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Metro Board Approves Purchase of 150 New Buses to be Funded with Stimulus Monies from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

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Thursday April 23, 2009

Metro’s (Metro) Board of Directors today approved the purchase of up to 150 new state-of-the-art buses fueled by compressed natural gas (CNG) using stimulus funding.

In taking the action, the Board reaffirmed its commitment to move quickly in using transportation funding that will be provided to the region under the recently approved American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009.
The Board approved the purchase of 50 CNG buses (32-foot) for $23.6 million to be used as part of the fleet of buses operated by Metro’s Contracted Services. Contracted Bus Service operates 22 bus lines under contact to Metro using a fleet of 181 buses. The buses being replaced include 33 diesel buses and 17 propane-fueled shuttle buses that were acquired in 2001.

The contracted bus procurement will be low-floor, CNG-fueled buses with an interior video surveillance system, the same technology features of directly operated Metro buses.

The Board also approved the purchase option under an existing contract of up to 100 additional buses for Metro’s bus operation at a cost not to exceed $60 million. These buses will be 45-foot Compo-buses (composite) which have proven to be both durable and economical. Not only are they CNG fueled, the vehicle structure is stronger than conventional steel frame vehicles and have 15 to 20 percent more capacity for carrying passengers than standard 40-foot buses.

Both bus procurements will be awarded to North American Bus Industries (NABI) headquartered in Anniston, Alabama. The bus buys are contingent upon receipt of federal stimulus funding, subject to final award by the Federal Transit Administration.