Contracts with Gillig and New Flyer Could be Worth $347 Million,
MTS Will Be Able to Retire Its Last Diesel and Establish BRT Routes
The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System board has voted to buy as many as 350 CNG-fueled 40-foot low-floor buses by Gillig and up to 165 New Flyer 60-foot low-floor articulated CNG buses through 2017. “The total value of the contracts, if all options are exercised and future funding is available, is in excess of $343 million,” MTS said.
“This is significant for MTS in many ways,” MTS CEO Paul Jablonski said in a release. “This puts us on pace to retire the last of our diesel buses from our urban fleet by the end of our contracts. It allows us to launch with SANDAG new Bus Rapid Transit Service in 2014.
“It is also significant to the people of our state,” Jablonski said, “as more than half of this contract will be spent with Gillig, which manufactures buses in Hayward, California.”
MTS says it will take delivery of 50 of the new 40-foot Gillig buses in 2013 and that it anticipates that “at least 50 additional buses will be ordered over the following four years for a total of 250 40-foot buses.” They will replace buses that have reached the end of their useful lives. An option provides for as many as 100 more.
Lincoln and Worthington-SCI for the Fuel Tanks
The Gillig buses include on-board video surveillance inside and outside the vehicle, new wheelchair restraint systems, disk brakes, compressed natural gas tanks with 20-year lifespans, and enhanced cooling systems, MTS says. They have CNG tanks by Worthington-SCI in rooftop assemblies by Agility Fuel Systems.
Funding for the Gillig buses is from federal dollars allocated to transit agencies for capital improvement projects, MTS notes, pegging total value of the contract with Gillig, if options are exercised, at $184 million. The contract includes $100,000 for spare parts.
The first 47 of the 60-foot New Flyer articulated buses will be delivered by early 2014. “These buses, along with 25 buses delivered in fiscal 2015, will be purchased via SANDAG (the San Diego Association of Governments) with federal and TransNet funds. They will be used for Bus Rapid Transit services on I-15, I-805 and mid-city, MTS says.
‘More than 95%’ on CNG
The 72 New Flyer buses for BRT services will include high-back chairs with thick cushions, an intelligent network system to diagnose engine performance, automatic enunciators for next stop information, signal priority equipment, on-board camera system and new wheel-chair restraint systems.
The New Flyer buses will likewise have 20-year CNG tanks, but they will be all-composite Type IVs from Lincoln Composites.
MTS will take delivery on 13 New Flyer buses in fiscal 2016 to replace diesel-powered buses at the end of their useful life. They will be funded through the MTS bus replacement capital improvement project. The contract includes an option for up to 80 additional buses to accommodate system growth.
The total contract from New Flyer, with options, is valued at $159.5 million, MTS says. It includes $100,000 for spare parts.
“At the end of the contracts,” the agency says, “more than 95% of MTS buses will run on clean compressed natural gas.”
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Source: San Diego MTS with Fleets & Fuels follow-up