Management & Operations

Transit agencies peddle used vehicles, parts online

Posted on August 1, 2003 by Joey Campbell, Managing Editor

In recent years, transit authorities have sought to boost revenue by selling souvenirs and offering special deals on their Websites. Several agencies, including the Chicago Transit Authority and the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, have created online stores on their Websites offering hats, shirts, books and posters. Now, online sales are moving into a new phase. A handful of transportation authorities have taken out-of-service vehicles, spare parts, signs and other used pieces of their infrastructure and begun pushing them as memorabilia on their Websites or at third-party online auction houses. Selling the retired items provides both a source of extra income and a legitimate outlet for disposing of potentially unwieldy leftover materials. Everything but the sink New York City Transit (NYCT) has been particularly dedicated to the practice, selling out-of-use odds and ends as collectibles. Items for sale include parts from NYCT’s retired fleet of Redbird subway cars and benches recently decommissioned from the Lexington Avenue subway line. According to the NYTC Website, the new sales program is “designed especially for buyers interested in acquiring a little bit of [NYCT’s] history.” Station signs, doors, gauges, fareboxes, lighting fixtures, vintage tokens, subway car handholds, seats and horns are among the various salvaged parts marketed as memorabilia. “Normally this material would be put in scrap containers and sold for scrap material,” says Mike Zacchea, assistant chief operating officer for NYCT. But this is not the first creative method of discarding old equipment used by the authority. NYCT has also donated leftover subway cars to several state governments to be dumped into the Atlantic Ocean with the purpose of forming artificial reefs. In fact, NYCT has dropped more than 1,000 subway cars in waters off Delaware, Virginia, South Carolina and Georgia over the past two years. Still, the memorabilia and collectibles sales program has been more profitable, pulling in approximately $40,000 between March and October. Hawk it on eBay Others have turned to eBay for help in getting rid of used equipment. A cursory search through the site’s pages reveals dozens of buses, trolleys, train cars and transit-related novelties offered by private sellers. Transit agencies are now getting in on the act. Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) placed a 1985-model trolley tour bus made by Chance Coach on eBay Oct. 1. The opening bid was $10,000 and, after 10 days and 31 bids, the trolley finally sold to a non-transit business for $35,100. The trolley, which had been used in special service for years in the Milwaukee area, had approximately 113,500 miles and was described as being in above average condition. The eBay listing for the vehicle contained specifications, pictures and terms of sale requirements. Says Joe Caruso, marketing director for MCTS, “This was the first of three vehicles we plan to sell on eBay. We want to confirm the sale and follow up before we sell the next one.” Caruso says transit agencies typically use a finite number of methods to get rid of out-of-service vehicles but that online auctioning could become a viable option. “We have experimented with eBay before by selling a bus engine, and it made revenue we normally wouldn’t get,” he says.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Driverless shuttle introduced at U. of Mich. specialized test site

A fully autonomous, 15-passenger electric shuttle manufactured by French firm NAVYA will support research and provide self-guided tours of Mcity, the university's test site for connected and automated vehicles.

King County Metro launches mobile ticketing app

The Transit GO Ticket app pilot project was created under contract by Bytemark, which has similar systems in use in Austin, Texas; Massachusetts DOT; and Atlanta.

L.A. approves selling naming rights to lines, stations

A marketing company could be hired by early next year to entertain offers and assign prices for naming rights of hundreds of Metro assets, the report said.

2 finalists chosen for new job as head of New Orleans RTA

The executive director job, which comes with a salary of up to $185,000 a year, was first spelled out in a 2015 contract between the RTA and its operator, Transdev.

First Transit to pilot autonomous vehicle passenger shuttle

The AV passenger shuttle will run a fixed-route stopping at designated stops within an office park. The pilot will begin with two vehicles — each with a customer service agent onboard for passenger questions and information.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment


Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close