05/16/2017

 

 




   ARBOC produces Spirit of Liberty buses for FL agency
   

The Spirit of Liberty is a rear-engine medium-duty bus with a low floor and unmatched floorplan flexibility. It can accommodate up to 37 seated passengers and six wheelchair positions.

From Metro:

ARBOC Specialty Vehicles LLC fulfilled its first order of Spirit of Liberty buses, leased to Martin County, Fla., through Alliance Bus Group (ABG).
The Spirit of Liberty is a rear-engine medium-duty bus with a low floor and unmatched floorplan flexibility. It can accommodate up to 37 seated passengers and six wheelchair positions.

Because of its angled entranceway and ADA-exceeding 1:6 ramp slope, the Spirit of Liberty is truly an accessible bus for all passengers.

Martin County intends to use these buses on their Commuter Service to Palm Beach County. In 2012, Martin County formed a partnership with ARBOC when they placed an order for their first Spirit of Mobility, a low-floor cutaway. ABG in Orlando, Fla., one of eight ABG locations, handles all sales, parts, and service needs for .................         READ MORE>

 

  NJ Transit green lights second year of MCI contract
   

From Bus & Motorcoach News:

New Jersey Transit has agreed to proceed with the second year of its six-year contract with Motor Coach Industries for the manufacture and delivery of 185 commuter coaches valued at about $92 million.

After the successful delivery of three pilot coaches and completion of New Jersey Transit in-service testing and evaluation, MCI began production for the first-year order in mid-2016.

New Jersey Transit has agreed to proceed with the second year of its six-year contract with Motor Coach Industries for the manufacture and delivery of 185 commuter coaches valued at about $92 million.

However, in July, MCI was informed that the New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund was about to run out of money. The fund foots the bill for New Jersey Transit and New Jersey Department of Transportation capital projects.

By far, the largest line item in the fund is the New Jersey Transit contract for MCI coaches. However, hundreds of other projects to replace bridges, resurface roads and renovate transit stations across New Jersey also were impacted by the funding dispute.

New Jersey legislators and Gov. Chris Christie reached an impasse in early July over a plan to raise fuel and sales taxes to provide the fund with additional revenue.

That prompted Christie to issue an executive order declaring a state of emergency and directing the commissioner of the state Department of Transportation and the executive director of New Jersey Transit “to plan an immediate and orderly shutdown of all ongoing work that is funded by the TTFA.”

That was quickly followed by an order from Dennis J. Martin, executive director of New Jersey Transit, that all contract work financed by the fund begin an orderly shutdown, including work by MCI on the commuter coaches.

The funding issue was finally resolved in October with the approval of a fuel tax increase, allowing MCI to resume production of the commuter coaches.

While the contract was suspended for nearly three months, MCI was able to adjust production schedules and successfully deliver 96 commuter coaches to New Jersey Transit in 2016.

MCI fulfilled all year-one deliveries of 187 commuter coaches by the end of the first quarter 2017 and will commence delivery of year-two coaches starting in the third quarter 2017.

“MCI has a long history of working collaboratively with NJ Transit,” said Patrick Scully, MCI’s executive vice president of sales and..........       READ MORE>

 
  Texas to require ELDs in 2019
   

From Bus & Motorcoach News:

AUSTIN, Texas - Texas will require intrastate commercial motor vehicles to use electronic logging devices to record duty status beginning Dec. 19, 2019, almost exactly two years after a federal ELD mandate takes effect.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s ELD mandate begins on Dec. 18, 2017 and applies to interstate buses and trucks..........       READ MORE>

 

 

Texas will require intrastate commercial motor vehicles to use electronic logging devices to record duty status beginning Dec. 19, 2019, almost exactly two years after a federal ELD mandate takes effect.

 

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  Largest U.S. Electric School Bus Pilot Comes to California
   

From School Transportation News:

Three school districts in the Sacramento capital region receive a total of 29 zero-emissions electric school buses for a pilot program funded by a $7.5 million grant and additional state cap-and-trade funds.

California had to first clear a legal hurdle with its one-of-a-kind, cap-and-trade fund. An appeals court ruled last month that the program requiring companies to purchase permits for emitting certain levels of greenhouse gases does not constitute an unconstitutional tax and could proceed. It's the largest single deployment of electric school buses nationwide. Canada currently is operating about 60 electric school buses in Quebec.

Earlier this month, Mary Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board (CARB), said ZEVs including electric buses and trucks are “a smart and effective use of cap-and-trade proceeds.” Her statement was tied to an announcement at the ACT EXPO in Long Beach on May 3 that statewide investments in ZEVs have reached $599 million over the last four years.

 

 

California had to first clear a legal hurdle with its one-of-a-kind, cap-and-trade fund. An appeals court ruled last month that the program requiring companies to purchase permits for emitting certain levels of greenhouse gases does not constitute an unconstitutional tax and could proceed. It's the largest single deployment of electric school buses nationwide. Canada currently is operating about 60 electric school buses in Quebec.

Part of this investment counted the 29 electric buses for Elk Grove Unified, Sacramento City Unified and Twin Rivers Unified. At this report, a press event was underway at Twin Rivers to officially display six eLion Type-C school buses from Lion Bus. The event also hosted Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA), State Sen. Richard Pan, Assemblyman Kevin McCarty and other officials from CARB, local government and the school district’s administration.

Twin Rivers received 16 new ZEV electric school buses in all, including two more eLions and eight TransTech and Motiv Power Systems eSeries Type As. Meanwhile, Elk Grove is taking ownership of 10 electric buses, and Sacramento City three.

Timothy Shannon, director of transportation for Twin Rivers, explained for STN that the cumulative project began two years ago following a meeting of his local peers to discuss alternative fuel paths. The result was the consortium of the three districts and a 300-page grant proposal. Twin Rivers, Elk Grove and Sacramento City competed with 30 other districts statewide and ultimate were chosen the winners.

“It’s been a process,” he added.

Shannon agreed that the incremental cost of purchasing new electric school buses (retail of $225,000 each) can be a hard pill for districts nationwide, and that is with or without grant money. He said he recognized that California school districts are fortunate to be privy to dedicated state and local funding for electric projects. But the upside can no longer be ignored.

“Start to do the math,” he said on Thursday. “Our grant is for a couple of years and provides free electricity. Nationwide, it’s a regulated fuel. It’s not like petroleum fuels that......................  READ MORE>

 
 
 

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