The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) announced today that there will be a celebratory ribbon cutting ceremony at the Paratransit Operations Center, 705 Elmwood Avenue, Providence, Rhode Island at 11:30 am on Friday, February 15, 2013. RIPTA, alongside Governor Lincoln Chafee and Senator Jack Reed, will be celebrating the arrival of the first thirty of the fifty clean diesel GILLIG BRT Buses to be introduced into RIPTA’s fixed-route fleet.
“These new buses will further help us toward our goal of operating a customer-friendly public transportation system that provides the best possible service to the people of Rhode Island,” Governor Chafee said. “The upgraded fixed-route fleet will offer RIPTA users a number of benefits while also reducing the negative effects of exhaust on our air quality.”
Senator Jack Reed, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee who also chairs the Senate Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies, was successful in securing $12 million for the additional modernization of RIPTA’s bus fleet.
“A strong public transportation system is key to Rhode Island’s economic development and I am proud to have secured federal funding to help improve travel options throughout the state. These new buses will help RIPTA operate more efficiently while improving the safety and performance of its bus fleet, as well as reducing emissions,” said Reed, who is also a senior member of the Senate Banking Committee which oversees federal transit policy.
New Buses Will Boost Reliability, Comfort and Access
The new buses—designated for service on fixed routes—will bring several benefits. Passengers can expect more reliable service from the new vehicles and an enhanced level of safety. The new buses also offer greater accessibility and ride more smoothly and comfortably than the ones they replace.
New Low-Floor GILLIG BRT Buses
The sleek 40-foot bus, with aerodynamic BRT styling, weighs 28,500 lbs and comfortably seats 39 passengers. This model features many improvements, including the new EMP Fan system (electric radiator fans), flush mounted bonded windows, and a traffic signal priority system. These new buses feature the latest Allison transmission, a Cummins ISL engine that exceeds 2010 EPA emission requirements, and advanced fuel-saving features. Stainless steel bike racks allow quick, easy bicycle loading. New soft seating and improved KONI shock absorbers provide a comfortable ride. The wheelchair ramp has been redesigned to reduce maintenance and improve safety and ease of boarding for passengers with disabilities.
Funded by various Federal Transit Administration Grants and Rhode Island Bonds, each 2013 GILLIG BRT low-floor bus costs $433,000. These new buses are part of RIPTA’s normal fleet replacement plan to maintain their fleet in top condition. All fifty brand new 2013 GILLIG BRT 40’ foot low-floor buses will have joined the RIPTA fleet by May 2013.
A Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) helps GILLIG buses meet strict air quality requirements by removing particulate matter (soot) from diesel engine exhaust. The filter automatically “regenerates” by burning off the collected particulate matter. And the Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) exhaust after treatment system significantly reduces the amount of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emitted from the exhaust by turning them into nitrogen and water. The GILLIG BRT not only saves fuel but helps keep the air in Providence clean and fresh.
RIPTA, the State’s Mobility Manager, operates over 3,000 daily bus trips on over 50 bus routes throughout the state. In FY12, we provided over 20 million rides. RIPTA also offers passenger van “Flex” services in areas not served by fixed-route bus service. For more information on schedules or other RIPTA services, please call 781-9400 or visit ripta.com.