcast.net/~chonse/cci.html

(Interesting how it's incorporated, yet the e-mail address is a state government e-mail...that would seem to be a bit on the unethical side...)

No information as to their equipment or route...

Al M said...

Ya, highway 217.

Anonymous said...

Back when I started driving for Trimet in 82, Trimet had some used buses from other transit districts. It's possible they could do it again.

Anonymous said...

"that would seem to be a bit on the unethical side"

It's generally considered OK to use work e-mail accounts, phones, etc for occasional non-work purposes, and this is even work-related. Plus, it's possible that (s)he doesn't have a personal account and that the "Inc" is just for legal reasons.

And it's probably not advertised because it's not open to the casual public.