The board of directors for Houston-based METRO (Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County) awarded Motor Coach Industries (MCI), a subsidiary of New Flyer Industries Inc., a new three-year contract for 139 commuter coaches, including 10 options per year for a total of 169 coaches.
The contract has an approximate total value of $84 million. The 169 coaches from this order were included in New Flyer’s fourth quarter backlog and orders press release announced on Jan. 11, 2017.
The new METRO contract follows orders in 2014, 2015, and 2016 contracts for a combined total of 105 MCI coaches delivered.
Operating from Park & Ride locations throughout the greater Houston area and leveraging high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes, METRO's new coaches will replace older models for an equipment upgrade of its commuter express services.
METRO’s new coaches are equipped with wheelchair lifts, Kiel seats with three-point passenger seatbelts, and baggage bay slide-out bike racks. Equipped with a Cummins ISX engine and Allison B500 transmission, they are powered by the newest EPA-mandated clean-diesel engine technology.
The MCI commuter coach, which is Buy America-compliant and Altoona-tested, is specifically designed for express service and highway speeds. It offers a rugged, semi-monocoque structure, which elevates passengers and drivers above traffic. In addition to seat belts, safety features include Electronic Stability Control (ESC), tire pressure monitoring, and a fire suppression system, along with a G. Vansco Vs IO Control multiplex system.
METRO and MCI have had a valuable relationship since 2001. Over the past 16 years, the system has purchased 391 MCI commuter coaches, which includes 122 coaches with a diesel-electric hybrid propulsion system. MCI is the first intercity coach manufacturer to offer public transit agencies an over-the-road intercity diesel-electric hybrid propulsion system, as well as coaches with CNG propulsion.