So, what will be the future for the 300 series buses and remaining 400 series buses?

In an email I got from Andrew De Garmo (posted in this thread), he confirmed that the new 800-series New Flyer DE40LFR buses will replace some of the 400-series buses, except on a few routes such as the D-Ride and possibly a few others. He also confirmed that the buses will be based at the Yale Transit Faciltiy. As a side note, he said that the city was considering basing them at the Daytona Transit Facility, however, they decided against the idea due to the fact that it would result in longer deadheads for some routes.

So, we now have official confirmation that ABQ RIDE will be replacing some of the 400-series buses. I am thinking that most routes that currently get 400s will soon get 800s. A few commuter routes that get 300s may also be shifted to 800s to right-size capacity on the routes where a 400 is too small.

So, I was wondering, what will be the future for the 300-series buses then? The 300s have reached their 12-year mark. However, because they are high-floor, they are able to hold more seats than a 700 or 800 series bus. However, high-floor buses are going by the wayside. New Flyer recently introduced a new 40-foot low-floor bus product known as the Xcelsior, which offers more capacity and weighs 10% less. ABQ RIDE currently has options for 68 40-foot New Flyer hybrid buses, although I don't know if ABQ RIDE will be able to use the options to buy some Xcelsior buses.

For the replacement of the remaining 400-series buses (such as those on the D-Ride), I am wondering what will be the eventual plans. New Flyer's 30-foot buses only have one door as the elevated rear section is the same size as it is on their 40-foot counterparts. An alternative would be some 31-foot Gillig BRT Hybrid buses, which have a proportionately smaller elevated rear section than New Flyer's 30 foot buses. Another more lightweight medium-duty alternative more similar to the 400-series buses would be the Optima Opus Hybrid, however, it uses an ISE-Thundervolt series hybrid drivetrain rather than an Allison parallel hybrid drivetrain.

So, does anyone have any thoughts?

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Replies to This Discussion

I think the city will sooner or later replace the 300's with DE40LFR's. I also think a good replacement for the 400 series buses would be the D30LFR. The 400's are so short that you can only fit 4 seats between each door and walking from one end of the bus to the other doesn't take that long. I know drivers don't like not having two doors but people exit from the front anyway so I don't think it would matter, plus with only one door you can fit more people. I just hope they order at least 20 of whatever they get to replace the remaining 400's so they can create new routes that wold require a short bus to be used like the proposed Uptown Get Around.
Perhaps you have a point, but as I said, the reason why the 30-foot New Flyer buses have only one door is because their elevated rear section is the same size as on their 40-foot counterparts, which is much larger than the elevated rear section on the 400-series buses. I don't really know how many more seats they can fit vs. a 31-foot Gillig BRT or an Optima Opus 30-foot bus.

If you were wondering about the New Flyer Xcelsior, here is a brocure below:

I think the Xcelsior would be a good replacement for the 300s. It weighs 10% less than the DE40LFR, resulting in even better fuel economy, and can fit three more seats. Other unique features include LED headlights, soft LED interior lighting, and "skylight" rooftop emergency exits.
I would love to see the Xcelsior driving down ABQ streets but I found another option. Remember the DE40LF's you told me about that SEPTA got with the roof mounted HVAC and batteries? Well they are actually DE41LF's and I do believe New Flyer makes an "R" version of that bus. That might also be a good replacement for the 300's plus it might have the rear window option as you said.

You can see it here:
Actually, as far as I know, the DE41LFR does not actually hold more seats than the DE40LFR. The extension is caused by a rearrangement of the hybrid components. I believe the Xcelsior is actually 41 feet long as well.

Speaking of this, on a transit forum known as CPTDB, I was told by a user that he saw one of ABQ RIDE's new 800-series DE40LFRs in New Flyer's latest calendar, and he said that it had a single rooftop enclosure housing both the batteries and the HVAC unit. This is how Seattle's new DE60LFs are, where there two rooftop enclosures (one on each section of the bus) that house both of the HVAC units and the batteries, but yet again, they still lack rear windows. The user made no mention if the ABQ RIDE bus he saw in the calendar had a rear window or not.

Here is a link to the thread here. It is on the fourth post in the thread:


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