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01/07/2020

 


  New models lead MCI from 2019 into 2020


   From Bus & Motorcoach News:

Motor Coach Industries (MCI) has wrapped up an eventful 2019 that included the delivery of two popular new coach models, and the manufacturer is heading into 2020 with plans to introduce its first battery-electric buses.

"As a company, we had a relatively good year," MCI President Ian Smart said. "Our major accomplishments were the first deliveries into the market of the J3500 and the D45 CRT LE coaches. Those were two very large steps for us that we had been working on for a few years. It was very exciting for us."


Motor Coach Industries (MCI) has wrapped up an eventful 2019 that included the delivery of two popular new coach models, and the manufacturer is heading into 2020 with plans to introduce its first battery-electric buses.

The J3500, the 35-foot version of MCI's flagship J4500, features the same design and common components of its larger sibling while offering a basic 40-seat configuration with an option for 44. The new coach was a response to customer demand for smaller vehicles that are easier to maneuver in urban traffic and that better fit the size of smaller group tours.

Brent Maitland, MCI's vice president of marketing and product planning, said the J3500s generally are purchased by operators that already own a fleet of J4500s and want to add a few of the smaller vehicles.

The D45 CRT LE features groundbreaking passenger accessibility via a second door with a low-entry automatic ramp system that simplifies the boarding process for riders using wheelchairs. The coach's low-level entry vestibule includes seating for five passengers, allowing for up to two secured mobility devices and an attendant, and high-capacity 54-passenger seating configuration overall, with seating for 52 when there are two passengers using a mobility device.

Smart said the D45 CRT LE significantly improves accessibility and lowers dwell time, especially important in commuter and employee long-distance service.  "Sales of both new coaches have been good," Smart said. "Customer feedback has been positive about their overall reliability and operator cost."

Other positive 2019 highlights included the continued growth of two MCI customer segments: the employee transportation market, particularly in the California San Francisco Bay Area, and the limo/livery industry's expansion into motorcoaches......... READ MORE  >

 


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  Museum of Bus Transportation merges with Antique Automobile Club of America Museum
 

The Hershey, Pennsylvania-based Museum of Bus Transportation and the AACA Museum, Inc. have agreed to merge. The award winning AACA Museum is a Smithsonian Affiliate and has served as the home of the Museum of Bus Transportation since opening to the public in 2003.


   From Bus Ride:

The Hershey, Pennsylvania-based Museum of Bus Transportation and the AACA Museum, Inc. have agreed to merge. The award winning AACA Museum is a Smithsonian Affiliate and has served as the home of the Museum of Bus Transportation since opening to the public in 2003.

The bus museum exhibits buses in the AACAM, and according to John Oakman, the MOBT president, “We're proud of the fact that the AACA Museum is a nationally respected institution, and that they want us to join them. Their logo has long had ‘Buses' on it and they've come to value the people that our display attracts. We expect that their prestige, along with that of the Smithsonian Institution, will attract donations of additional historic buses and general support from within the industry and the public for this new partnership.”

Founded in 1994 the MOBT began renting exhibit space at the AACAM in 2003. They currently have a fleet of 40 historic buses, ranging from a 1908 White to a 2009 battery-powered Proterra. Many are currently stored at an annex, but the plan is to eventually have them all available to the public during the AACAM's extensive hours.

MOBT's membership voted overwhelmingly to merge, and at their recent meeting the Board of Directors named bus industry veterans John Oakman, David Schmidt and Randy Wilcox to the committee that will represent bus history interests.

Between them, they have more than 130 years' experience in the bus industry. In addition, John Oakman and John Dockendorf have been elected to the AACA Museum's Board of Directors......... READ MORE  >


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  Vermont Launches Electric School, Transit Bus Pilot Program


   From School Bus Fleet:

BARRE, Vt. - Vermont has selected three school districts and one transit agency for its electric bus pilot program backed by Volkswagen (VW) settlement funds.

Officials from the Agency of Natural Resources and Vermont Energy Investment Corp. (VEIC) announced the recipients of the new electric-powered buses on Dec. 19, according to a news release from VEIC, a nonprofit sustainable energy company. The recipients included Barre Unified Union School District, Champlain Valley School District, Franklin West Supervisory Union, and Marble Valley Regional Transit District.

"Congratulations to our project partners; we are excited to work with them to bring electric buses to four counties across the state," said Emily Boedecker, commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation. "Not only will this program help us to determine the feasibility of electric buses in Vermont, it will also serve to introduce students and public transit riders in our communities to cleaner vehicles while improving the air quality of our public spaces."

The two-year pilot program will be administered by VEIC to evaluate electric school and transit bus operations in........READ MORE  >
 

 
Officials from the Agency of Natural Resources and Vermont Energy Investment Corp. (VEIC) announced the recipients of the new electric-powered buses on Dec. 19, according to a news release from VEIC, a nonprofit sustainable energy company. The recipients included Barre Unified Union School District, Champlain Valley School District, Franklin West Supervisory Union, and Marble Valley Regional Transit District.

Three of the state's school districts and one transit agency were selected for an electric bus pilot program backed by Volkswagen (VW) settlement funds. File photo



 

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