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OCR for page 44
45 marketing success. One composite model was an HC bus, the 45C-LFW, which has a maximum capacity of 47 seats. The concept was to take advantage of the lighter body weight (estimated at 7,000 lb) to design a longer-body, low-floor two-axle bus and recapture seats that had been lost with the low-floor design that could be powered by CNG. A two-part article in Metro Magazine provides some insight into the business and regulatory issues that contributed to the demise of the innovation (31). Fleets of the 45C-LFW are currently operating at three transit agencies. CAPITAL COSTS OF HIGHER CAPACITY BUSES Fifty-one percent of the survey respondents cited capital cost of an HC bus as a major concern or issue. To explore this FIGURE 27 A 15-m low-floor EVB Linenbuse. issue further, the APTA 2006 Transit Vehicle Database (13) was reviewed for cost data on recent purchases of HC buses. Fourteen transit agencies reported on their purchases of 428 HC buses (all types) in 2005 and 2006, and a summary of the reported cost data is presented in Table 39. Because many of the bus-type combinations involve only a few procurements, which can result in a wide variation in cost-per-seat data, the number of agencies involved is provided along with the total number of buses purchased. Because the propulsion technology used is a significant cost factor, the data are presented by propulsion technologies. The number of seats on a bus model can vary significantly, and has a direct impact on the bus capital cost-per-seat met- ric. The maximum number of seats is affected by bus design (standard versus low-floor models), and the actual number is determined by the seating arrangements chosen by the transit system. The impact of the number of seats can be observed from the data in Table 39. A summary comparison of HC and FIGURE 28 Wuppertal, Germany, 24-m bi-articulated bus. 40-ft buses using similar technologies and bus designs is [Source: Soulas (30)]. given in Table 40. TABLE 39 CAPITAL COSTS OF RECENTLY PURCHASED HC BUSES HC No. of Buses Bus Type Propulsion (agencies) Cost Range Seats per Bus Cost per Seat Range Articulated Diesel 76 (4) $435,693$508,976 4361 $7,142$10,995 Articulateda Diesel 40 (2) $476,411$498,000 6368 $7,324$7,562 Articulatedb CNG 200 (1) $644,000 57 $11,298 Articulated Diesel/Electric 12 (1) $650,000 57 $11,404 Double-Deck Diesel 50 (1) $583,963 80 $7,300 45-ftc Diesel 50 (5) $422,156$496,257 57 $7,406$8,706 40-ft No. of Buses Seats per Bus Bus Type Propulsion (agencies) Average Costs (average) Average Cost per Seat 40-ft Diesel 1,635 (45) $339,023 38.9 $8,715 40-fta Diesel 28 (4) $298,699 38.7 $7,718 40-ft CNG 354 (6) $363,033 40.3 $9,008 40-ft Diesel/Electric 128 (10) $456,674 38.5 $11,862 Source: Reference 13. a Standard floor vehicles. b BRT vehicle with special features. c Standard high-deck intercity coaches.

OCR for page 44
46 TABLE 40 COMPARISON OF HC VERSUS 40-FT CAPITAL COST FOR SIMILAR TECHNOLOGIES Capital Cost Percent Difference HC Type vs. 40-ft Comparison HC Compared with Average 40-ft (in percent) (floor height and propulsion--for both) On bus basis On seat basis Articulated vs. 40-ft (LF and diesel) 28% to 50% 17% to 26% Articulated vs. 40-ft (HF and diesel) 59% to 68% 2% to 5% Articulated vs. 40-ft (LF and CNG)a 77% 25% Articulated vs. 40-ft (LF and diesel/electric) 42% 4% Double-Deck vs. 40-ft (LF and diesel) 72% 16% LF = low floor, HF = high floor, CNG = compressed natural gas. a Articulated CNG bus had BRT features and the 40-ft buses did not. The cost of all types of HC buses is much more attractive models exhibited significant improvement. It is also apparent when examined on a cost-per-seat basis. The most dramatic that the propulsion technologies used and the options chosen difference using a cost-per-seat basis rather than a cost-per- (i.e., BRT features and passenger amenities) have major im- vehicle basis is for the double-deck bus, and all articulated pacts on capital costs.