Well as many of you probably read, my travels last week took me to Reno and Miami. Here I will go over my experiences with both cities and their transit systems and how they compare to the UTA.
The first bus I took in Reno was route 9 which had a 40-foot TMC RTS bus number 472. The RTS is one of the best buses you can ride, far superior to the low floor buses that we are now subjected to (I don't have a problem with low floor buses themselves, it's just that every model I have ridden is a rattle piece of junk).
Route 9 travels from Downtown to the Meadowood Mall. The bus mainly travels through older neighborhoods many of them looking run down. In fact, in my travels through Reno there was only two types of neighborhoods in Reno: Old run down and suburban sprawl.
The bus remained fairly full all the way to the mall. In fact I was originally going to ride route 6 but that bus was standing room only with a 30-foot bus.
Once at Meadowood Mall I transferred to Route 56, with RTS number 471. In fact this was the same 30-foot bus that I passed up in Downtown on the 6 line.
The 56 mainly travels through new office parks, a new "premium" factory outlet center, small industrial and finally new apartment complexes. I then got off the 56 at South Meadows and Double R to catch the 57. I walked around the area taking some pictures and then caught the 57 which turned out to be the same bus as the 56. Apparently on Saturdays the bus runs route 6, route 56, route 57 and then return on route 6 to Downtown.
Once again the 57 went through mainly new office parks and new suburban sprawl housing. Once it becomes the 6 route you encounter mainly older homes all but about 2 blocks looks run down.
Here is the back of bus 471 after it dropped me off in Downtown Reno. Once here the bus switches from Route 6 to Route 19.
Reno has also purchased the Gillig Advantage BRT buses. What is a BRT Bus? Well in other words they are the Gillig Advantages like UTA purchased in 1999 and 2001 but with new nose and tail caps, seamless window sills, and supposedly more passenger friendly. UTA bought the same buses for Ogden this year and they are basically just like the older Advantages: rattletraps and junk since three 0f them I rode in Ogden had mechanical problems including a one with brake issues (a brand new bus with brake problems?)
This is Reno's downtown transit center. Look at this, that's right, timed transfers!!! Sadly Reno has fallen into the same anti-passenger wrap trap.
Another feature run by Reno is a free shuttle called the Sierra Spirit that runs from the downtown area to University of Nevada. The buses run every 10-minutes from 7:00am to 9:00pm seven days a week. They also feature free Wi-Fi service that sadly the main hotels do not offer.
This gives you a preview of the Reno system and in my next entry I will go over what Reno does better than UTA and is there anything that UTA does better? Stay tuned to find out...