March 4, 2013

UT Survey: Bus replacement tops university transit budget wish lists

Before you know it, the beginning of the next fiscal year will be here. We asked some university transit operators to share some of their top wish list items.

Here are their responses:

“We have on our wish list for Yale University three new CNG transit buses. This will further diversify our fleet and reduce our carbon foot print. Myself and university officials are very excited for this addition to the Yale shuttle fleet.”

Greg Tower, GM
First Transit Inc., Yale University/Southern Connecticut State University
New Haven, Conn.

“We will be taking delivery of a new ElDorado low-floor, clean burning diesel bus in September 2013. We are slowly but surely replacing the refurbished buses in our fleet. The Montana State Department of Environmental Quality grant we received to help make this happen is up again, and we’re hoping to continue to receive it until all of our refurbished buses are replaced. This will greatly reduce noise and emission levels on our busy bus corridor.

We hope to install covered bicycle parking at all residence halls to help protect student’s bicycles from the elements. Included in this new bicycle initiative is [building] a new bike commuter hub to house our bike share program and a public repair shop. Improving campus walkways to better accommodate large numbers of bikes and pedestrians is also a high priority.”

Benjamin Courteau, director, office of transportation
University of Montana
Missoula, Mont.

“New vehicles and automated dispatch/demand-response software.”

David E. Harris Jr., director of transit and fleet management
Harvard University Transportation Services
Cambridge, Mass.

“As is the case with most transit systems, we are always looking to upgrade our equipment (buses, paratransit vans, and airport shuttle vehicles) and provide the latest technologies in AVL, communications, and bus stop information to our 1.4 million annual passengers.”

Janet Freniere, manager, transportation services
University of Connecticut
Storrs, Conn.

“Purchase and installation of electric vehicle charging stations, replacing some of our fleet of vanpool vehicles and projects to complete our bicycle safety plan. That plan includes new bike paths, re-striping roadways, etc.”

Susan Rains, commuter and access services coordinator, university police department
Cal Poly State University
San Luis Obispo, Calif.

“At the top of [our] list is up to three CNG motorcoach buses for our Stillwater – Tulsa, Oklahoma shuttle service. Our current diesel fleet of Prevost, MCI and Bluebird motorcoach buses are well past their determined useful life, thus creating maintenance and reliability issues, resulting in a direct impact on customer service. 

Oklahoma State University has made the commitment to support alternative fuels by creating a unique partnership which allows public sales from our CNG facility in Stillwater, Oklahoma. In addition to this partnership the university has replaced all their diesel transit buses with 19 CNG transit and cutaway style buses. The existing fleet combined with three CNG motorcoach buses will allow the university to displace in excess of 150,000 gallons of diesel with CNG. This displacement will allow for an addition re-investment of lower fuel and maintenance costs back into the continued service of fixed routes within the City of Stillwater.”

Tom Duncan, manager – transit services
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, Okla.

“My budget wish list is a new $36 million train control system for the WVU Personal Rapid Transit system to replace the current 40-year-old computer guidance system.”

Hugh Kierig, AICP, director, department of transportation and parking
West Virginia University
Morgantown, W.Va.

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