The procurement of 40 new diesel-electric hybrid buses will allow the MBTA to retire buses purchased in 1994 and 1995. The new buses will be manufactured by New Flyer in St. Cloud, Minnesota, with production starting later this summer. All 40 buses will be in service by February 2015. The Board also moved to execute a contract with CAF USA, Inc. to furnish and deliver the ninth generation of Green Line vehicles to support the Green Line Extension project. The procurement of these 24 vehicles will also help to improve service reliability on the entire Green Line system.
“The Board’s approval to purchase 40 new buses and build 24 new Green Line cars underscores the commitment MassDOT and the MBTA have to upgrading its aging fleet,” said MassDOT Secretary & CEO Richard A. Davey. “These new buses and cars will provide safer, more comfortable, accessible and environmentally-friendly public transportation to the millions of customers the MBTA serves each day.”
The new Green Line cars will provide a modern and comfortable passenger experience and feature dynamic computer controlled lighting, heating, and cooling technologies for greater passenger comfort, satisfaction, and ride quality. They will be designed to meet the latest ADA requirements with 70 percent of the car being low-floor, with four wheelchair/stroller locations as well as four “perch” seats in the center section. In addition, accessible features will be laid out symmetrically and all priority seats will have space underneath to accommodate service animals and/or other mobility equipment. Passengers will also notice greatly improved signage and displays for better service information including audible locator tones for each entry location and ambient noise compensation for automatic audio announcements. Safety features of the new vehicles will include the incorporation of crash energy management features and an internal and external video recording system covering the passenger compartment, doorways and the right-of-way.
CAF will utilize two locations to complete this order, using its facility in Spain to manufacture the shells and frames with final assembly and testing to occur at its manufacturing plant located in Elmira, New York in full compliance with Buy America regulations. The cost of the 24 new Green Line vehicles is expected to be $118 million, with approximately half of the funding expected to come from a Federal Transit Administration New Start grant. The new Green Line cars will be delivered between the end of 2017 and the end 2018. Later this year, the Board is expected to award a contract for 74 new Red Line cars and 152 new Orange Line cars.
The order for 40 new buses will allow the MBTA to replace the oldest buses in the revenue fleet, which also require the most maintenance resources; these new buses will improve service availability and reduce maintenance costs. In addition, the hybrid propulsion system will reduce operating costs and vehicle emissions, as well as provide significant savings in fuel consumption. The new hybrid buses will incorporate the MBTA’s latest security systems and will be compliant with the latest EPA standards. The new buses will feature a revised seating layout to allow for more standing space on the low floor level and easier passenger maneuvering.
“Our buses are the ‘work horses’ of our fleet,” said MBTA General Manager Dr. Beverly A. Scott. “Acquiring 40 new buses that will provide greater reliability and availability to the almost 400,000 bus customers we serve each day is a great step in improving overall transit access and performance.”
The new buses will be purchased through an agreement with the State of Connecticut, utilizing options in a contract they currently have with New Flyer that will enable the MBTA to purchase the vehicles at a lower price. The total cost for this procurement is expected to be $37,891,823, with 80 percent of funding coming from Federal grants.
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