The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded four designs for high-capacity buses in its National Bus Rapid Transit Vehicle Design Competition.
The buses incorporate new designs with imaginative approaches to transit, better serving communities. Concepts from the winning vehicle bus designs will be integrated into several bus systems throughout the country.
The winners in the top four categories are:
The Village Technology Team in Annapolis, Md., for SMRTram-ITS in the Baltimore Harbor. The bus design is significantly narrower than a conventional bus and uses a dedicated single narrow lane busway. The single lane, when used with Smart Technologies, would support buses going in both directions, eliminating the need for two dedicated lanes on the busway.
The Portland and Company Team in Maine for Road Rail. This design features a historical looking bus that can use existing unused railroad track as a dedicated busway supporting rapid travel times. The vehicle also operates on conventional roads and can be manufactured as a smaller shuttle bus or a medium size school bus.
The Toyota Motor Corp. for its "Innovative Bus Design for the Future for South Miami." The design features an aerodynamically designed bus, similar to many modern rail vehicles. The bus is environmentally friendly, twice as long as a conventional bus and can carry 200 passengers.
The University of Hawaii at Manoa Team for its CitySurfer in Honolulu. The bus uses a series of waves in the shape and design, matched by designs on the bus stations. The vehicles have a variety of passenger information systems and amenities, including digital entertainment systems and computers with Internet access.
Eighteen other teams were awarded for a variety of innovative ideas and vehicle design concepts. For more on the winners, go to www.fta.dot.gov.