Friday, August 2, 2013

'13! '13! '13!

I finally rode a '13 bus.  The facts of the case are these:

  • '13's are just like '12's on the inside.
  • '13's smell like new buses.  The smell was not as strong on this particular bus as it has been on other buses in the past, but it was definitely still there.  That is, until a thoroughly unwashed man got on and sat down in front of me.  The two smells kind of cancelled each other out.  Almost.
  • The writing on the front header seems to be the same as on the '09 through '12 buses; that is, sometimes really big and sometimes really small, to wit:
220 TO

9400 S 2000 E


  • The steering wheel is very small compared to other buses, more like the size of a car steering wheel.  Maybe that's nice.  Personally I would probably find it disorienting to switch steering wheel sizes if I were a bus driver, but since I'm extremely unlikely ever to be a bus driver (it would involve driving all day long, for instance), we'll just have to wonder about how I would react to the steering wheel being smaller on a '13 bus than on older buses.
  • I heard somewhere that the '13's were supposed to have room for three bikes on the front instead of two.  I totally forgot to check.
  • I have seen several other '13's putting around downtown, and my brain can't reconcile the difference between them and the '10 hybrids until they've turned the corner and I can see them from the side.  It's driving me nuts.
  • The brakes on a '13 are newer, and hence grabbier, than on any other buses. It was okay when we were pulling into a stop, but we got cut off once and the driver had to slam on the brakes.  We were all almost unseated.
  • I have yet to determine whether the exhaust smells different, due to being CNG-powered and such.  Let's be honest, it's not something I would go out of my way to check.  ***SNIFFFFF***
And with that visual in your head, it's time to go to bed.


  1. I rode 13001 two weeks ago. Like, three days after it entered service. OH MAN ALIVE. The smell. It was overpowering. It was much, much stronger than the new bus smell I encountered with the '12s. I distinctly remember being twenty minutes into my ride and still not being used to this '13 smell. . . And having another twenty minutes to go. At least in the '12s it took only a few minutes before your nasal passages got accustomed to it. I exited the 470 with a rather nauseous headache. (Doesn't that just sound exceedingly unpleasant?)

    But then I rode 13002 today. This was also the third or fourth day it entered service. And yet. . . the smell was nowhere near as pungent, or nausea-inducing. So, there's that.

    Other things I noticed (I was saving the dashes for December change day, so I present to you angle brackets):
    > Is it just me, or has the rattle been mitigated?
    > The, um, interior front wheel covers—let's go with that—are gray in the '13s, as opposed to black in other buses (I want to say that the '99s and/or the '01s share this characteristic).
    > On top of the right wheel cover there's some sort of red box with something inside. I totally ascertained what that was today but I've already forgotten.
    > The speedometer and other measurements are digital. Talk about flousy.
    > The '13s definitely have three-bike racks. They don't allow for ads to be placed on the front of buses.
    > It seems that they accelerate more slowly than regular diesel buses.

    I'm guessing that the '13s will replace the Central Garage '99s soon. I don't know how else they'll make room for the new buses.

    1. - I noticed that the bus was not very rattly when I rode it, but it could just be because it's new. I'm not holding my breath . . .
      - I thought the interiors were the same between the '12's and the '13's, but now I need to check the front wheels. And I didn't even see the red box. I was too worried about the seats being small. I guess there's always next time.
      - I know the speedo and other dials in the cab of an S-70 train car are all digital; maybe the bus drivers got jealous. Also, I just had to look up "flousy;" you win--this time.
      - Does this finally mean the end of the '99's? Maybe at Central, though I'm sure they will linger elsewhere until at least next year. And then there's the '01's . . . I think I may go the way of all the earth before all the '01's do.

    2. I remember the '12s being rattle-traps from the beginning, but who knows if I'm remembering correctly. For what it's worth, it seems like, to reduce rattle, some sort of diagonal bar was added to the plexiglass that separates the entryway and the seating area. (That was probably the most abysmal way of describing it. Guess my bus interior vocabulary just isn't up to par.)

      And I had to Google "flousy" (stellar word, I know) just to make sure you were getting the definition that I had in mind. Oh dear. . . If you got it from Urban Dictionary, be assured I was referencing the second listing. Not the first.

    3. Oh, Urban Dictionary. Don't worry; there was no confusion there, as I've never considered any UTA bus, let alone the instruments on the dash of a UTA bus, to be whorish; also, I think that first definition should actually be for "floozy," unless you are pronouncing it Frenchly. Of course, if I were to add "Urban Dictionary Police" to my list of titles, I wouldn't have time for much else.

    4. I just laughed at everything about this comment. Good on ya.

  2. I just saw my first '13 on route 517 today. It had a three-bike rack on front. Here's what they look like, although this rack was mounted on the back of a UTA van:

    1. Very nice. I'm curious to see how it looks with bikes on it. It looks like the offset makes the rack a little shorter, but maybe it's bigger than it looks.