Management & Operations

Bus fires ignite discussion at APTA workshop

Posted on January 1, 2005

Stepping up vehicle inspections is key to bus fire prevention, according to presenters at a recent American Public Transportation Association (APTA) workshop on bus fires. The workshop, held in November in Anaheim, Calif., was part of APTA’s 2004 Bus Equipment and Maintenance/Procurement and Materials Management conference. During the session, panelists David Burnett, maintenance manager for the San Diego Transit Corp. (SDT); John L. Stratford, senior vice president for Transmatic Inc.; and Joseph Peoples, eastern regional sales manager for Kidde Dual Spectrum, discussed causes of bus fires and steps for prevention. SDT’s maintenance department stepped up its inspections as part of its new fire prevention plan. “Approximately 10% of the fleet is inspected each night, which includes checking brake pads and hoses,” Burnett said. SDT’s maintenance team identified 17 items for its fire safety inspection checklist. Training is given to identify signs of fluid leaks, and emphasis is placed on brake overhauls. “Buses without fire suppression systems are equipped with fire extinguishers in the driver’s compartment,” he said. In addition, SDT reduced time between steam cleaning of engines from 6,000 to 5,000 miles. “This year we implemented an aggressive team-driven PM program,” Burnett said. The program, which includes three mechanics and a dedicated foreman, takes a bus out of service until problems found during inspections are fixed. An estimated 15% to 35% of all vehicle fires are due to electrical malfunction, Transmatic’s Stratford said. Potential sources of electrical fires include the ignition system, battery cables, signage and lighting. Peoples discussed the importance of fire suppression systems. “These systems help drivers focus on passenger safety and not on the fire,” he said. Suppression systems can use carbon-dioxide foam, water, dry chemicals or a shutdown formula. Currently, there is no federal legislation requiring fire protection systems on buses, Peoples said.

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

More News

SORTA to sell advertising to pay for bus benches

In a separate ordinance, the city agreed to stop removing currently illegal benches at some stops unless they are unsafe.

Future for connected cars is promising, obstacles remain: study

Obstacles include privacy and security concerns, to a lack of infrastructure and the need for a legislative framework.

Caltrain begins courtesy campaign via social media

The campaign, called “Caltrain Manners,” is the result of a recent online survey, where passengers were asked what annoyed them most about their fellow riders. Caltrain tallied the results to determine the three worst passenger gaffes.

Sacramento RT receives state certification for bus apprenticeship program

Having trained and qualified mechanics is critical to RT’s mission of providing reliable bus service to the Sacramento region.

Community Transit programs removed 370K drive-alone trips in 2016

Choice Connections and Curb the Congestion target large employers and most-congested corridors, and recognize individuals who use transportation options.

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