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50 TABLE 45 SUMMARY OF EVALUATION RESULTS OF METRO TRANSIT'S HYBRID AND DIESEL ARTICULATED BUSES Diesel Hybrid Difference Evaluation Item Ryerson Base Atlantic Base Hybrid vs. Diesel Monthly Average Miles per Bus 2,949 3,096 +5% Fuel Economy (mpg) 2.50 3.17 +27% Fuel Cost per Mile ($): Diesel at $1.98/gal. 0.79 0.62 22% Total Maintenance Cost per Mile ($) 0.46 0.44 4% Propulsion--Only Maintenance Costs per Mile ($) 0.12 0.13 +8% Total Operating Cost per Mile ($) 1.25 1.06 15% Miles Between All Road Calls 5,896 4,954 16% Miles Between Propulsion Road Calls 12,199 10,616 13% Source: Reference 32. stairwell. The interior design has focused special attention to fleets. Only one rated this as their highest major concern. The stanchions and hand holds, and a restriction has been estab- Denver RTD routinely equips its articulated fleet with snow lished that prohibits standees on the upper deck. Interviews tires on the drive axle, and reports no special problems with with staff at BC Transit indicated that there had been no operating in snow conditions. Anecdotal evidence suggests serious accidents as a result of the interior stairwell. that jackknifing of articulated buses can still occur; however, it does not appear to be a serious concern for many. The second issue mentioned by survey respondents re- lated to articulated buses: the left rear corner of some articu- lated buses may swing out when turning corners or departing King County Metro Transit Safety Experience from bus bays, which may cause accidents. This problem with Articulated Buses was more common in the past with "puller-type" articulated buses. An incursion of the right side of the second section can To better understand any potential concerns with articulated occur with "pusher-type" articulated buses. The major dif- buses, safety statistics were obtained from Metro Transit for ference between these problems is that the operator can ob- motor bus collisions for 2005. There were four bus groups: serve the right side incursion; however, the operator cannot articulated buses (573), 40-ft buses (568), trolleybuses (161), observe the left rear corner excursion. Performing safe turns and small buses (130). The collision statistics for the articu- at intersections is a concern for all types of buses. lated and 40-ft fleets are given in Table 46. To communicate to motorists and pedestrians that a bus is The articulated and 40-ft fleets operate in similar traffic about to turn, the ChampaignUrbana MTD has installed environments and have similar mileage. The percentages of strobe lights on the sides of its buses (two on 40-ft and three collisions are consistent with the percentages of the total on articulated) that flash when the turn signals are activated. fleet. There is no significant difference in the average cost per An audio signal (beeping) is activated when the bus is mak- collision for the two fleets. The Metro Transit safety staff ing a right turn to warn pedestrians of the maneuver. concluded that the collision safety record of the articulated buses is similar to that of the 40-ft buses. There does not ap- One respondent expressed concern about the safety of pear to be any difference in risk between the two fleets based passengers using the third or fourth door of an articulated on collision statistics. bus, and how difficult it is for operators to observe passen- gers in those doors. This respondent is investigating the use of different mirrors and the possible use of an ultrasonic sen- INFRASTRUCTURE ISSUES sor on those doors. The costs of modifications were not identified by respondents One interesting issue concerns winter conditions (snow). as a significant area of concern, and the monetary value of the A little more than one-third of agencies reported some level modifications appeared relatively modest, certainly in com- of concern with winter operations with their articulated parison with the capital cost of the vehicles themselves. TABLE 46 COLLISION STATISTICS FOR ARTICULATED AND 40-FT MOTOR BUSES IN 2005 No. of Percent of All No. of Percent of Total Cost of Average Cost Fleet Type Collisions Collisions Buses Total Fleet All Collisions per Collision Articulated 684 39.09 573 40.00 $281,257 $411 40-ft 700 40.00 568 39.66 $296,027 $423 Source: King County Metro Transit.