February 23, 2018
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Numerous Bus Contracts for New Flyer

New Flyer of America Inc. recently entered into contracts with four U.S. public transit agencies: three for 60-foot articulated buses, of which two will be powered with CNG and one with clean diesel, and two contracts with the Orange County (CA) Transportation Authority (OCTA) for 40-foot buses, 10 powered with hydrogen fuel cells and six with CNG.

Articulated Bus Orders

New Flyer’s contract with the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) is for up to 50 CNG-powered articulated vehicles, which will replace existing buses in the fleet over the next five years. Seven­teen of the new buses will operate on South Bay Rapid, a 26-mile BRT line scheduled to open later this year. The $128 million route will connect downtown San Diego with the U.S.-Mexico border, serving employment and activity centers.

The Fort Worth Transportation Authority (FWTA) has a contract for up to 46 CNG buses. It includes six firm orders with options to purchase an additional 40 vehicles to help support the region’s growing population: according to the agency, the population of ­Tarrant County, TX, where Fort Worth is located, is projected to grow by more than 50 percent by 2035.

The San Mateo County Transit District (SamTrans) in San Carlos, CA, approved the purchase of 55 clean diesel-powered New Flyer articulated buses to replace similar vehicles that have exceeded their useful life under FTA regulations. FTA provided the majority of funding for the $48.9 million purchase.

According to SamTrans, the vehicles are more environmentally friendly than the older models in the fleet, producing 87 percent less nitrogen oxides and providing at least a 10 percent improvement in fuel efficiency. At the same time, agency staff said it expects this purchase to be its last for diesel buses as the agency plans to convert its fleet to electric buses in the future.

Contracts with OCTA

OCTA’s contract with New Flyer for 10 hydrogen fuel cell electric buses is being funded with $13.3 million in grants from the nonprofit Center for Transportation and the Environment and the South Coast Air Quality Management District. Part of the grant will finance construction of a hydrogen fueling station at the agency’s Santa Ana Bus Base.

An example of New Flyer's hydrogen fuel cell electric bus.

The agency currently operates one hydrogen fuel cell bus as part of a two-year demonstration project funded by FTA under the National Fuel Cell Bus Program and fueled at the University of California, Irvine. The agency’s fleet of almost 530 buses runs on natural gas.

The six 40-foot CNG buses in the other order will be converted from New Flyer’s option backlog to firm order. These ­vehicles will operate on OCTA’s limited-stop Bravo! ­service, funded through the state Low Carbon Transit ­Operations Program and federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote ­ridership growth.
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