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[RI] RIPTA to replace "trolleys" in 2010

 
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ripta42
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 2:54 pm    Post subject: [RI] RIPTA to replace "trolleys" in 2010 Reply with quote

RIPTA Press Release

RIPTA LOOKS FOR NEW COST-EFFECTIVE TROLLEYS THAT WILL MEET OPERATING AND MAINTENANCE REQUIREMENTS AND IMPROVE CUSTOMER COMFORTS

Trolleys in Providence and Newport to be Replaced with New Trolleys in 2010
May 6, 2008 - Providence, Rhode Island... The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) announced today that it is looking for new trolleys that will meet operating and maintenance requirements, be cost effective, efficient, have new safety standards and also attractive and comfortable.

“Some people have the impression that RIPTA is eliminating its trolleys, but that’s not the case. Our trolleys are nearing the end of their useful life and we’re trying to find new ones that will fit our operating requirements and also be more cost effective than the current ones,” said RIPTA General Manager Alfred J. Moscola.

“RIPTA’s trolleys will be ten years old in 2010, the industry standard for retirement for this type of vehicle. So we’ve started looking for replacements. We want trolleys that will operate better than the ones we have now because our current trolleys can’t handle slick roads or snow and must be pulled off the road when the weather is bad. We also need to get away from CNG-fueled trolleys. CNG vehicles are very expensive to maintain and since RIPTA doesn’t have a CNG fueling station, they have to be driven off site for fueling before they can be used for the next day’s service, adding drastically to our operating costs. While the wood finish was attractive when new, it’s worn very badly in the New England weather and is too expensive to replace,” explained Moscola.

“ We want trolleys that will run, like our buses do, on clean diesel. We also want trolleys that will have a 12-year useful life. Plus, we want the new trolleys that are low-floor vehicles, which includes a ramp in front for easy access for customers using wheelchairs. In addition, low-floor buses have no steps in the front or rear, adding convenience for our seniors and disabled customers,” he added.

“We want our new trolleys to be attractive and appeal to all our customers, visitors, and tourists, “ said Moscola.
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DE60LF




Joined: 03 Oct 2007
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Location: Albuquerque, NM

PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 3:49 pm    Post subject: Re: [RI] RIPTA to replace "trolleys" in 2010 Reply with quote

ripta42 wrote:
RIPTA Press Release

RIPTA LOOKS FOR NEW COST-EFFECTIVE TROLLEYS THAT WILL MEET OPERATING AND MAINTENANCE REQUIREMENTS AND IMPROVE CUSTOMER COMFORTS

Trolleys in Providence and Newport to be Replaced with New Trolleys in 2010
May 6, 2008 - Providence, Rhode Island... The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) announced today that it is looking for new trolleys that will meet operating and maintenance requirements, be cost effective, efficient, have new safety standards and also attractive and comfortable.

“Some people have the impression that RIPTA is eliminating its trolleys, but that’s not the case. Our trolleys are nearing the end of their useful life and we’re trying to find new ones that will fit our operating requirements and also be more cost effective than the current ones,” said RIPTA General Manager Alfred J. Moscola.

“RIPTA’s trolleys will be ten years old in 2010, the industry standard for retirement for this type of vehicle. So we’ve started looking for replacements. We want trolleys that will operate better than the ones we have now because our current trolleys can’t handle slick roads or snow and must be pulled off the road when the weather is bad. We also need to get away from CNG-fueled trolleys. CNG vehicles are very expensive to maintain and since RIPTA doesn’t have a CNG fueling station, they have to be driven off site for fueling before they can be used for the next day’s service, adding drastically to our operating costs. While the wood finish was attractive when new, it’s worn very badly in the New England weather and is too expensive to replace,” explained Moscola.

“ We want trolleys that will run, like our buses do, on clean diesel. We also want trolleys that will have a 12-year useful life. Plus, we want the new trolleys that are low-floor vehicles, which includes a ramp in front for easy access for customers using wheelchairs. In addition, low-floor buses have no steps in the front or rear, adding convenience for our seniors and disabled customers,” he added.

“We want our new trolleys to be attractive and appeal to all our customers, visitors, and tourists, “ said Moscola.


Is anyone thinking the Gillig Trolley Replica?
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The Port of Authority




Joined: 16 Apr 2007
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Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 4:22 pm    Post subject: Re: [RI] RIPTA to replace "trolleys" in 2010 Reply with quote

ripta42 wrote:
...We also need to get away from CNG-fueled trolleys. CNG vehicles are very expensive to maintain and since RIPTA doesn’t have a CNG fueling station, they have to be driven off site for fueling before they can be used for the next day’s service, adding drastically to our operating costs...


Is this a sign that the C30LFs are on the chopping block as well?
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ripta42
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2008 3:50 pm    Post subject: Re: [RI] RIPTA to replace "trolleys" in 2010 Reply with quote

DE60LF wrote:
Is anyone thinking the Gillig Trolley Replica?

Only bidding will tell...
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ripta42
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2008 3:59 pm    Post subject: Re: [RI] RIPTA to replace "trolleys" in 2010 Reply with quote

The Port of Authority wrote:
Is this a sign that the C30LFs are on the chopping block as well?


If I had to guess, I'd say the New Flyers will be around until they turn 12. There is a CNG fueling station at the Newport garage, and a 2007 audit by the State Budget Office recommended that the New Flyers be sent to Newport in exchange for five diesel buses.
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ripta42
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seems RIPTA has instead opted to rebuild the "trolleys" and repower them with diesel engines:

Revamped Trolleys: same skin, new heart
Providence Journal, 9/1/08

By Bruce Landis
Journal Staff Writer

PROVIDENCE — The vehicle intended to end the brief but intense Newport trolley war doesn’t look any different from the one that began it, unless you look awfully close.

That’s the point.

On a recent afternoon, Alfred J. Moscola, the general manager of the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority, was showing off the first of a series of trolleys being converted from compressed natural gas, or CNG, to diesel fuel.

A little wooden door a few inches long, almost indistinguishable from the rest of the molding along the trolley’s right side, is about the only sign that RIPTA’s mechanics have torn almost everything mechanically important out of the trolley. It now has a new engine, fuel system, electrical system and suspension. The little door hides the filler cap for the diesel fuel.

A few months ago, the Newport tourism industry was up in arms because RIPTA was planning to replace the trolleys with vehicles that the authority said were trolleys but the Newport people said were really thinly disguised buses.

After a campaign that saw the Newport group paying to put “Save the Trolleys” advertisements on the side of the vehicles and taking its case to the governor’s office, RIPTA changed its mind, and is keeping the trolleys and converting them to burn diesel fuel.

The result is the trolley Moscola was showing off. It gleamed, its outside polished and its wood trim bright with varnish. Best of all, it apparently follows the recipe for bridging a deep divide between the transit authority and an angry Newport tourist industry: similar looks.

“They’re going to be happy in Newport,” Moscola said.

And they are, even though they haven’t seen the goods yet.

“We’ve very pleased,” said Trudy Coxe, the executive director of the Preservation Society of Newport County, which runs the Newport mansions and was a center of resistance to RIPTA’s original plan. “I think they deserve a big bouquet of flowers.”

“I think the Newport trolley fuss is over,” she said.

John Rodman, marketing director for the Preservation Society and Newport’s point man in the trolley dispute, is still cautious. “We haven’t seen it yet,” he said.

RIPTA’s earlier plan to replace the trolleys stemmed from the fact that the trolleys were wearing out. Moscola wanted to replace them all, including the five operating in Newport. He said they are difficult and expensive to maintain and operate, among other failings. Making a decision urgent was the increasing difficulty of fueling them. CNG is an expensive and complicated fuel for RIPTA to use, and the failure of some expensive equipment was likely to make it impossible to fuel the trolleys on Aquidneck Island. That would mean driving them to Providence for a fill-up.

Moscola found a “trolley” to his liking, with a diesel engine and the other mechanical advantages of a bus, and the look, he thought, of a trolley.

The Newport group, however, tracked down the substitute, built by the bus manufacturer Gillig, on the Internet. They denounced it as a poor imitation of a trolley. If they weren’t fooled by the Gillig’s “Trolley Bus Replica,” they figured, the city’s visitors wouldn’t be, either.

RIPTA was apparently going to rip out a key part of the Newport experience that the city’s tourist industry members believe helps to draw thousands of tourists to the city. The Newport group dug its heels in.

RIPTA, which has terrible budget problems and needs all the friends it can find, thought again. The result was the conversion project, which Moscola has enthusiastically embraced.

The new/old trolley even has a bigger engine, 215 horsepower compared with 195. “It’s going to be a racecar,” Moscola said.
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Mr. Linsky
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Because I'm from the past and have little understanding of modern methods of propulsion especially in buses (which is what I think these RIPTA trolley cars really are) maybe someone can explain something to me;

It would seem as though everybody today is rushing away from Diesel to cleaner burning natural gas.

Why then would RIPTA be going in exactly the opposite direction with their refurbished street cars?

Now, I understand the added power factors involved with Diesel as opposed to CNG but are they worth the higher fuel costs and the greater pollutants they emit even though I know that today's Diesels are cleaner than ever?

Fill me in.

Mr. Linsky - Green Bus Lines, Inc., Jamaica, NY
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The Port of Authority




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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
A few months ago, the Newport tourism industry was up in arms because RIPTA was planning to replace the trolleys with vehicles that the authority said were trolleys but the Newport people said were really thinly disguised buses.


But aren't the current ones "thinly disguised buses" as well? Their argument makes no sense.

RIPTA should look into purchasing Gillig Advantage trolleys if they even want to continue the program. The old Chance trolleys are high-floor models, whereas the Gilligs are low floor, so that would be a plus. Not to mention that RIPTA already operates the standard Gillig Advantage and maintenance would be simplified.
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ripta42
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2008 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess the Chance/Optima is a thickly disguised bus. As far as the low-floor/ease of maintenance argument goes, it seems there are powers greater than RIPTA at work here, mainly the Newport Preservation Society and the rest of the tourism industry. I think they want the trolleys to be as different from the rest of the RIPTA fleet as possible, and I'm guessing they also contribute some money to running those routes.
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RailBus63
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RIPTA did propose buying the Gillig 'trolleys' and the Newport groups wouldn't hear of it. I think they were concerned that the Gillig looks *too* much like a bus with a few trolley-like features added on.
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