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Could IC (Navistar) enter the transit bus market?


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#1 ABQ RIDE

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 10:03 PM

With Navistar's IC Bus unit entering the motorcoach market, could they soon enter the transit bus market? After all, it is definitely not unheard of for school bus manufacturers to go into the transit bus market. After all, Gillig was formerly a school bus manufacturer but then shifted towards transit buses, now being the second-largest transit bus manufacturer in North America behind New Flyer.

However, there are some school bus manufacturers who tried to enter the transit bus market with not-so-great results. The SLF, a joint venture between Freightliner's Thomas Built Buses and Dennis Specialist Vehicles, has proven to be quite an unreliable model. As for Blue Bird, while their past CSFE/CSRE bus has been moderately successful, the Ultra LF has been quite a poor seller and is also known to be unreliable. There are some rumors that NABI will be discontinuing the Ultra LF soon.

So, what does anyone think about IC Bus entering the transit bus market?
Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice. These three ingredients were chosen to create the perfect transit buses. But then Professor Rizzieri accidentally added an extra ingredient to the concoction - Chemical A!

Thus the Powerpuff Buses were born! Using their alternative propulsion,
Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup

...have dedicated their lives for putting Albuquerque on the Move!

#2 M. Parsons

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 10:11 PM

View PostABQ RIDE, on Mar 21 2010, 08:03 PM, said:

With Navistar's IC Bus unit entering the motorcoach market, could they soon enter the transit bus market? After all, it is definitely not unheard of for school bus manufacturers to go into the transit bus market. After all, Gillig was formerly a school bus manufacturer but then shifted towards transit buses, now being the second-largest transit bus manufacturer in North America behind New Flyer.

However, there are some school bus manufacturers who tried to enter the transit bus market with not-so-great results. The SLF, a joint venture between Freightliner's Thomas Built Buses and Dennis Specialist Vehicles, has proven to be quite an unreliable model. As for Blue Bird, while their past CSFE/CSRE bus has been moderately successful, the Ultra LF has been quite a poor seller and is also known to be unreliable. There are some rumors that NABI will be discontinuing the Ultra LF soon.

So, what does anyone think about IC Bus entering the transit bus market?

What is this?
http://www.cptdb.ca/index.php?s=&showt...st&p=386384

#3 ABQ RIDE

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 11:00 PM

View PostM. Parsons, on Mar 21 2010, 07:11 PM, said:


Does that really qualify? It doesn't seem like a real transit bus IMO.

BTW, I saw some of Santa Fe Trails' new ElDorado Passport CNG buses when I went to Santa Fe on Thursday. Unfortunately, I didn't get any pics.
Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice. These three ingredients were chosen to create the perfect transit buses. But then Professor Rizzieri accidentally added an extra ingredient to the concoction - Chemical A!

Thus the Powerpuff Buses were born! Using their alternative propulsion,
Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup

...have dedicated their lives for putting Albuquerque on the Move!

#4 M. Parsons

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 11:02 PM

View PostABQ RIDE, on Mar 21 2010, 09:00 PM, said:

Does that really qualify? It doesn't seem like a real transit bus IMO.

Well, it's used in real transit service.

If it's not being used in real transit service, then what in the hell does it do? Fake transit service?

#5 ABQ RIDE

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 11:10 PM

View PostM. Parsons, on Mar 21 2010, 08:02 PM, said:

Well, it's used in real transit service.

If it's not being used in real transit service, then what in the hell does it do? Fake transit service?

Well, I guess you have a point, however, even basic cutaways can be used in regular transit service, not just for paratransit or on-demand service. I was personally thinking if they would release a rear-engined low-floor transit bus to compete against the Blue Bird Ultra LF, Optima Opus, and ElDorado EZ Rider II MAX.

Personally, I think such model would be ideal for ABQ RIDE's 350 route which is a nonstop route between the Albuquerque Sunport and the Alvarado Transportation Center/Rail Runner Station in Downtown Albuquerque. Currently, the route operates using one of ABQ RIDE's SunVan cutaways.
Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice. These three ingredients were chosen to create the perfect transit buses. But then Professor Rizzieri accidentally added an extra ingredient to the concoction - Chemical A!

Thus the Powerpuff Buses were born! Using their alternative propulsion,
Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup

...have dedicated their lives for putting Albuquerque on the Move!

#6 Buzz2kb

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 10:08 PM

View PostABQ RIDE, on Mar 21 2010, 10:10 PM, said:

Well, I guess you have a point, however, even basic cutaways can be used in regular transit service, not just for paratransit or on-demand service. I was personally thinking if they would release a rear-engined low-floor transit bus to compete against the Blue Bird Ultra LF, Optima Opus, and ElDorado EZ Rider II MAX.

Personally, I think such model would be ideal for ABQ RIDE's 350 route which is a nonstop route between the Albuquerque Sunport and the Alvarado Transportation Center/Rail Runner Station in Downtown Albuquerque. Currently, the route operates using one of ABQ RIDE's SunVan cutaways.

IMHO, the small rear-engined low floor transit bus market in North America is a bit over-crowded. Besides the aforementioned 3 models, the 29ft. version of the Gillig Low Floor is competiting heavily in the same sector and, with the EZ Rider II MAX, probably eating into the sales of the Opus & the Ultra LF. Not to mention that NABI's own 31-LFW, 30ft versions of Orion VII & even the New Flyer LFR series (the latter admittedly hasn't sold new 30ft. low-floors for a few years until the possible SORTA order in Cincinati due to its inability to add a rear door) are out there to capture customers that are absolutely loyal to these manufacturers. As a result, it will be rather foolhardy for IC Bus to enter this market at this stage.

As an off-topic comment, I still think it makes business sense for NABI to focus on just the 31-LFW and/or the better bus between the Opus and the Ultra LF to reduce overlaps in its product range. If they must keep a ligther-duty low-floor bus, I'll definitely go for the Opus; but please consider axing the Under-35 version as it overlaps with the 35-LFW!

#7 Buzz2kb

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 11:11 PM

View PostM. Parsons, on Mar 21 2010, 09:11 PM, said:


This is the IC Bus LC-Series low floor cutaway also known as the Champion EZ Trans in otehr speaks, as depicted in this website: http://www.icbus.com/ICBus/Commercial/Bus+...Buses/LC+Series

I've pictured such buses in Montgomery County, Md. outside Washington DC with its Ride-On fleet & Texarkana, Ark./Texas with its T-Line fleet. I'm attaching Ride-On's bus 5211 & T-Line's 2077 as examples. Another major oerator of these buses is River Valley Metro in Kankakee, Ill.

By the way, this model has been invading my original home state of Florida, with JTA in Jacksonville, Lakexpress in Lake County & Space Coast Area Transit all taking examples (pictures from other transit fans direct confirms the presence of JTA's examples & indirectly of the Lakexpress buses; while I've only learnt of the last agency's buses through a new article showing one such bus involved in an accident).

I have just a few of questions:

1 Is the LC the most successful low-floor cutaway bus in North America?

2. Besides ETS and Paducah Area Transit System in Paducah, Ky., are there any other oprators of Glaval's rival Easy On design? (I consider King County Metro's troubled Workhorse vans a Easy On derivative instead of true Easy On's)

3. Is the use of cutaway vans/trucks as transit buses currently unique in North America? (I know there're Ford Transit & Freight Rover Shepra conversions in the UK during the mid 80's through early 90's similar to today's cutaways, but even the Mercedes conversions popularized from the late 80's through the early 2000's have their bodies way better integrated with the cabs than the North American cutaways; and there were also purpose-built MCW/Optare Metroriders that weren't cutaways in design. Likewise, most minibuses in Hong Kong, my longtime home city are of purpose built designs like the Toyota Coaster)

4. Why the practice of using purpose-built low-floor vans/minibuses never caught on in North America like the Optare Solo in the UK?

Thanks!

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#8 T6H-5307N

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 01:30 PM

View PostBuzz2kb, on Mar 22 2010, 09:11 PM, said:

2. Besides ETS and Paducah Area Transit System in Paducah, Ky., are there any other oprators of Glaval's rival Easy On design? (I consider King County Metro's troubled Workhorse vans a Easy On derivative instead of true Easy On's)
I certainly hope not, as the ETS Glavals aren't doing too well ;)

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#9 Mr.Transit

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 07:51 PM

IC does have a non-school bus type 40ft high floor transit bus on their website...just click on Commerical, then view all, click on Derivative, then RE Series, then explore this bus, and finally gallery. The bus looks somewhat similar to the Thomas Built Saf-T-Liner model...notice the center door.

#10 R. McConnell

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 08:15 PM

View PostBuzz2kb, on Mar 22 2010, 08:11 PM, said:

2. Besides ETS and Paducah Area Transit System in Paducah, Ky., are there any other oprators of Glaval's rival Easy On design?

JetBlue Airways has used them for airside terminal shuttles at New York's JFK Airport since 2006, and I believe they're also used at Indianapolis's airport.

#11 patfromigh

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 02:53 PM

I found this while looking for something else on the internet.

http://www.neobus.ne...hip_with_neobus

and

Navistar Announces Global Commercial Bus Partnership with Investment in Brazilian Bus Builder Neobus Company Takes Stake in Brazilian Bus Body Builder; Will Work Together on Fully Integrated Commercial Buses for South America and North America
LISLE, Ill., Jan. 31, 2012

Quote

"Our investment in Neobus, one of the most respected Brazilian bus body manufacturers, allows us to leverage our experience in building integrated buses for the U.S. and Canada market with the bus body building expertise of Neobus," said John McKinney, president Navistar Global Bus. "Working together, we can bring value to customers with an integrated solution for commercial bus markets in South America and North America."

The headline and quote come from http://www.navistar....r/News/Newsroom#

#12 A. Wong

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 01:40 AM

Umm... does Neobus have any relation to Neoplan? Logos look similar. :P

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#13 patfromigh

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 11:09 AM

According to Wikipedia, Neobus (Brazil) and Neobus (Serbia) have no connection. I can't find any evidence of Neoplan and Neobus in Brazil having any connections either.





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