With the new guidelines for a standard 40-foot diesel-powered transit bus now starting to be used, the transit industry continues its work in developing variations off these guidelines.
This project, funded by the Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) of the FTA, is working on technical specifications for alternate configurations to the standard bus procurement guidelines. Three working groups have been formed in this project, for alternate fuels, low-floor buses and electric propulsion respectively. The goal of all three working groups is a standard set of specs that can be used in an RFP document much the same way that the standard guidelines for 40-foot diesel buses can be used. All three subcommittees recently met in San Francisco.
The Alternate Fuel Working Group, chaired jointly by Cameron Beach of Sacramento RT and John Maddox of NABI is busy finalizing a draft that will be submitted to the larger TCRP task force for review. The Low Floor Working Group, chaired by Jim Gebis of the Chicago Transit Authority, is farther along. It also met to incorporate feedback from the TCRP task force on its first draft, and to continue working toward a finalized document.
Meanwhile, the Electric Bus Subcommittee also convened, although this group is in pre-draft discussion stages only. Members discussed various projects around the country including updates on hybrid developments, battery energy storage, fuel cells and electric bus systems. They also toured San Francisco Muni’s trolleybus system.