Meet the latest addition to New York City’s extensive bus fleet. The Nova Bus LFS, which debuted in mid-January along the Bx12, is being called the bus of the future by New York City Transit. First announced last June, these articulated buses feature three doors, low floors and clean engine technology. Better still, this vehicle was built by workers in Plattsburgh, New York, and it truly is a product of the MTA’s state-wide impact.
Right now, the bus above is one of the 90 Transit expect to receive. These new buses will run along the city’s Select Bus Service corridors and these buses were designed with an eye toward speeding up bus service. “This is the perfect operation for a low-floor bus with three wide entry/exit doors,” Joseph Smith, Transit’s senior vice president at the Department of Buses, said. “Our SBS service is designed to move large numbers of people quickly and efficiently. Adding one door and subtracting two steps helps to accomplish that.”
The MTA recently provided a fact sheet about the new bus model, and it seems to be a nice one. The LFS is 62 feet long — or slightly longer than the standard subway cars on the lettered lines. It can fit 54 seated customers and another 58 standees for a total capacity of 112. “Boasting corrosion-free outer skin panels and frame along with improved fuel economy from its clean diesel engine and smart transmission, this technically advanced bus is expected to cost less to operate and maintain during the course of its service life,” Transit’s release said. It also features a rear window — a relic of buses from decades past when the engine components did not block the back.
With the addition of this bus to the fleet, the MTA is moving ahead with its plans to support the bus system and make it more than the inconvenient transit step child. The low floors allow for faster street-level boarding and combined with the pre-boarding fare payment systems, should help speed up what can be painfully slow bus service. Now if only the city would propose those physically-separated bus lanes.
After the jump, a view of the inside of the Nova Bus LFS with the rear window barely visible in the back. All photos courtesy of New York City Transit.