North American Bus Industries (NABI) unveiled a prototype of its 45-foot CompoBus at its plant in Anniston, Ala., on Dec. 1. In attendance were U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) and U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) as well as Roger Snoble, CEO of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).
Shelby is chairman of the key Senate public transportation authorizing committee and appropriations subcommittee. Patrick Rona, president and CEO of NABI, said innovations like the CompoBus would not have been possible without Shelby’s leadership. “Investments in public transportation improve the quality of life for everyone,” Rona said.
The body of the CompoBus is constructed with a lightweight composite material that is rust- and corrosion-resistant. Its 45-foot length increases passenger capacity without adding to operating costs, according to NABI officials.
The unique unitized composite body has allowed NABI to extend the bus length by five feet, which puts seven more seats on the two-axle bus without substantially affecting other operating costs.
The MTA has ordered 100 of the heavy-duty buses for its bus rapid transit (BRT) program. Those vehicles, which will be powered by CNG, will be used in MTAÕs highly successful Metro Rapid program, a BRT network that is being expanded each year across the Los Angeles area.
“We see tremendous potential in the CompoBus,” said John Catoe, MTA deputy CEO. “We’re adding capacity while saving weight, a rare combination in bus manufacturing.”
Meanwhile, NABI is nearing completion of delivery of 56 units to the city of Phoenix for its BRT program. Because the application in Phoenix involves more interurban and suburban express service than the MTA’s, the buses have more amenities, including a plush interior, reading lights and padded, high-back seats.