Thursday, April 15, 2010


The Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) of Albany, NY, is selling 11 Orion VI 40' buses manufactured in 1997.

At TriMet, the 1400, 1600, 1700, 1800, and 1900 series buses are all OLDER than this fleet of buses and are still in service at TriMet. Meanwhile, the CDTA's annual report ( states:

One of the most significant factors for 2010 comes as a result of the stimulus money allocated to CDTA. These stimulus funds will allow CDTA to advance our bus procurement program for the next two years without taking on debt. Prior to the availability of the stimulus funds, CDTA intended to enter into a ten year lease program in order to procure new buses.

TriMet has cancelled all bus purchases; however a resolution by one of Oregon's congressional leaders will provide federal funding for about 45 new buses.

Funding shortfalls have put us in a position where we have needed to use a portion of our federal allocation on maintenance rather than on capital projects. Unfortunately, the result of this decision is the erosion of existing capital funding and a long-term reduction in our ability to keep up with future capital needs.

TriMet is cutting back on maintenance, in order to continue capital projects.

Funding shortfalls prevent us from executing service expansion plans. Should funding turn more favorable, we have several planned service expansions ready to make available to the public. They include Schenectady route restructuring, Northway Express service expansion, and Bus Rapid Transit service.

TriMet is still going full-bore with service expansion; as it admits it cannot even fund its current service levels, has already enacted two rounds of bus service cuts and has a third round planned, and is even talking of more cuts next year.

Consistent with the fleet replacement plan during 2009, CDTA introduced 23 new vehicles into the fleet. All 23 are hybrid electric vehicles. This is roughly 1/12 of our fleet (including subfleets). These vehicles were funded primarily with federal funding allocations. Some of these funds were specifically obtained to offset the additional costs of hybrid electric vehicles. CDTA intends to continue to purchase hybrid electric vehicles as long as funding for hybrids is available.

Not only does TriMet refuse to buy new buses; but in the few times it has purchased new buses it has refused to acquire hybrid-electric buses - even if the federal government pays for the hybrid differential in full (as Seattle has taken advantage of).

The increase in ridership experienced in 2009 and 2008 is expected to continue.

The CDTA is a bus-only agency, and saw ridership increases - despite being in a part of New York that has been hard hit by the recession.

In 2009, fixed route ridership was up 11% and STAR ridership was up 13%. Demand for our suburban commuter service, Northway Express, increased 22%.

Yet WES, the very expensive rail system, only managed an 8% increase (which translated to about 100 new riders).

To encourage homeownership in transit supportive areas and promote transit use, CDTA offers free bus passes (for a maximum of 24 months) to new homeowners through the Homeownership Incentive Program.

Holy Smokes!!!!!! I remember getting three all-day passes from TriMet back when I first moved to Beaverton, and again when Westside MAX opened, but that was it. And that was over 10 years ago.

CDTA purchases new buses each year as part of a fleet purchasing program designed to make the most efficient use of funding sources and maintain a safe, reliable fleet. Each year, CDTA replaces one-twelfth of its fleet. In the past year, CDTA purchased 6 new hybrid diesel-electric vehicles, 7 STAR paratransit vehicles and 4 new suburban shuttles. Twenty new hybrid buses will arrive in Spring 2009, making the fleet 20% hybrid.

Remember when Fred promised new buses every year, and then quickly broke the promise? CDTA sticks to a 12 year replacement age (which is the minimum age that a federally funded bus must be in service).

No comments:

Post a Comment