In response to a growing problem with the quality and efficiency of nationwide bus maintenance practices, an award was granted to the Tri-State Regional Planning Commission for the testing of an automated bus diagnostic system (ABDS). The ABDS was designed to improve the effectiveness of bus maintenance through early detection of bus defects, improved diagnosis and fault isolation, and a reduction in improper repairs. It was anticipated that the efficiency of bus operations would be improved by decreasing the number of in-service breakdowns and reducing the number of spare buses required to maintain scheduled service. The ABDS is a microprocessor-based test and diagnostic tool that permits rapid sequential inspection and fault isolation in buses and their subsystems. The evaluation examined ABDS performance, its operational and economic impacts, and the application of this concept for other transit operations. The primary evaluation approach was to compare operational and economic data for the experimental buses and a control group of buses. The ABDS demonstration proved that diagnostic equipment can be successfully installed and operated at a major transit system maintenance facility. However, reluctance to use the maintenance area unit by some maintenance personnel was a problem throughout the demonstration. In contrast, the fuel island unit seemed to have been readily accepted. The data indicated that the ABDS equipment itself performed very well. During the evaluation period, ABDS repair hours increased for the experimental group as compared to the control group. However, ABDS-type road calls were reduced to a greater degree for the experimental buses. In addition, total out-of-service time for the experimental group was less than the control group during the last two months of the demonstration. Therefore, it appears that the added repairs on the experimental group reduced their road calls and down time. The economic analysis showed that operational cost exceeded quantifiable benefits for the evaluation period. However, there were several maintenance and service benefits which could not be quantified. The report points out that 6 months is too short a period to fully evaluate the economics of this concept and more evaluation of ABDS is needed to determine long-term benefits and cost effectiveness.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Systems Center

    55 Broadway, Kendall Square
    Cambridge, MA  United States  02142

    Urban Mass Transportation Administration

    400 7th Street, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • CASEY, R F
  • Publication Date: 1983-12

Media Info

  • Pagination: 120 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00386302
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: UMTA-IT-06-0102-83-1Final Rpt., DOT-TSC-UMTA-83-43
  • Contract Numbers: IT-06-0102
  • Files: TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jul 30 1984 12:00AM