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Mass Transit Fans

Sun Jan 12, 2003 11:16 am

My other passion/hobby outside of aviation and medicine happens to be transit. I was practically raised riding the bus and metro in Montreal, and I've always gotten a kick out of riding any bus or subway? I'm sure there's a few others like me on here, sowhy don't we share what type of mass transit we enjoy in our hometowns.

Well Since I live in Montreal, Ft. Lauderdale, and the University of Florida at various times of the year here's the 3 for 1 special:


Still one of the best transit systems I've ever used. The compact city of about 3.5 million in the greater area is served by somewhere between 1600-1800 buses if I remember correctly and about 759 metro cars serving a 65 station, 4 line underground system.

When I was growing up through the mid 80's the most common bus, in fact the only bus were the GM new look "fishbowls". They're very very rare now as newer busses have been bought, but if i'm real lucky, I'll actually see one still in service each summer

beginning in the mid to late 80's the transit authority starting purchasing the "Classic" bus, which to this day remains my favourite of all the types of buses I've been on. The first ones had the engine in back and red arm barriers that you had to push to open the back doors. Newer ones have a window in the back, automated destination signs, and a foot sensor to operate the back door. shame no one in South Florida operates them, they were (and still are great).

Over the last few year they've been buying new low-floor buses from Novabus. One of the more attractive designs out there, but I still prefer the Classic which continues to make a good portion of the current fleet. I have no clue who made/makes the. They say MCI on the buses but have a NovaBus sticker. Neither manufacturer's website mentions this bus. Some website alludes that GM makes the Classic but I have found no info fro mthem either. If anyone knows who makes or made them please let me know.

All buses are 40-footers. One weird thing is that the fare boxes are not automated like I've seen elsewhere, just glass and steel boxes that are older than I am.

As for the metro, its a rubber-tyred system with 9 car trains (3 sets of a trailer between two powered motor/control cars), that are 152 metres long and hold about 1,200 passengers. They move at about 45 mph, but seem must faster, I suppose because of the confined spaces down there. My favourite thing about is that the newer MR-73 series of train (below) makes a musical 3-note sound on departure. I've found out that its not any sort of actual music, but a system that releases the voltage to move the train in 3 stages to ensure smooth acceleration. Incident the notes it makes are the same 3 notes that begin the music piece "Fanfare for the Common Man" by Aaron Copland, which was the theme music for Expo '67, which helped spur the Metro's opening in 1966.

The trains are also automated, but carry an operator for safety. Each station was designed by a different person and some are true works of art, winning several design awards.

An operator poses with his baby:

Ft. Lauderdale

Transit maintained by Broward Country Transit or "B Transit". The mascot is a bee, and all the buses have been painted white with a honeycomb yellow stripe along the sides. Please, if G-d has any sense of justice He will smite whomever thought up this retarded design and marketing campaign. BCT operates a broad mix of Flxibles, Gillig Phantoms, Gillig LowFloors, and NewFlyer Lowfloors. The Flxibles are being retired, and out of all of them, I prefer the NewFlyer busses, more pleasing to the aie than the Gilligs and brighter inside too. All 40 ft busses.

There's also a heavy rail system that runs up from Palm Beach, through Broward, and down to Miami.

Not the BCT buses, couldn't find local photos.


Gillig LowFloor:

University of Florida/Gainesville

Buses mainted by Regional Transit System (RTS) which runs routes throughout Gainesville and maintains the campus shuttle routes. They're funded mostly by the university from what I hear, and practically owe their existance and 80-odd buses to the money they get from the university to offer the kind of service 40,000-odd students need in this town of about 100,000. The service is actually quite good and rivals Montreal's in terms of convenience. On some routes service runs as frequently as every 9 minutes. On campus, they operate a number of circulator routes using the busses that are unfit for regular city service. They have poor interiors, no paint or schemes that haven't been updated since the days of disco, one is aquamarine all over, another is purple. On Campus we have 40-foot GM manufactured RTS busses, older models, 30-40 foot older Orion buses, and two 40 ft Flxibles in the mentioned aquamarine and purple paint. I e-mailed them a suggestion to replace the interiors and but a school-spirited orange-and blue paint scheme, since they are an eye-sore on campus. Off-campus there are much newer and better maintained RTS-series and Gillig Phantoms, both at 40 ft. They sport a spectacular blue and cream coloured livery and are a pleasure to ride. Ridership anywhere is free for UF students which is good and my only gripe is that the rear doors on the Phantoms seem unusually narrow, I know I've seen some with wider rear doors.

All these buses are not the Gainesville ones, couldn't find local photos:

The Orions, ours have a wheelchair access hatch added next to the rear door

The Flxibles:


Gillig Phantom:

Overall I'd say the Phantom and newer GM RTS are my favourite buses from a passenger perspective in the States, but the Classic still rules.

Too bad I can't drive them, I hear that Iowa State University runs their own bus system and students can get jobs as drivers. That's one on campus I'd absolutely love to do.

I'm sure there's some other bus/transit geeks here.

fuddle duddle
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RE: Mass Transit Fans

Sun Jan 12, 2003 11:23 am

I should clarify that my confusion as to the manufacturer of th eClassic refers to the Classic, not the NovaBus. sorry for the error, had to rewrite some stuff a few times and I'm cross-eyed and tired now.
fuddle duddle
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RE: Mass Transit Fans

Sun Jan 12, 2003 11:28 am

I hate mass transit and I mean HATE! I can't stand having sit or stand in a crammed bus or subway with stinky people breathing down my neck. I am a little claustrophobic if you couldn't tell.
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RE: Mass Transit Fans

Sun Jan 12, 2003 11:50 am

I love taking the subway whenever I get the chance, although I've always been afraid of something going wrong. I've been fascinated by it since I was little, even though I was scared to death when I took my first ride on a "tube" (Toronto)

I've been on subways in:
Washington D.C.

I also liked taking the city buses in San Juan, when we wouldn't rent a car because my mom was afraid to drive there (we'd get one after my dad came down).

A310/319/320/321/333, ARJ, BN2, B722/73S/733/734/735/73G/738/739/744/757/753/767/763/764/777, CR1/2/7/9, DH6, 328, EM2/ERJ/E70/E75/E90, F28/100, J31, L10/12/15, DC9/D93/D94/D95/M80/M88/M90/D10, SF3, SST
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RE: Mass Transit Fans

Sun Jan 12, 2003 11:55 am

Count me in as a fan. I ride our subway everyday to work. As much as I love my cars, I would hate to have to drive them in traffic every single day.
I'll take a crowed stuffy subway train over sitting in traffic jam hell anyday!
I like driving on long road trips.
Here in San Francisco we use Gillig buses and our trains are made by Breta from Italy.
Bring back the Concorde
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RE: Mass Transit Fans

Sun Jan 12, 2003 12:05 pm

I'm also a fan. When I was in Montreal I took the subway there and it was very nice and very quiet.
I've taken subways in these cities:
New York, Washington, Boston, San Francisco, London, Paris, Berlin, Frankfurt.
Cleanest: Washington
Most Effecient: New York
Chepest: Boston (actully, my dad and I couldnt figure out how to use the Frankfurt ticket machines so I guess thats free  Big thumbs up)
Most Comfortable: London
DC-10's Forever
"Traveling light is the only way to fly" - Eric Clapton
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RE: Mass Transit Fans

Sun Jan 12, 2003 12:06 pm

Here at where I live, the Santa Clara Valley Transit Authority (VTA) have been getting a lot of new buses lately.

On the #22 route (one of the longest and most popular routes), VTA are using a combination of Gillig LowFloor and articulated buses. The longer articulated buses are welcome because on some portions of the #22 route it literally is standing-room only--especially when it goes through downtown San Jose, Santa Clara University and at the west end of the route around Stanford University.
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RE: Mass Transit Fans

Sun Jan 12, 2003 12:13 pm

The Classic was made by both GMDD (Diesel Division) and MCI. Before I go any further, my local transit system is Transit Windsor. Currently they have a fleet of 125 or so vehicles. 21 (#901-921) of them are 40' fishbowls made between 1978 and 1982. Up until last year 2-4 35' fishbowls (oldest one dating back to 1967) were used on the expressway route, but now they all appear to have been parked for good. 3 out of the 4 1978 are gone from active service, with only 904 remaining. I've had the dubious pleasure of riding it a couple months ago. Dubious because of the obnoxious light blue, sticky leather interior. The rest of the fleet (including the other fishbowls) have green/yellow plastic seats. All have the gate activated rear doors.

Regular Fishbowl

The bulk of the fleet is composed of classics, ranging from 1986 (#501-510) to 1991's (543-548), with 8 delivered every year from 1987 to 1990. All but the 1991's (driver operated) have the step down rear doors, but the 1990 and 1991 models have a 4 piece rear door instead of the 2 piece one used on the earlier ones, as well as a large (but not digital) destination sign. The 1991s used to be methanol powered, but have been converted to diesel, they have the unique 45 degree seats at the front and are labeled as "Easier Access" buses, may also have a/c. The 1989 and 1990s have a window at the rear, all others have the area blocked off (all of them, like the fishbowls, have the engine in the same location, under the last row of seats). Starting with the 1988's all Classics are labeled as MCI-made. There is also at least one ex-Detroit Classic in service (although I've seen two parked earlier), 554, with a small rear door and a large destination sign, yet to ride it.

Detroit Classic at Transit Windsor garage before rebuild

1987 GM Classic, note new livery

There are also 10 1984 Orion I's (401-410), they are mostly used on the service to Detroit and school Extra routes. Have Aeroflot-like interior walls.

...As well as 2 1989 and 1 1991 Orion V's (411,412,499).

We also have the Nova LFS's, but only 5 of them, all 1997's (549-553). They have bike racks (in the summer) on the front and the rear podium. Driver operated rear doors.

Last but not least are the 12 (413-424) Orion VI low floor buses (half made by Bus Industries of America and half by Ontario Bus Industries), also equipped with bike racks, low floor from front to rear. Driver operated rear doors, used to be activated by a push of the handle. Made in 1999.

The rest are a few small 24-seaters based on the Ford E-series.

Pacifism only works if EVERYBODY practices it
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RE: Mass Transit Fans

Sun Jan 12, 2003 12:18 pm

Thanks for solving my Classic mystery. You like them too? Now I just have to figure out why I can't find info or specs on the GM or MCI websites. Maybe I can convince UF and RTS to buy some  Big thumbs up
fuddle duddle
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RE: Mass Transit Fans

Sun Jan 12, 2003 12:29 pm

I'm a huge mass transit fan and rely on it completely to get me where I need to go. I'm not really into cars and I absolutely hate driving.

The mass transit network in the tri-state area is outstanding and generally very reliable. The NYC subway system covers most of the city and runs 24 hours a day. I wish Jersey had better mass transit coverage though. The MTA is also the only system that operates express subways.

Other systems that I liked were:

Boston: I found it quite clean and extensive and I just love how some of those "trolleys" go underground. It seemed generally reliable.

Montreal: I do agree with the author of this thread that STCUM is an excellent system and serves Montreal very well -- it's absolutely perfect for the layout of the city. I didn't find it to be the cleanliest, but I absolutely loved the stations and their architecture.

Seoul: I was really impressed with Seoul's subway system, though the bus network leaves much to be desired. Seoul's subways are super clean, extensive, cheap, modern, efficient and extremely frequent. One thing that irked me was the fact that it closed at 11PM. I could seriously see that system run 24 hours a day because there are just so many people that use it during all hours of its operation.

Hong Kong: This system is the absolute epitome of efficiency. It is so clean and frequent. Probably my favorite system I’ve been on so far.

Calgary: I really like the C-Train and I like the way the city is expanding it further out. I hear that they’re considering an extension to YYC as well. Edmonton could learn a few things from its southern neighbor.

Washington, D.C.: Clean, efficient, but not so widespread. Mass transit in the suburbs is horrible.

Here are some that I didn’t like as much:

London: This was probably the filthiest system I’ve ever been on and by far the most expensive. Plus, there’s no excuse for why it has to close at 12AM. They could also start express trains. I do like the “plastic-looking” subway cars – they’re neat plus I really love the double-decker buses.

Toronto (TTC): For a city of this size, it really needs a bigger subway system. What they have now is too small. I know they are expanding it a bit, but they really should make an extension from Downsview to Sheppard/Younge or to Finch. In general, it would do the city wonders if they made an East-West line that spreads from YYZ all the way to Don Mills, it would certainly ease the congestion on the 401. Toronto traffic is among the worst I've seen in North America.

Los Angeles: It’s not that bad, but they could sure use a lot more of it! The subways themselves are very nice and the bus service isn’t so bad, but there’s such a car and driving mentality there. Such a shame because I think this system has a lot of potential.

There’s others I could talk about as well, but I didn’t have as positive or negative reaction to them…
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RE: Mass Transit Fans

Sun Jan 12, 2003 12:44 pm

I loved Montreal's Metro (except the Olympic Park station, kind of shady, lots of strung out street kids). Besides the shady stations the rest were nicely laid out, I was suprised by the rubber wheels.

Washington's Metro is my favorite, however the lack of express tracks will catch up to them as they expand.

Then the PATH, can't wait 'till they extend it to EWR.

NYC got to go with the A, N, and 6 lines.
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
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RE: Mass Transit Fans

Sun Jan 12, 2003 12:50 pm

Despite my comments on the SUV topic, when there is a chance to take a subway, and it actually gets me to where I need to be in a decent amount of time, I'll take the subway.

Atlanta (MARTA)-Goes no where in particular, except the worst parts of town and the airport...Stops are too spread out. No stops in the suburbs that actually commute to the city. Trains are clean more often than not, and comfortable. However, once in a while you are bound to encounter some unsavory characters, drunks, the mentally ill, and some panhandlers.

New York (MTA)-One of the best in the world, I think. Stations are sometimes really dirty and dank. Cars are usually kept in alright condition. Actually, the only thing that keeps MTA so high on my list is the the convienience factor.

Boston-The trolley thing is ridiculous, they are always packed. Stations are very confusing.

Washington (METRO)-Clean, comfortable, personal safety sometimes comes into question going through certain neighborhoods. Pretty good in the city, lousy in the suburbs.

Chicago-Dirty, old train cars. Not enough security personnel for the neighborhoods where the trains go through. Maybe my least favorite.

St. Louis (METROLINK)-nicknamed Ghetto Link, the stops are all in the ghetto, downtown STL, or STL airport. But, to St. Louis's credit, the trains are in immaculate condition, nothing is ever scratched or broken in the train. Supposedly, the St. Louis runs such a deficit on these trains that they just said "screw it" and went all out on maitnence. Extremely clean.

Miami-I totally forget, I was drunk.

Madrid-Pretty clean, comfortable. Really confusing routes though.

Paris-Stations are clean, trains are alright (no a/c on some), but seem to break down quite often. Including one time when it was about 85 degrees and we broke down in the middle of a tunnel, lights went out. Some people lit up a cig, and the odor was just awful. I'll never forget. But it is really convienient. Oh yeah, and did I mention I have been pickpocketed on the subway here also (we caught the kid).

Rome-Dirty trains, graffiti everywhere. Beggars panhandling on the platform. Nasty.

America's chickens are coming home to rooooost!
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RE: Mass Transit Fans

Sun Jan 12, 2003 3:14 pm

I quit my job as a transit driver, my last day was the Friday before Christmas. So now I'm in that weird enthusiast/spotter category, although I don't do much besides just notice all of the buses everywhere I go.

I started as a driver at Cambus, the University of Iowa's wholly-owned and student-operated system. All the drivers were students and it was a fantastic job. A friend of mine goes to Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa and works for CyRide. Students work there too, but along side non-students since the city co-owns the transit system. Their web site is pretty cool, they have some neat old buses still in operation. After I graduated I did a four month stint with the Des Moines MTA. I had to get out of there because the hours just sucked. I worked 617a-817a and 217p-705p every day M-F. It just didn't work out with other things I have going on. I do miss driving though.

Over my driving career, I got to drive:

Gillig Phantom ('86, '89, '97, all 40 footers)
Orion II ('98, 28 foot)

Des Moines MTA
Gillig Phantom ('89, '94, '97-'98, all 40 footers)
Gillig Low Floor ('98, '00, '02 all 40 footers except 1 35 footer)
Orion V ('92, 40 footers)
New Flyer D60HF ('00 60 foot articulateds)
also some 40 foot Blue Bird
also a Dupon trolley-look-alike

That's all the heavy duty equipment I drove. There were also some minibuses. At Cambus there were some Flxibles on the property but they were well beyond their service life. And there were some RTS buses on the property at Des Moines but they were never in service either.

The Orion and New Flyer are Canadian buses with some final assembly done in the States to qualify them for government funded purchasing. The Orion II was kind of strange with bad visibility but ours had a unique back exit which was great for their paratransit use. The Orion V and New Flyer D60HF were great buses to drive, very solid. I got to take the New Flyer out on the freeway and it held the road quite well. Same with the Orion V.

The Gillig Phantom is an average bus. It does the job. Not as stable on the freeway as the Canadians. The Gilligs come from the Bay Area in California. Gillig has been kicking ass with its Low Floor in sales. It's a great bus to drive as well. World class. Like night and day with the Phantom. Ok on the freeway too.

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RE: Mass Transit Fans

Sun Jan 12, 2003 3:33 pm

I had the pleasure of using the MRT system in Taipei, Taiwan recently. Man what an efficient system!! Puts Calgary's LRT to shame!!

Here's some pics:
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RE: Mass Transit Fans

Sun Jan 12, 2003 4:19 pm

By the way, here's some North American transit bus manufacturer links:

DaimlerChrysler Commercial Buses North America
includes Orion, Thomas-Dennis, and Setra coaches

Thomas Bus
A couple other models are marketed seperately from DaimlerChrysler

Gillig Corperation

(I saw some of these electric buses/hybrid electrics in South Beach, Miami a little over a week ago)

Blue Bird (a subsidiary of Henlys PLC of the UK)

Chance Coach

Thor Industries
includes ElDorado National and Champion (these aren't very well regarded by drivers)

Dupon Trolley

Goshen Coach

Neoplan USA

Final Assembly of Hungarian buses, think Ikarus. Miami-Dade has some of these.

New Flyer

NovaBus is owned by Prevost (of motorcoach fame) which is in turn owned by both Volvo and Henleys. NovaBUS was the last manufacturer of the RTS. The Roswell, NM plant was shut down within the last year or two.

These are all of the majors and some minors.

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NYC A Variety Of Buses...

Sun Jan 12, 2003 5:12 pm

late 1950's-1981 Mostly Fishbowls from GM and Flxible.

1980-1981 new Grumman busses arive and quickly have problems; rear frames and engiine mounts crcking due to our horrible streets, not poor design. Taken out of serivce, and busses "borrowed" from Washington DC take over until newly ordered GMC RTS II's arrive. Most of the Grummans went to other municipalities including Los Angeles where they lasted for many many years. some also went to South America.

1982- GMC RTS II's are phased in and become the majority of the fleet.

1974 - First express routes from outer bourougs begins ewith GMC fishbowls with "plush interiors" -mailny vinlyl covered coach style eats installed in regular models with center door retained.

1987-1995 Fishbowls continue on express routes only and the ones that did remain were completedly "d-checked" if you will by Blitz with complete overhauls, new interiros etc.

1983 - MC-8's used in experiment for express busses to and from Staten Island to NYC as a study which lasted about two years. MC-8's were not used again.

1995 - all fishbowls phased out of. RTS buses Nova GMC et al) are primary busses in fleet.

1995 (?) - articulated Orion (?) buses used on some very high density routes in midtown, still in fleet.

1995 (?) first Orion VI's enter fleet; in standard configuration on local routes in manhattan and with coach seats (again, center dorr retained) on express routes from Staten Island (mainly to replace the Blitz rehabbed fishbowls on these routes) Of note Staten Isalnd is now a majority Orion territory with the RTS's being phased out in the area.

1996 Nova RTS busses in Express configuration added to fleet-notable for two reasons 1) began use of cloth seats as opposed to vinyl covering for entore fleet standard. 2) suppossedly these express busses were used during the Olympics in Atlanta before NYC transit scheme added.

1998 - Natural gas powered Orion VI's ordered and used in Brooklyn local routes only from the "Jackie Gleason" depot exclusively - the only garage equipped to refuel natural gas busses.

1999 - MCI Coaches enter service on Staten Isalnd-NYC express routes all equipped as motor coaches less the toilet compartment and with a center mounted (and grossly inefficent) wheel chair lift (similar to the ones used in Dallas's DART System)

2000 - New Flyer "low floor" busses enter fleet in Brooklyn all natural gas powered and again only from routes originating from the "Jackie gleason" depot, about 200 of them. Same configuration as those used by the Port Authority at JFK, excpeting the NAtural Gas power.

2000 - MCI Coaches in express configuration same spec as those in Staten Island take over express routes from Brooklyn and exclusive only to the Ulmer Park depot.

2003 current fleet is mostly RTS's of various manufacture, with the MCI's New Flyers and Orions as listed.

Several buses lost in the 9/11 disaster including several MCI's which were destroyed in the debris fall in front of the Century 21 Department store.

(thanks to a friend Joe, who's a driver at the Ulmer park depot for the list)

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RE: Mass Transit Fans

Sun Jan 12, 2003 5:17 pm

I`m also interested by mass transit systems. The most fascinating are the 100 year old ones like New York City, Paris, London and Berlin. Moscow subway was very cool I must say. Mainly I`m interested in mass transit rails of any kind, not in buses.

Here in Munich we have one of the younger systems of rail transit, creating it started for the 1972 Olympic games, so the first subway line was opened in 1971. Since then there are many stations around and new ones are opened every two to three years. Here`s a plan including the subway (called U-Bahn for underground train in German, lines U1 - U8) and the suburban metro (light rail, called S-Bahn for "Schnellbahn"=fast train, lines S1 -S8, S20, S27) that serves an area from MUC Int`l Airport 35km to the north of the city to some lakes in the pre-alpine area some 40km south of the city.

If it doesn`t work, copy it into your browser`s window or check, you find an English option of the front page.

Besides the subway and the suburban metro there are tramways, very light trains running on the street. A very old system powered by horses some 120 years ago, but all new and modern today, operating on grass covered tracks widely, except in the city center. These are not included in the first map, you`ll find them here:

There are many options for plans on the page I posted, if you`re interested, check it out. General city info can be found on, English available.

All in all we have a very good and modern system here, I think one of the best in Europe, if you see Munich is a city of only 1.3 million people in the city, about 2.0 million in the closer urban area. If you ever come over here, you`ll not need a car if you want to see anything in the city and it`s closer area. -> For the guys interested in having some beers sometimes Big grin Octoberfest can be found at subway U4, U5, station "Theresienwiese" and subway U3, U6 "Goetheplatz", just in case....  Innocent


RE: Mass Transit Fans

Sun Jan 12, 2003 6:03 pm


Did you see my thread on our new Millenium Trains? The virtual tour is really great.

Our mass transit providers are the following: (Sydney Australia)

Cityrail: Interesting Statistics (taken from the website)

The Citryail network is one of the world's most complex. It involves the operation of 2,900 services to carry nearly 1 million passengers to and from 306 stations daily. The radial nature of the network itself makes the task of moving this number of people to and from work a real challenge.

Everyday CityRail operates a fleet of 1,458 carriages over 2,060kms of track controlled by over 2,500 signals.

Fleet types and list:

Sydney Buses: (from the website)

Sydney Buses is one of the largest Bus Companies in the world! This means we have one the largest and most sophisticated Fleets, comprising in excess of 1,740 individual buses. Please feel free to wander around our Fleet Pages and see for yourself.

Fleet types and list:

1: Mercedes Benz Mk2 School Bus
2: Mercedes Benz Mk2
3: Mercedes Benz Mk3
4: Mercedes Benz Articulated Bus
5: Mercedes Benz Mk4
6: Mercedes Benz Mk5
7: Mercedes Benz Mk5 2 Door Semi-Coach
8: Mercedes Benz Mk4 1 Door Semi-Coach
9: Mercedes Benz Mk5 1 Door Semi-Coach
10:Mercedes Benz Diesohol Bus
11:Mercedes Benz Mk5 Tram Bus
12:Mercedes Benz Mk5 CNG Bus
13:MAN Bus (Willoughby)
14:MAN Bus (Randwick)
15:Renault Bus
16:Mercedes Benz Mk6 Coach
17:Mercedes Benz Mk6 Airport Bus
18:Mercedes Benz Mk6 Airport Express
19:Mercedes Benz Mk6 PMC 160 Explorer
20:Scania CNG Bus (SP)
21:Scania 14.5 M Bus (S1)
22:Scania CNG Bus (S2)
23:Scania Low Floor Bus (SL)
24:Scania Low Floor Bus (SL1)
25:Scania Low Floor Bus (SL1)
engine option DSC11-71 (EURO 1)
26:Scania Low Floor Bus (SL1)
27:MAN low floor Midi Bus (MB1)
28:Volvo low floor Bus (VL)
29:Mercedes Benz low floor Airport Bus (ML1)
30:Mercedes Benz Midi Airport Bus (MV)
31:Mercedes Benz 0405 CNG

Sydney Ferries:

Sydney ferries operates Rivercats, Supercats, Jetcats, Harbour Cats, Lady Class and Manly class ferries to a huge amount of destinations. [website has no technical information]

Metro Monorail:

Metro Monorail Trains
There are 6 trains in total, with 7 cars per train:
- 1 forward car (for the monorail driver)
- 1 rear car
- 5 passenger cars
Each car is equipped with a roof-mounted air-conditioner for passenger comfort
Interconnections between cars includes spherical joints to provide articulation, shock absorbers, and a pressure adjustable air spring
Train length is 32.1 metres
Train mass is 25 tonnes empty and 37 tonnes full
Train height is 2.6 metres
Maximum speed is 33km/h
Train travels in an anticlockwise direction completing a round trip in 12 minutes

Metro Monorail Capacity
Maximum carrying capacity of a monorail is 80 passengers
System maximum capacity is 5,000 passengers per hour
Metro Monorail Track
Track type is fabricated steel box section approximately 940 mm wide by 1050 mm high
Track length is 3.8 km
Track support is Universal Beams type 690UB125 and 760UB244
There are 140 support columns which vary in length between 3.2 metres and 15.3 metres

Metro Monorail Wheels

Each train is carried on 8 pairs of pneumatic rubber tyred wheels:
- one pair under the front of the forward car
- one pair under the back of the rear car
- one pair under each of the six interconnections between cars
The wheels under the interconnections between the cars are driven by individual 37kW DC electric variable speed thyristor controlled motors. The electric motors also control deceleration and stopping of the train. Parking and emergency braking is provided by electrically operated disc brakes.
Each pair of wheels is mounted on a bogie. The bogies are equipped with four side thrust guide wheels and four up-thrust g uide wheels, two on each side of the bogie. The side thrust guide wheels run against the side walls of the track, whilst the up-thrust guide wheels run against the underside of the top flange of the track.

Metro Monorail Power Supply

Power supply is11kV, transformed down to 525VAC onto the collector rails.
Power supply is distributed along the track over plastic sheathed aluminium collector rails fitted to the sides of the track.
Copper collector shoes on arms fitted to the rear bogie run inside the collector rails to draw off power for the propulsion system.

Metro Light rail:

Metro Light Rail Vehicles
There are 7 vehicles in total with 5 cars per vehicle
Each vehicle has a driving cab situated at each end
There are 3 doors on each side of the vehicle
Vehicle length is 29 metres
Vehicle width is 2.7 metres
Vehicle height is 3.4 metres (excluding pantograph)
Tare weight is 36.5 Tonnes
Floor height is 29 to 35cm
There are two air conditioning units per vehicle

Metro Light Rail Tracks, Rails and Voltage
Track length is 6.7km,1.5km of which is on street operation
Rails are standard gauge 1,435mm continuously welded 53kg/m, conventional ballasted
Minimum curve radius is 20 metres
Maximum track gradient is 1 in 11.8 (8.5%)
Overhead line voltage is 750 volts DC
Power supply is via two 5kv substations

View Inside LRV
LRV Drive Motor and Wheel

Metro Light Rail Capacity

Carrying capacity per vehicle is 217 (seating and standing)
Seating capacity is 74
Metro Light Rail Wheels and Traction
There are 12 wheels, 8 connected to traction motors.
Wheel diameter is 630mm.
There are 8 x 45kW AC traction motors providing:
- constant torque to 27 km/h
- constant power from 27km/h to 70km/h
There are two motor bogies and one trailer bogie per vehicle. There are 4 wheels per bogie, but unlike conventional bogies each wheel has its own axle. This is necessary for the low floor design. Seats are placed on the wheelboxes (area above the wheels) and the space between the wheelboxes is actually the floor of the vehicle.
Metro Light Rail Speed
Maximum speed is 80km/h (20km/h on street).
Maximum acceleration is 1.2 m/s/s.
Metro Light Rail Brakes and Grip
Brakes are electric and regenerative, if the line is receptive.
Additional brakes are fitted for parking and safety. These are mechanical spring applied and hydraulic pressure released.
Each vehicle is fitted with a 'sanding unit' that deposits fine sand particles on the rail surface during wet weather to aid grip. Sand application is driver controlled

Further to the Metro system:

Metro Monorail and Metro Light Rail are two very unique transport systems to Sydney and to Australia.

The Metro Light Rail is Sydney's newest transport system, which commenced operations in August 1997 and later extended to Sydney's inner west in August 2000. It is the environmentally sound transport system of the future. Safe, effcient and quiet, Metro Light Rail transports passengers quickly to key destinations around the city.

The Metro Monorail is one of only a few above ground rail systems in the world that operates through the heart of a major city. Opened in July 1988, the Monorail was a gift to Sydney in celebration of Australia's Bicentennial, and is now one of the most popular ways of getting about, moving over 4 million passengers per year.

Both transport systems are owned by Australian company, Metro Transport Sydney and are under a 7 year management contract to the world leading passenger transport operator, Connex.

If anyone would like the website links to these let me know.


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RE: Mass Transit Fans

Sun Jan 12, 2003 7:19 pm

I have a small interest in Seoul Subway. but that's it

The biggest mistake made by most human beings: Listening to only half, understanding just a quarter and telling double.
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RE: Mass Transit Fans

Sun Jan 12, 2003 8:57 pm

I Looooove Mass Transit I Have Schedules From Over 10 Us Cities And 1 Canada City I've Been On Most Forms Of It And I Love It
Very Big Fan Of BART, Tri-Met, San Diego Transit and OCTA, and The New Flyer D60LF  Big grin
Nicholas William Reed KSAN/KLAX/KSFO
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RE: Mass Transit Fans

Sun Jan 12, 2003 11:23 pm


See that's an interesting system the Iowa universities have set in place there. While the City of Gainesville owns and operates the bus network here, with a little reading you know that the university funds most of it through pre-paid student fares, and the off-campus routes go where the students and school need them to go. So I've always wondered why not hand over the campus shuttle to the school or go for joint operations? Maybe then we can get some decently maintained buses since the school is celebrating its 150th anniverssary and is spending $$$$$$ on a variety of projects.

The Orion buses we have are the worst things I have ever seen inside and out, with wheelchair modifications that I have yet to see used. They could easily have 1 or 2 minibuses and forget about modifying the main buses with lifts. The RTS's are in pretty bad shape and a contrast to the great ones off campus, and the Flxibles, well beiing aquamarine and purple, you want to shoot yourself for having to ride that.

Maybe its me but I think the 30-foot ones on campus are the funniest looking things I have ever seen, but they do have their uses since on the 2 main campus circulators, the streets around campus can be quite narrow, just 2 lanes (1 in each direction), and you can see the busses taking up a lot of room to make those turns.

With more direct school control, we could probably get better maintained buses, maybe even a few new ones, since the campus routes can become insanely congested. Either way they need to get their act together, because these busses are an eye-sore and in deplorable condition for a university like this and the opportunity to have student jobs with a joint operated city-university campus network would also help alleviate (in a small way) the work shortage for students.

Hopefully they take my suggestion to at least paint the bloodythings and look at their interiors, the students hate them.
fuddle duddle
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RE: Mass Transit Fans

Sun Jan 12, 2003 11:23 pm

I love mass-transit as well, here in the Netherlands we have a big diversity in all forms of mass-transit from local busses to very modern subway and light-rail lines. My personal favorites:

Amsterdam public transport
I'm kinda raised with most of the forms of public transport in Amsterdam, especially with the tram and subway

Some Amsterdam tram pictures, from "brand new" to "golden oldie" (still in service!):

Amsterdam subway pictures, there are 4 lines, and 3 different train models:

Arnhem public transport
There are no trams or subways in my hometown Arnhem, my city is just too small for that  Sad , but since the end of World War II, we have a reliable and good tram and regular bus alternative; Arnhem is since a long time the only city left in the Netherlands with the Trolleybus! Something I am very proud of Big grin

There are 4 lines linking the city centre and Central Station of Arnhem with the busiest suburbs, the lines are color-coded; line 1 is yellow, line 3 is green, line 5 is red and line 7 is purple.

Arnhem Trolleybus pictures, the 4 lines and the bus types:
Line 1

Line 3

Line 5 (The line I have to take to work every day Big grin)

Line 7

Trolleybus map of Arnhem

Other mass-transit interests, but not as big as the Amsterdam and Arnhem public transport:

Rotterdam Subway

London Underground and the Docklands Light Railway

 Big thumbs up


Danny (KL713)

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RE: Mass Transit Fans

Mon Jan 13, 2003 12:04 am

Whilst I am not a fan of Busses etc, I do enjoy riding the train (normally because I am going to see family), and sometimes even coaches.

I'll agree that the London Underground is pretty cool, as well as the system in Sydney, nice and interesting but nothing compares to Aviation!!


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RE: Mass Transit Fans

Mon Jan 13, 2003 12:16 am

In New Jersey we have the Hudson/Bergen Light rail,

New Jersey Transit's commuter rail system that connects to NY Penn, Hoboken, Atlantic City and Philadelphia.

Newark City Subway,

PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson),

Septa (South East Pensylvania transit authority),


Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
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RE: Mass Transit Fans

Mon Jan 13, 2003 3:00 am

BART-Bay Area Rapid Transit.

San Francisco Municipal Railway.

Buses (trollybus and deisel/natural gas):

E800 Trollybus

NABI 416

New Flyer E60 trollybus
Get your patchouli stink outta my store!
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RE: Mass Transit Fans

Mon Jan 13, 2003 3:19 am

I sometimes use the mass transit to get to work, mostly when I would get into the rush hour if I would take the car.

Frankfurt Mass Transit:


Straßenbahn(Tram) (inner city train):

Currently on order, delivery starting in 2004:


S-Bahn: (Schnellbahn, fast train connecting the surrounding towns)


New, first trains have just arrived (Pics are from Hannover, train is the same)
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RE: Mass Transit Fans

Mon Jan 13, 2003 5:08 am

I always try to use public/mass transit when I go to other cities. I can't wait to go back to YVR and use the new light rail line. PDX is still building Yellow Line north to Expo Center. I have several transit websites bookmarked. C-TRAN, Tri-Met, Metro, and BC Transit.
Patriotic and Proud Liberal
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RE: Mass Transit Fans

Mon Jan 13, 2003 6:49 am


It would probably take a coup to change the makeup of the transit network. The existing system is probably locked in with union contracts and all of that b.s.

It doesn't seem fair that the university areas get shafted with the crappy equipment and service. You could start to raise some hell with letters to the editor of the student newspaper and even the local paper. You could also talk to your student government and officials of your university's parking and transportation department or equivalent. The city transit system also probably has a board of directors that hold public meetings and you could go raise some more hell there. Also if a bus is late or whatever, be sure to call up and complain all the time just to piss them off.

I'd try to find out as much as you can about the transit sytem and the funding structure. Find out how the funding makes it way from the students to the transit system.

Also find out about other university owned and student operated systems. There are a lot of links on the CyRide site. The main advantage of those type of systems is the cost savings. Students work part time around their class schedules. They aren't unionized, aren't full time, have no benefits, and don't make as much as their counterparts at typical municipal bus systems. But they don't care because it's a cool job that is flexible around their schedules. It generally pays better than most other student work and they don't need benefits because most people are covered by their parents' insurance, etc..

Get a big arsenal built up to back up your arguement. If the city's bus system is really leeching off of the students, that's not fair. Start to be a thorn in their side and see what happens. If you're real passionate, you could start a student group that could do all kinds of stuff.

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RE: Mass Transit Fans

Mon Jan 13, 2003 7:36 am

Well if I remember correctly, each student pays about $2 per credit hour that is paid by the school to the transit authority. That's about $1.35 million right off the bat for 70-odd busses, and 18 off campus routes. The system records about 43,000 passenger boardings each day in a city of 90,000-100,000.

They are also responsible for 8 on campus routes; several circulators, park-n-ride shuttles, and some special connections to the far-flung campus areas. This is where my gripe come in. The buses they dictate to campus routes are a several aging Orion I's in poor condition, several RTS-series buses which I assume are early models since they have ripped dark faux-leather seats, and horrible wood-panel interiors, and 2 Flxible's that are aquamarine and purple. The other buses are either white or a horrible 70's looking faded orange stripe.

Now this is a school with funding and grants that easily fly past 10-figures, and we have the ugliest campus buses I have ever seen. Off-capus, the system is a dream, with freshly painted, well-maintained buses, some of the best I have ever seen. Now you'd think that such a school like this would spend a bit to have a proper campus bus fleet that is not an eye-sore where visitors and students alike go "ewwwwwww". Other, smaller campus have better maintained fleets. It should be little trouble for the university and the transit authority to either overhaul and paint the current buses, or invest in newer, used, well-maintained buses from another area. Heck, Regional Transit System just bought a dozen or so used buses from Broward County Transit for $40,000 each according to the paper (hope to G-d not the Flxibles!).

There's no excuse, especially since according to what I've read University money and student money helped expand this system from a laughable, practically non-existant entity to what it is today in about 5 years.
fuddle duddle
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RE: Mass Transit Fans

Mon Jan 13, 2003 7:50 am

PS- you can .pdf copies of their annual report here probably explains their system better than I can
fuddle duddle
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RE: Mass Transit Fans

Mon Jan 13, 2003 11:21 am

I'd get a digital camera and go take a bunch of pictures to prove you point. If you really wanted to do something about it, I would go the student group/student government route first. Surely there would be at least a couple other students and supportive faculty members.

Remember that the people who make these decisions (the school administration) are the ones with the coveted reserved parking spaces. They don't ride the buses. Let 'em know!
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RE: Mass Transit Fans

Mon Jan 13, 2003 11:30 am

Well I've asked around, and frankly no one cares because its free. I did send out some e-mails to important people, maybe someone will get the idea.
fuddle duddle
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RE: Mass Transit Fans

Tue Jan 14, 2003 1:32 am

Interesting information on the mass transit in Sydney by the way....I'm looking forward to enjoy all forms of public transport in Sydney when I will be there upcoming summer..... Big grin
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RE: Mass Transit Fans

Tue Jan 14, 2003 3:53 am


Interesting detailed info you gave there, perhaps I should answer in kind:

The STM (societe de Transport de Montreal/Montreal Transit Corp.) operates a fleet of about 1,740 busses as well to serve an greater area of 3.5 million people, 1.5 of which are concentrated in the central area served by the metro if I remember correctly. The bus fleet is made up of mostly MCI/NovaBus Classics and Novabus LFS with the very rare old GMC New Look and about 80 minibuses for disabled transportation since over half of the bus fleet and the entire metro network is not wheelchair accessable. The Metro network is 4 lines with 65 stations and 66km of tracks. There are 759 cars that can make about 84 full sized trains. In addition, there are 5 commuter train lines serving the outlying communities.

The entire system records about 1.23 million commutes each day, that's about 35% of the entire greater area's population or 82% of the population living in the area directly served by the metro.

The Metro itself transports about 600,000 people each day. It is one of the largest, completely rubber-tyred systems in the world, and also I believe is the largest single-tunnel system, since the all the tracks are laid in the same tunnel next to each other instead of in individual tunnels for each track.

The lines are identified by color (green, orange, blue, and yellow). The green and orange lines are the main ones, running the full 9-car trains, and the yellow and blue ones are feeder lines running 3 to 6 car trains depending on the time of day. Headway during rush hour can be as low as 2-3 minutes between trains.

As mentioned before the trains typically are 9 cars long, consisting of 3 sets of a trailer between 2 powered cars. The total length is 152 metres, and holds 1,200 people.

There are two types of trains, the MR-63 or Vickers, which were the original cars when the system opened and have sinced been refurbished, and the newer MR-73 cars which have all the latest technology that has since become standard in other subways.

The rubber wheels, while more expensive to maintain than traditional steel wheels have many advantages:

-Transfer less vibration to the buildings above
-Faster, and smoother breaking/acceleration
-Smoother ride for passengers
-Can climb steep hills without losing speed
-Allow for a typical speed of 72 km/hr

There are 4 main tyres to a bogie (2/car), with 4 horizontal guide wheels that run along guide bars and steer the train, and 4 emergency steel wheels that will connect to a standard-gauge railroad track in case of a blowout also guide the train over switches.

Also, the newer MR-73 trains are equiped with a power-chopper system that releases the 750 volts required to move the train in 3 stages to ensure smooth acceleration and as a result, the trains don't jerk and jostle around the they initially pick up speed. This system prodices a distinctive 3 note musical piece as the trains accelerate. Personally I've found the sound is stongest if youre sitting over the wheels of the powered cars. I think it's pretty cool. There is also a system calle TeleCite that displays ads, weather and news on 3 color LED displays in the cars that also announce the next stop, current station the train is arriving in, and connecting bus information. All this is completely automated.

Both Trains are completely automated systems that carry an operator for safety should an emergency arise, and to operate the doors. That's basically their only job, to open the doors when the train stops, and then to close them at which point the train will automatically depart. Although some will operate their trains on manual, it frequent to see the operators eating, reading, or catching a light nap (only saw that maybe 10 times in 10 years) as the train does the work.

There are 4 garages to service the trains, one of the largest being about 25-30 metres wide and 250 metres long that can hold 16 full trains.

To date there have only been 3 accidents, 1 carsh that happened after hours and killed an operator and 2 fires that cause no fatalities.The system has been in operation since 1966.

Currently there are expansion projects going with 3 stations being added to the orange line, and extensions under study for the blue and yellow lines.

some more pics:

Inside an MR-63:


MR-73 wheels:



Monk w/ MR-63:


The best Montreal Metro fan site:
Another great one (French):
also good:

I borrowed some photos from each.

fuddle duddle
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RE: Mass Transit Fans

Wed Jan 15, 2003 5:56 pm

Sorry about my delay in posting on this thread but yes, I love things which move and carry a lot of people, too!

The best underground system I have used (I'm probably a bit biased because I'm of Czech origin) is the Prague Metro. Clean, fast, efficient, easy to navigate and change lines. Infinitely better and friendlier than Rome's metropolitana on which I had a few rides in November, for example.

This is Zelivskeho on Line A, the station I used to get in at every morning (that's where my cousin's flat, at which I was staying for a few days in summer, is):

Mustek, changing point between lines A and B:

Hlavni Nadrazi, the main railway station, on line C:

I'm starting to realize how wonderful it would be if we had something like this here in Malta. One line would be enough for me right now: Cirkewwa (Gozo ferry) to Malta International Airport via Sliema and Valletta  Laugh out loud

Another aspect of mass transport which I L-O-V-E  Love  Love  Love are the three new Maltese-built ferries which Gozo Channel Co. Ltd. now operates between Mgarr [imm JAR], Gozo and Cirkewwa [chirr KEHW ah], Malta. The newest and biggest is the Malita of which I'm posting a picture (my own) below. It can take up to 138 cars and 900 passengers and I think it surely lives up to the description of mass transport vehicle because many commuters make use of the Gozo-Malta ferry service every day.

If anyone wants to talk ferries, I'm the person to talk to!
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RE: Mass Transit Fans

Wed Jan 15, 2003 7:53 pm

In Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom, we have a mixture of heavy rail services, light rail services and buses.

The services are run by a combination of NEXUS - the local passenger transport authority - and local bus companies.


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RE: Mass Transit Fans

Thu Jan 16, 2003 1:40 pm

I'm a huge transit fan, rail in particular. DART in Dallas, Americas newest light rail system is doing excellent and in the next 10 years it should cover much of the city. We also have comuter rail between Dallas and Ft. Worth and soon there will be a connection up to Denton. I also love intercity rail, or Amtrak. I am a member of the National Association of Rail Passengers where we promote passenger rail service in America. Right now our main goal is saving Amtrak.

Ride Amtrak!
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RE: Mass Transit Fans

Fri Jan 17, 2003 11:37 am

In my town we do have a few SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority) train stations and bus stations,nothing extensive though, I havent taken public transportation here in about 3 years or so...maybe 10 times my entire life....

However, outside of my hometown Ive had some experiences with public transportation...

The NY Subway was horrendous...when I was 5 I took it for the first time and got scared out of my willies when they made me move from one car to another car while the train was moving...and the gap between cars was both open and quite large for a 5 year olds legs...very scary...I never took the NY subway after that again..

However, onto my interesting public transportation stories...

In Quepos, Costa Rica, there is a small bus service running between the town (a popular vacation spot) and nearby Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio...the buses painted blue!

When I was in England this October, the town I stayed in was pretty much rural...the city of Derby was nearby but its not a terribly huge city...the public transportation there was amazing...buses and trains going all over the rural countryside, and modern too...I was astonished...


Chief college football stadium self-pic guru
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RE: Mass Transit Fans

Sat Jan 18, 2003 11:49 am

Adding to my previous post:
For whatever reason, we avoided the subways in Rome, although we did take the bus into the city from our hotel (Holiday Inn near FCO). They were less than spectacular.

We also took the CAT in Las Vegas this summer. It was pretty nice, although a guy got pissed at the driver one night & was cussing out people on the bus. The driver stopped the bus & the guy argued with her, giving up when she called the cops on him.

Has anybody taken Seattle's monorail? I did when I was 7 & thought it was cool. Surprised nobody's brought that up yet!

Someone said they were pickpocketed on a subway- my dad was pickpocketed on the Mexico City subway.

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RE: Mass Transit Fans

Sat Jan 18, 2003 12:47 pm

I took the subway and commuter rail in Rome and thought it was alright.
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RE: Mass Transit Fans

Sun Jan 19, 2003 6:18 am

Rome's Linea B is okay - roomy, not crowded, fast and convenient. Linea A, or rather the short part of it which I managed to see, was disgusting. Very deep under the ground, way too crowded and one train followed another by about a minute, with the previous train stopping inside a tunnel. Could have created a dangerous situation!
Perhaps my biggest complaint is that my dad had a lot of money stolen from him, somewhere on Linea A between Termini and Barberini.
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RE: Mass Transit Fans

Sun Jan 19, 2003 6:40 am



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