The MTA has entered into a non-competitive deal with Nova Bus LFS to purchase 328 low-floor articulated clean diesel buses for just over $700,000 per bus. The summary, found on page 79 of today’s MTA Board books, notes that this price is $14,000 lower per bus than Nova had originally proposed. This latest order comes on the heels of a 90-bus trial from 2010, and the MTA says the results of the pilot were “very favorable.”
According to the board documents, these new articulated buses will be delivered from August 2011 through April 2013, and some bus routes may see less service as a result. The document explains:
The majority of these buses will be used to replace high floor articulated buses which have reached the end of their 12 year useful life and been in service since 1998 (20 buses) and 2000 (260 buses); the remaining 48 will be used to expand ariculated bus service throughout the 5 boroughs. Converting a route to articulated bus operation has an immediate impact on operating costs because 4 standard buses are replaced with 3 articulated buses resulting in a reduction in operator-related costs, fewer miles being driven and a need for fewer buses to meet peak service requirements.
The project has a local component as well as all of the buses will be manufactured upstate in Plattsburgh, New York. Finally, the MTA says it will soon open a competitive bidding process for an even larger order of articulated buses. New Flyer is currently testing its own low floor articulated clean disel bus, and once those vehicles pass their structural integrity tests, Transit will order a 90-bus pilot. If those buses are successful on the city streets, it will open the RFP process for even more new buses.