AVTA to become nation's first 100% electric bus fleet

From Metro:

The Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA) has taken a major step toward becoming the first 100% electric public transit fleet in the country by awarding BYD a contract to manufacture up to 85 electric buses over a five-year period.

The historic announcement was made during a special event that followed the meeting at the AVTA faciliity and was

attended by elected officials, dignitaries and community leaders. Los Angeles-based BYD Motors will build the up to 85 buses for AVTA at its manufacturing facility in Lancaster, Calif.

Under the order from AVTA, BYD Motors will build and deliver a variety of all-electric bus models including a 40-foot low-floor transit bus, a 60-foot low-floor articulated bus, and a 45-foot commuter coach. All 85 buses will have a range of more than 160 miles on a single battery charge. AVTA is also installing a wireless charging system to extend the fleet’s range to ensure the electric buses will be able to serve the agency’s longest rural routes.

AVTA is anticipating a cost savings as a result of electrifying its fleet. Over the lifetime of the new electric bus fleet, the transit agency forecasts it could save more than $46 million compared to an all-diesel bus fleet, equivalent to $46,000 per bus per year in savings. And, by reducing dependence on foreign oil imports, AVTA will no longer be subject to oil price volatility for its bus fleet. This will help create greater stability for budget forecasting for the fleet manager — an important factor for a public agency.

The agency expects to take delivery of 29 electric buses within the next 12 months and is working to secure additional grant funding from the Air Resources Board to purchase another 17 buses. Additional benefits AVTA will see as a result of electrifying its entire fleet include:

* Noise Pollution Reduction: noise pollution will be reduced by 50 percent, making it a more pleasant ride for bus operators and transit passengers.

* Emissions Reductions: AVTA’s all-electric fleet will provide elimination of CO2, NOx, PM10 and PM2.5, thereby improving air quality and positively impacting human health.

* Safer Work Environment for Technicians: The electric batteries are safe, thermal runaway proof, non-toxic, and maintenance free. There are no diesel or diesel emission fluids needed for bus maintenance, providing a safer and healthier working environment for vehicle technicians.

AVTA provides local, commuter and dial-a-ride service to a population of more than 450,000 residents in the cities of Lancaster and Palmdale as well as the unincorporated portions of...


  FTA issues Agency Safety Plan - Proposed National Safety Plan

FTA issues Agency Safety Plan proposed rule, Proposed National Safety Plan

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) issued a proposed rule for the Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan (Agency Safety Plan) and a notice of availability for the proposed National Public Transportation Safety Plan (National Safety Plan.)

“Public transit systems are an essential transportation option for so many and we must continue and even improve on their strong safety performance records,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “The proposals issued today would guide transit agencies in the development of comprehensive plans to manage risk and improve safety for the millions of people who use and work in public transportation every day.”

Both the Agency Safety Plan proposed rule and the proposed National Safety Plan are statutory requirements first authorized by Congress in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) Act in 2012 and reauthorized in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act in 2015.

“FTA is making great progress in establishing the regulatory framework which will become the blueprint for the future of safety performance in public transit,” said FTA Acting Administrator Therese McMillan. “Today’s proposals are about setting safety performance criteria and targets, voluntary minimum safety standards and a means to communicate safety issues industry-wide.”

The Agency Safety Plan proposed rule would apply to operators of public transportation systems that receive Federal financial assistance and takes into account their size, complexity and...




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