Bus Photo of the Month: September 2018

Gillig Advantage 3710

Gillig Advantage 3710

Location: Campus Drive at Union Drive, College Park, MD
Operator of Vehicle: University of Maryland Department of Transportation Services
Date of Photo: March 30, 2017

The University of Maryland Athletics Department isn’t only making news because of issues regardings its football team.  Recently, the Athletics Department announced it would help to fund some weekend services on campus that would otherwise have been discontinued this fall due to budget shortfalls.  The University of Maryland has one of the largest student operated bus systems in the United States, with nearly 3 million trips annually on board a fleet of about 60 buses.  While the system is overseen by professional staff, many system functions including dispatching, training, and operating are carried out by students most of the time.  How many of those student operators might be transit fans?

For more photos of Shuttle-UM, please click here.

Bus Photo of the Month: April 2018

Gillig Advantage/HEV 4027

Gillig Advantage/HEV 4027

Location: A.W. Willis Avenue at North Main Street, Memphis, TN
Operator of Vehicle: Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA)
Date of Photo: November 25, 2017

Memphis is probably best known for its music scene and role in the civil rights movement in the United States.  However, the Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) is one of Tennessee’s largest bus network.  With the Main Street Trolley heritage streetcar service in the midst of a service suspension that started in 2014, buses are the only form of public transit within the city.  In the past, MATA’s fleet had a wider variety of vehicles.  RTS models were a mainstay of the fleet from 1980 until 2010.  Buses used in the past also include GM TDH-5300 and TDH-4500 “New Looks”, Flxible 40-102 New Looks, AM General 40 foot buses, and MAN articulated buses.  Now, the fleet is made up almost entirely of Gillig Advantage low floor buses, and MATA is looking to make the fleet powered entirely by hybrid engines.  Here is one of those hybrid Gillig Advantages with the Memphis Pyramid, a sports arena that has been repurposed as a Bass Pro Sports outlet store, in the background.

 

For more photos of MATA buses, please click here

Bus Photo of the Month: November 2017

Gillig Advantage/BRT 4061

Gillig Advantage/BRT 4061

Location: Medical Center Station, Bethesda, MD
Operator of Vehicle: Ride On (Montgomery County Transit)
Date of Photo: October 6, 2017

Exactly one month ago, Ride On, the county operated bus system in Montgomery County, MD, launched its first limited stop service, Route 101 or the Ride On Extra.  This route uses a special fleet of BRT styled Gillig Advantage buses.  I’m not a huge fan of WMATA’s “MetroExtra” branding for several reasons, but I really like how Ride On has taken this brand from another agency in the area and applied it to itself.  The paint scheme and name is clearly derived from WMATA, and to Ride On’s credit, the paint scheme makes it clearer that an approaching bus is a limited stop one than Metro’s scheme.  In its first month of service, I had three occasions to take this service, and found the trip to be extremely speedy, though I was admittedly riding against the peak direction of travel each time.  The buses have WiFi and USB charging ports on board, but I did not use either feature any of the times I have been on these buses.  The buses also still have that new bus smell, so be sure to check it out soon if you want to experience that, too.  The Ride On Extra currently operates between Lakeforest Mall and Medical Center Station during weekday rush hours.

For more photos of the Ride On Extra, please click here

Bus Photo of the Month: September 2017

Gillig Phantom 482

Gillig Advantage 482

Location: Smithfield Street at 5th Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA
Operator of Vehicle: Mid Mon Valley Transit Authority (MMVTA)
Date of Photo: November 27, 2015

The Port Authority isn’t the only bus operator in Pittsburgh.  There are some other operators in the area, and this month features another one of those operators.  Among its routes are commuter services from Washington County, Westmoreland County, and Fayette County to and from Pittsburgh.  And just like PAT, their buses have a colorful flair to them.

For more photos of Pittsburgh’s buses, please click here.

 

OTP Update: New section and lots of new photos!

After a tease on the Oren’s Transit Page Facebook page a few weeks ago, I have finally made it through my photo queue to add a slew of photos from all over the US to the website this morning.  Highlighting this update is the newest section of the website from Richmond, Virginia.  Richmond has a 175 unit bus fleet and is building a new bus rapid transit line and you can now see some of their current operations here on the website.  Richmond is also home to the Triple Crossing, the only known spot in North America where three Class I railroads cross each other at the same spot, and there is a photo on the Norfolk Southern page from that location.

If you wanted to travel by train from Richmond to other places featured on Oren’s Transit Page, Amtrak would be a great choice, and you can now see photos of the relatively recently restored Main Street Station in downtown Richmond on the Amtrak Stations page, as well as Amtrak’s Genesis P42 Locomotives serving the station.  New photos were also added to the Amtrak ACS-64 Locomotives and Acela Express pages.

Further along the Northeast Corridor, a number of Washington, DC area galleries got updates, too.  New photos of the DC Circulator, as well as WMATA’s now retired New Flyer C40LF buses were added to the respective galleries.  On the rail side of things in DC, there are new photos in the Rohr (1000 Series), Breda Rehab, and Kawasaki (7000 Series) galleries.  

Even further to the north, there are two new Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority bus photos in this update.  If you travel very far to the east, a single photo of an Israel Railways Bombardier trainset that was not included in the most recent update from Israel is now on the site.  

Despite my constantly telling myself there isn’t all that much in the photo queue, getting through it all always seems to take longer than I expect.  I have a number of interesting articles to profile on Oren’s Reading List, and also plan to share more commentary on some of my photos through the Viewfinder, including some of my favorite photos from this update.  In addition to adding new photos from a variety of sections, I also hope to have the New York section rebuilt sometime in the next 6 months.  But while you’re waiting on all the content to come, I do hope you enjoy the new content that was just added or revisiting the content that I’ve posted over the past 16+ years.