New Flyer Industries presented a pilot version of its new bus rapid transit (BRT) vehicle that will be used on the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority’s (GCRTA) Euclid Corridor BRT line, scheduled to open in 2008. This prototype vehicle will be used for testing and training purposes, before New Flyer delivers a subsequent order of 20 more buses to be used in revenue service on the corridor.
In keeping with the trend of BRT projects, the five-door bus emphasizes cleaner propulsion, with its hybrid-electric technology designed by General Motors’ (GM) subsidiary Allison Transmission. According to David Mikoryak, manager of Allison’s electric-drive program, the technology is GM’s but the diesel engines were manufactured by Caterpillar and Cummins. Mikoryak said GM has been working on this technology since 1989.
The new vehicle also offers higher capacity with New Flyer’s proven articulated bus platform. The exterior has been redesigned with a sleeker, more aerodynamic front mask, a continuous roof cover, new mirror designs, a one-piece windshield and wheel covers. Inside the bus, improvements include an advanced lighting system, curved stanchions, sleeker sidewall and ceiling panels, increased leg room, interior bike racks and 10 security cameras.
New Flyer originally debuted the vehicle last September at the American Public Transportation Association’s EXPO in Dallas but made its official presentation to the GCRTA in February. The bus’s next destination will be the Altoona Bus Research and Testing Center in Pennsylvania for extensive further testing.
GCRTA purchased 21 of the vehicles from New Flyer at a total cost of approximately $20.5 million.