Tuesday, October 3, 2023

‘Hop on the bus, Gus:’ HRT gets 28 new buses

Brand new buses are arriving this month at Hampton Roads Transit to replace some of the agency’s older ones.

Hampton Roads Transit ordered 28 new buses from the Gillig factory in Livermore, California. More than half have arrived and will be on the streets in the coming days, according to a news release from HRT.

“Few investments are as important to transit as buses,” said William Harrell, president and CEO of Hampton Roads Transit. “Older buses require more maintenance and are less reliable. Some of our buses are well beyond their expected life. We are working hard to replace older buses equipment to enhance the transit experience, both for customers and our operators.”

It takes about a week to build a modern transit bus. They arrive almost ready to use with fareboxes, radios, computer aided dispatch – automatic vehicle locator systems and passenger counters already installed. All that’s needed is license plates, registration and state inspection, HRT officials said.

“Using a combination of federal, state, and local transit funds, HRT ordered thirteen 29-footers, seven 35-footers, three 40-footers, and five 40-foot MAX buses,” said Michael Perez, operation projects and contracts administrator. “They will cost $13,620,711, including on-site inspections, training, spare parts, etc.,” he said.

The prices for the various buses does not vary too much from one to another.

The 29-footer cost $443,938, the 35-footers cost $450,863, the regular 40-footers cost $455,063 each and the MAX Commuter variant slightly more at $474,900 with the additional costs arising from special seating and luggage lofts, according to the news release. The agency ordered mostly 29-footers to better fit the neighborhood-styled routes that do not carry as many passengers.

HRT will host a ribbon cutting to showcase its new buses before the next Transportation District Commission of Hampton Roads meeting on July 26 at 12:30 p.m.

For information on transit services, visit gohrt.com.

John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzohttp://wydaily.com
John Mangalonzo (john@localdailymedia.com) is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

Related Articles