Management & Operations

Finding the true cost of your transit buses

Posted on January 1, 2005

Capturing transit bus maintenance and performance data cheaply and regularly, and filtering and analyzing it properly are keys to evaluating the true cost of a vehicle over its useful life. John Walsh, chief maintenance officer for New York City Transit’s (NYCT) Department of Buses, explained his strategy during a panel discussion on life-cycle costing at the American Public Transportation Association’s Bus Equipment and Maintenance/Procurement and Materials Management Workshop in Anaheim, Calif., in November. “You also need to have confidence in your information systems,” Walsh said. Proper life-cycle cost analysis is particularly crucial in New York City because of the harsh road conditions and duty cycles. “You need to have robust systems in place here,” Walsh said, adding that NYCT buses log an extraordinary number of engine hours, door openings and transmission shifts compared to vehicles operated by other transit systems. NYCT operates a fleet of 4,500 buses with an average weekly ridership of 2.5 million. Walsh said the buses service 218 routes and 12,355 stops. Annually, the buses consume 44 million gallons of diesel fuel and 3.7 million gallons of compressed natural gas. Walsh said it’s critical that maintenance officials monitor the primary drivers of wear and failure and that specific performance requirements be quantified. At NYCT, critical cost drivers are broken into acquisition-cost components and sustaining-cost components. The latter are tracked by preventive maintenance costs and unscheduled maintenance costs. NYCT evaluates the appropriate maintenance interval based on the primary wear drivers miles, hours, fuel usage or number of cycles. This interval varies based on the duty cycle. Key vehicle components that affect life-cycle costs are the transmission, engine, door and interlock system, foundation brake and suspension system, heating-air conditioning system, structure and auxiliary components and systems. Walsh said life-cycle costing requires further validation and experience. “More work needs to be done,” he said.

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

More News

GMs discuss impact of first-, last-mile solutions

We asked top transit officials which mobility option (microtransit, autonomous vehicles or bike-share) do you feel could have the most impact at your agency?

Transit Industry Survey Finds Customer Experience is Vital

Transdev is sharing results of a recently completed survey to help the entire industry understand how the goals and vision of transit agencies are evolving across the country.

D.C. Metro inspector to review Silver Line construction issues

Including concerns around the quality of concrete used in the project and other construction elements and practices.

Transportation workers form coalition to stop driverless buses in Ohio

If transportation authorities introduce autonomous vehicles or wages start to fall, the union will organize a strike, according to union chief.

Setzer named president of transit for Transdev North America

Most recently served as CEO of the company’s Nassau County, N.Y.,  the largest contracted transit system in the U.S.

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

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

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