In one of the largest contracts between NJ TRANSIT and Motor Coach Industries (MCI), the agency’s board of directors authorized the purchase of 772 fully featured MCI 45-foot Commuter Coaches.
The latest equipment purchase in a 33-year relationship between NJ TRANSIT and MCI, the $395 million order for clean diesel, cruiser-style coaches will offer NJ TRANSIT riders three-point seatbelts, comfortable forward-facing seating for 57 passengers, as well as individual airflow controls and reading lights. The six-year delivery schedule for the new Commuter Coaches will begin in 2016.
The order will replace existing MCI coaches in New Jersey’s fleet. MCI has delivered over 2,000 Commuter Coaches to the agency since 1982. NJ TRANSIT was one of the first public transit operators to use the MCI Commuter Coach to reach outlying city and expanding suburban areas.
NJ TRANSIT estimates the new MCI Commuter Coaches will allow the agency to boost seating capacity by 6%.
The MCI Commuter Coach is renowned for its durability and quality; built with a rugged semi-monocoque structure that elevates passengers and drivers above traffic, while safety features including electronic stability control offer even more security.
Compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the new coaches will offer cleaner engine technology with Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) to reduce exhaust emissions required by the latest Clean Air Act amendment.
“We are tremendously honored that NJ TRANSIT has once again selected MCI,” said MCI President/CEO Rick Heller. “Our Commuter Coach has been the mainstay in its express service capabilities for decades. Today’s announcement for 772 additional vehicles marks another milestone in an important customer relationship centered on coach performance and innovation.”
The MCI Commuter Coach was the industry best-seller in the public sector in 2014. Heller points out that MCI’s long relationship with NJ TRANSIT has helped drive company sales records and innovation. MCI won its first contract with NJ TRANSIT in 1982 for 700 MC-9 cruiser buses, purchasing another 415 in 1987. In 2000, the agency gave MCI the biggest public transit order in North American bus-industry history at the time with a 1,400- vehicle purchase.
NJ TRANSIT was also the first U.S. public transit agency to purchase new-model CNG MCI Commuter Coaches, starting with a 50-coach order as part of a 1999 pilot program and adding 27 more units the following year. It recently replaced those inaugural models with 177 CNG MCI Commuter Coaches delivered in 2014 and 2015.
“MCI greatly values our relationship with NJ TRANSIT,” said Patrick Scully, MCI executive VP, sales and marketing. “Our newest models incorporate next-generation leaps in engine technology, efficiency, environmental innovation and passenger comfort. Our innovations will help New Jersey Transit to deliver reliability, value and environmental benefits to the riding public in the state. Furthermore, we’re committed to providing NJ TRANSIT with superior parts and service to support the agency’s strong reputation for dependable commuter express service.”