University

Commuter buses serving Va. Tech upgraded

Posted on December 21, 2009

[IMAGE]Virginia-Tech-Smart-Way-Bus-full.jpg[/IMAGE]Commuting at Virginia Tech is getting smarter — in a big way. The Smart Way commuter bus service based in Roanoke, Va., introduced a larger, 57-seat motorcoach manufactured by Motor Coach Industries (MCI) that will replace the current fleet of 32-seat buses traveling between Roanoke, Christiansburg and Blacksburg.

The new, 45-foot-long MCI coaches feature more space, additional luggage capacity, lumbar seating, overhead luggage bins, wireless Internet access, six 10-inch video monitors and LED lighting. Buses also feature a wheelchair lift and bike rack. The bus was introduced Thursday during events in Roanoke and Blacksburg.

“Virginia Tech is excited to support the launch of the Smart Way motorcoach,” said Sherwood Wilson, vice president of administrative services for Virginia Tech. “Our students will appreciate the extra room and luggage space when they travel to and from the airport, and our staff, faculty and visitors will enjoy an even better ride to campus.”

Smart Way ridership is up 6.2 percent this year, and officials say they believe the new buses will help to drive additional demand. Through October, 48,927 commuters have traveled the Smart Way this year alone — an average of 4,892 per month. Since Smart Way began in 2004, the number of commuters is up nearly 150 percent.

“The Smart Way has been recognized for providing quality and convenient service that helps to reduce traffic along Interstate 81, saves our riders commuting costs, and contributes to our region’s increasing focus on sustainability,” said Carl Palmer, general manager of Greater Roanoke Transit, the company operating Valley Metro and Smart Way. “Our new motorcoaches will enhance that service by offering larger coaches with greater capacity for a more comfortable ride to connect the valleys.”

Four buses are joining the Smart Way fleet. Each bus costs $490,000, paid for through federal, state, and local sources. The new motorcoaches are scheduled to begin servicing the valleys on Jan. 4, 2010.

“Commuters are seeing the benefits and value of taking the Smart Way to travel between Roanoke and the New River Valley,” said Beverly T. Fitzpatrick Jr., executive director of the Virginia Museum of Transportation and chair of the Smart Way Advisory Committee. “This larger bus, with all the latest amenities and technology, reflects our region’s efforts to embrace public transportation.”

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

More News

Wis. university partners with ETA, REI for intelligent transit system

Overall rider satisfaction has increased due to the availability of real-time arrival predictions via public and mobile websites, as well as the newly-launched SPOT mobile app.

W. Virginia U.'s personal rapid transit system closes for summer

The university will continue to modernize the system through a variety of system upgrades and maintenance activities, such as the installation of the new train control infrastructure and the replacement of select electrical gear. The system will re-open in August.

U. of Arkansas transit system to run Saturdays

The expanded service is possible thanks to an additional $55,000 in funding from the city of Fayetteville this year.

University student creates new tool for visualizing transit

Transit Visualization Client, or TRAVIC, takes public data from 249 transportation networks, across five continents, and puts them onto one, animated map.

Auburn U. Tiger Transit drivers vote to unionize

The drivers have voted to unionize in attempt to get more affordable health care, higher wages and respect in the workplace, according to a report.

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

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The resource for managers of class 1-7 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