Bus Testing Facility

 

The purpose of the program is to provide assistance for the operation and maintenance of one facility capable of testing new transit bus models and reporting on their maintainability, reliability, safety, performance (including braking performance), structural integrity, fuel economy, emissions, and noise performance characteristics. Per 49 U.S.C Section 5318(e), amounts appropriated or otherwise made available under this chapter may be obligated or expended to acquire a new bus model only if that model is tested at the Bus Testing Facility and the bus tested met the performance standards for maintainability, reliability, performance (including braking performance), structural integrity, fuel economy, emissions, and noise, and safety. The program is administered under FTA?s implementing regulation at 49 CFR Part 665, commonly referred to as the Bus Testing Regulation.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Active
Program Number
20.529
Federal Agency/Office
Federal Transit Administration, Department of Transportation
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2016 The Bus Testing Facility will conduct standardized tests and prepare test reports for up to twenty new transit bus models and will also bring a compressed hydrogen fueling station on-line in June of 2016 to enable the testing of new hydrogen fuel cell bus models. Overall, the Bus Testing Program has proven to be valuable to the transit industry. As of March 31, 2016 testing has been completed on 444 buses with a total of 9,324 bus failure modes were identified since the program’s inception. Of those failure modes, 44 could have resulted in serious injuries or significant property damage had they occurred in revenue service. Another 175 failure modes would have resulted in the bus being stranded on its route had they occurred in actual service. Many of the other malfunctions identified would adversely impact transit service (e.g., resulting in road calls stranding passengers), and all would increase maintenance costs by requiring corrective maintenance actions. The Bus Testing Program ensures that by testing new bus models before they are purchased, recipients and manufacturers can often address problems before the fleet is built, potentially saving the federal government and grant recipients considerable money and time and avoiding inconveniencing passengers. The Bus Testing Facility conducted standardized tests and prepare test reports for up to twenty new transit bus models and brought a compressed hydrogen fueling station on-line in June of 2016 to enable the testing of new hydrogen fuel cell bus models. Overall, the Bus Testing Program has proven to be valuable to the transit industry. As of March 31, 2016 testing has been completed on 444 buses with a total of 9,324 bus failure modes were identified since the program’s inception. Of those failure modes, 44 could have resulted in serious injuries or significant property damage had they occurred in revenue service. Another 175 failure modes would have resulted in the bus being stranded on its route had they occurred in actual service. Many of the other malfunctions identified would adversely impact transit service (e.g., resulting in road calls stranding passengers), and all would increase maintenance costs by requiring corrective maintenance actions. The Bus Testing Program ensures that by testing new bus models before they are purchased, recipients and manufacturers can often address problems before the fleet is built, potentially saving the federal government and grant recipients considerable money and time and avoiding inconveniencing passengers.
Fiscal Year 2017 The Bus Testing Facility conducted standardized tests and prepared 6 full, and 5 partial bus testing reports for buses that started testing in calendar year 2017.
Fiscal Year 2018 The Bus Testing Program applies to recipients of FTA capital assistance who purchase new model transit buses or existing bus models being produced with a major change. As of December 31, 2017, testing was completed on 469 buses with over 9,500 bus failures identified. Of those failures, 46 could have resulted in serious injuries or significant property damage had they occurred in revenue service. Many of the other malfunctions would adversely impact transit service (e.g., resulting in road calls standing passengers), and all would increase maintenance costs by requiring corrective maintenance actions. The Bus Testing Program ensures that by testing new bus models before they are purchased, recipients and manufacturers can often address problems before the fleet is built, potentially saving the federal government and grant recipients considerable money and time and avoiding inconveniencing passengers.
Fiscal Year 2019 The Bus Testing Facility will conduct standardized tests and prepare test reports for an estimated fifteen to eighteen transit buses. FTA will continue to work to coordinate the activities, and the testing and reporting procedures of the two new LoNo bus testing centers at Auburn University and The Ohio State University with the existing bus testing center. The LoNo bus testing centers at Auburn University and The Ohio State University are not operational as of FY 2019.
Fiscal Year 2020 Anticipate Altoona continuing to test approximately 15 to 18 buses annually. Also, anticipate the development of a new website and intake process for the bus testing program. Also, anticipate a new congressional appropriation to fund the LoNo bus testing centers at Auburn University and The Ohio State University.