Most transit systems operate buses produced by several different manufacturers of differing vehicle configurations with varying requirements for maintenance procedures and personnel training. Maintenance managers have long contended that mixed fleets are more costly to maintain and operate and have attempted to achieve some standardization by specifying the common components regardless of supplier. Recognizing that the transit industry has entered a period of sustained fiscal austerity, the National Cooperative Transit Research and Development Program (NCTRP) contracted for a study to explore impacts of standardized versus nonstandardized bus fleets. A survey of recent bus procurements of a large cross section of transit agencies was conducted. Respondents to the survey operate over half of the 35 and 40 foot transit buses in the country. The survey focused on identifying the costs of training, capital, parts inventory, and operations resulting from the introduction of new buses into the fleet. A follow-up survey of twenty-two transit agencies that could provide detailed operating and maintenance costs at the subsystem level for each bus subfleet was conducted. They are a representative cross section of transit agencies in the country in terms of fleet size, composition, and usage. A series of statistical applications was made to compare the range of operating and maintenance costs for each subsystem for buses produced by different manufacturers of varying vehicle configurations, and to account for variances. The analysis formed the basis for an uncomplicated method for use by transit managers to estimate and evaluate the costs and benefits of standardized versus nonstandardized bus fleets in their procurement programs.

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    Transportation Research Board

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  • Authors:
    • Drake, R W
    • Carter, D W
  • Publication Date: 1990-6

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 47 p.
  • Serial:
    • NCTRP Report
    • Issue Number: 17
    • Publisher: Transportation Research Board
    • ISSN: 0732-4839

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00497332
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0-309-04851-6
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Sep 30 1990 12:00AM