Complete Coach Works helps Puerto Rico upgrade transit, economy

Posted on March 29, 2011 by METRO Staff

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CCW invested in the construction of a new, state-of-the-art facility in Puerto Rico to refurbish AMA's buses.
CCW invested in the construction of a new, state-of-the-art facility in Puerto Rico to refurbish AMA's buses.
Last July, Complete Coach Works (CCW) forged a partnership with the Metropolitan Bus Authority (AMA) of Puerto Rico to revamp the agency's buses, improving their look and making them more environmentally friendly, as well as providing much-needed employment to the island.

AMA received federal stimulus funding to overhaul its fleet and selected CCW to perform rehab work on 57 buses. The project includes a complete repower of the propulsion systems; structural work; new suspensions; and new air conditioning systems using 407C, an eco-friendly Freon formulation, as well as comprehensive interior facelifts that incorporate new fabric patterns and new flooring colors, over the next 11 months. "Depending on what options they exercise and how many buses they end up adding to that, the time limit could go substantially past that," says Macy Neshati, VP, sales, CCW.

Drawing on a history of working locally that dates back to company Founder and President Dale Carson's first rehab project, which was performed on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, CCW approached the project from day one with a deeply held belief that performing the work in Puerto Rico was the right thing to do, since it would create jobs and support local businesses. "We felt compelled to do this work in a way that really benefited the people of Puerto Rico," Neshati says. "To us, the best way to do that was to do the work there, employing the local work force, spending millions of dollars with local businesses and paying taxes into the local ­economy."

New facility

To accomplish this goal, CCW procured an elevated warehouse and invested in extensive renovations. At 40,000 square feet, CCW's new facility, based in San Juan, has plenty of room to complete rehab work on up to 17 vehicles at one time. The facility features new, state-of-the-art hydraulic lifts, welders and computer software interfaces for electronic diagnostics. "There was nothing like what we were doing on the island at the time," Neshati explains. "We painted the place and equipped it thoroughly." Opened on Oct.1, 2010, at a cost of more than $500,000, the building also features offices, restrooms, break rooms and ramps to move vehicles in and out of the ­facility.

Since the buses are able to remain on the island without incurring expensive shipping charges and an additional delay time of 20 days per bus, the potential for shipping damage is eliminated and AMA is spared the expense of sending inspectors on costly site inspection trips. Using the local workforce, over 100 new jobs will be created as the project grows to full production. Local vendors are providing high quality parts and services for the buses, which also creates local warranty and technical support for the duration of the warranty period and beyond. Utilizing these two local resources, the supplier's participation in this project will infuse millions of dollars back into the country. "There's a huge ripple effect from keeping 70 to 80 percent of that money on the island. I think that's just being good corporate citizens and we're really proud of that," Neshati says.

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