Monday, January 3, 2011

Utah fare-free transit district adds buses to fleet.

The Cache Valley Transit District has purchased five new buses in an effort to increase the number of spares in the fleet.

Until recently, the organization had been operating with just one spare bus. Now, the CVTD will have four spares on hand and 32 total vehicles.

"What this does is it helps us get up to an acceptable spare ratio," said Todd Beutler, the CVTD's general manager. "We were operating with one spare vehicle, which is really tough when you're trying to keep service out on the street."

Beutler said the CVTD will be able to operate service more efficiently and with greater flexibility if a bus is in an accident or needs maintenance.

"We've been researching this for quite some time, and we determined it was probably time to jump into the market," said Beutler.

Two of the vehicles are 35-foot hybrid buses, and three are 40-foot commuters.

The hybrids are powered by clean diesel electrical propulsion systems. According to the CVTD, these buses help reduce emissions, save on fuel, and are quieter than conventional buses.

Beutler said the hybrids perform best in hilly and low-speed areas, noting they will be used on routes near Utah State University and Logan's Cliffside neighborhood, for instance.

The other buses, which have higher seating capacity, will be used mainly for the Cache Valley north and south routes and service to Idaho.