The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) has approved the $52.8-million purchase of 155 clean diesel buses from New Flyer.
This latest procurement brings the number of new buses purchased by the MBTA over the last three years to 768. During this time period, the average age of a bus in the MBTA fleet has slid from fourteen years to five years, and it continues to drop with the delivery of every new bus.
The MBTA had originally contracted for 85 clean diesel buses from Neoplan; in August however, Neoplan notified MBTA that due to financial difficulties, it would be unable to deliver the promised buses, and that it was considering ceasing production by the end of this year.
(That notification, which emerged in MBTA board documents in November, caused a bit of a flurry in Denver (Neoplan’s base) as it was apparently the first public admission of potential shutdown.)
MBTA re-issued an RFP for 150 diesel buses; New Flyer was the winner.
The 40-foot New Flyer coaches use 280hp Cummins engines fueled by ultra low-sulfur diesel (ULSD) coupled with emissions aftertreatment devices.
The MBTA is currently the fifth largest mass transit system in the United States as measured by ridership. Among its fleet (which includes heavy rail, light rail and ferry boats, among other types of transport) are 571 diesel buses and 343 compressed natural gas (CNG) buses.