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7 SCOPE APTA's vehicle fleet database and vehicle cost in- formation were obtained from the bus manufacturers This report will synthesize the current use and experience with for their models of HC buses to identify capital costs HC buses in North America. The scope for this study includes of new HC vehicles. articulated, double-deck, 45-ft, and other buses that provide Vehicle test results were obtained from the ABTC. This greater passenger capacity than the conventional 40-ft transit supplemented the information obtained from the bus bus. This study draws on transit agencies' experiences and manufacturers and provided a comparable basis for as- available technical information in comparing HC buses with sessing the technical performance of these vehicles in a the use of conventional 40-ft buses, with respect to a wide number of areas (e.g., fuel consumption, acceleration, range of planning, operational, and maintenance issues. and noise). The survey results helped to identify a number of inter- APPROACH esting applications of HC buses. Ad hoc conversations were held with transit staff and experts on specific The methodology used to prepare this synthesis involved aspects of the synthesis, and mini-case studies were several elements: conducted by telephone or through on-site visits. HC Fleet Data were collected from APTA and the The rest of this report discusses the results from these Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA). APTA's efforts. Chapter two will outline the results from the survey vehicle fleet databases and CUTA's annual operating of transit systems. Findings from the case studies are pre- data were analyzed to identify those systems that oper- sented in chapter three. In chapter four, there is a discussion ate HC buses in transit service. of the various aspects related to vehicle technology. Chapter The literature and Internet were searched for informa- five synthesizes the experience based on the research, and tion relating to HC buses and their use. identifies a number of issues emerging from this experience. A survey of transit agencies using HC buses was sent to Finally, chapter six outlines the conclusions of the study and all transit systems in the United States and Canada that areas for future research. had reported to APTA or CUTA having a fleet of five or more HC buses. The survey asked questions concerning Copies of the questionnaires sent to transit agencies and to the types of services where HC buses were used, the pri- bus manufacturers are included as Appendix A. Appendix B mary reasons for implementing HC buses, modifications contains a list of the study participants and Appendix C is a to facilities and other actions that were made to deploy survey of the size and weight limits mandated by the federal HC buses, vehicle features, acceptance and operating government and states or provinces. experience, issues and concerns, etc. A survey was conducted of HC bus manufacturers to It should be noted that the terms "standard" and "40-ft" better understand the range of HC bus vehicles currently are used interchangeably in the report to mean the conven- available and their relative technological characteristics. tional 40-ft transit bus.