Took these during my commute experiment on the WES.
This is a shot of the Cherriots Express Bus to Salem.
The design definitely stood out, even though it had a rather 80’s feel to it. I still dug it, regardless.
I had hoped to jump one of these buses down to Salem and back in the afternoon after work one day, but since most of the week was screwed up I didn’t make it.
Also note, the hybrid design of the bus, which I’m still surprised TriMet can’t find more use for Hybrid buses or at least clean fuel burning buses.
The next set are photos I got while waiting at Beaverton Transit Center.
The Cherriots bus is not a hybrid. As is noted on it, the hump is a compressed natural gas tank. And it should be noted that Cherriots’ most recent bus purchase has been (clean) diesel.
The Cherriots bus you see is a CNG bus, not a hybrid, although the roof bulge is similar – the CNG fuel tanks are on the roof (like a hybrid’s battery pack).
TriMet tried LNG about a decade ago. The biggest issue with CNG/LNG is having to build a fueling station. TriMet had use of PGE’s fueling station but PGE stopped using LNG in their fleet, so TriMet would have had to build their own fueling rack for a fleet of (IIRC) 15 buses (out of 600+). It was easier to retire the fleet.
Cherriots has also abandoned CNG for new vehicles – the newest vehicles (Gillig low-floors) are diesel. The biggest user of CNG around here is Pierce Transit, and LACMTA.
Portland is far, far too conservative when it comes to the bus system. On one hand it’s a good thing (wait for the bugs to be worked out before committing) but it seems TriMet will freely experiment with things outside of the bus system, so it’s more mode discrimination rather than the attitude of the transit agency as a whole.
That seems a really odd place to put heavy things (on the roof). That really has to throw the center of gravity and weight distribution… but I digress…
thx for pointing that these buses aren’t "hybrids" but instead alt fuel buses.
…and "clean diesel", that sounds like a topic for discussion that parallels the "clean coal" concept.
In the L.A. area, two agencies notably tried LNG with lackluster results. Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus and OCTA both bought NABIs, but the buses have been notoriously unreliable.
OCTA later went to CNG, but Santa Monica stuck with LNG buses from New Flyer.
L.A. County has a few agencies with hybrid buses (gasoline-electric). Southern California agencies by law are forbidden to buy diesel.
Diesel is of course dirty, but it has the advantage of efficiency and durability. Natural gas is a clean fuel but you get less power from a gallon-equivalent than diesel, so it’s more expensive.
I "think" all of the Seattle, Tacoma, and surrounding areas are fairly limited in that sense too. Well, they have a few diesels, but not all that many in operation downtown from what I can tell. I know Pierce Country Transit (Tacoma) has tons of alt fuel – natural gas – buses. I didn’t see a single diesel the whole time I was there, and let me tell ya, you notice the difference around the stations too.
My biggest complaint, by far, about buses is the noise of the diesel engines. My second biggest complaint is the sewage that the diesels put out into the air in close human confines of a city. Absolutely disgusting.
Light rail, streetcars, trolley buses, and natural gas buses are by far the leaders in high standard air in cities (even if coal is used outside to provide electricity).
btw Wad – when/why did Cali ban diesel?
My understanding up in Seattle is that only Pierce Transit runs a considerable portion of their fleet on anything other than diesel – they are 100% CNG, including the buses they run on contract for Sound Transit. (So if you see a CNG powered Sound Transit bus, it probably has a "P" next to the vehicle number.)
King County Metro is one of the largest players in the hybrid-diesel bus scene, with some 260 hybrid-electric artics. They have one 40′ hybrid – a New Flyer DE40LF which is the same model that TriMet has two of, and King County even states on their website that the 40′ hybrid doesn’t pan out in the cost-effectiveness department. Right now the bus is on assignment to Sound Transit.
King County, of course, also has an extensive trolleybus fleet.
Community Transit seems to be 100% diesel but they are also one of the very few operators of a double-deck bus in the United States. And Everett Transit appears to run only diesel buses as well, as does Intercity Transit.
By the way, Intercity Transit has a pretty neat fleet page!
Click to access Fleet%20Composition%20November%202007.pdf
(Note that their OLDEST buses are a fleet of four 1993 era Gillig Phantoms, or 17 years old. Their next oldest bus are 9 1996 era Phantoms that are only 13 years old. However the fleet roster is as of November 2007…)
Adron, check out this website:
It should explain everything that Wad mentioned.
Here’s a more specific page for public transit vehicles:
Click to access ubfactsheet.pdf
Hey do u mind if I make a youtube slide show of some of your photos?
Go for it Al. Please do just provide a link back to the pictures though. Maybe mention my name if you would. 🙂