New CTS Buses

As of today, Charlottesville Transit Service has some new buses on the roads. WINA describes them as “euro-style,” given their small size, bike racks and wheelchair accessibility. They also use clean-burning diesel, like some other city buses. Best of all, 95% of their cost is paid for by state and federal money.

18 Responses to “New CTS Buses”

  • “Best of all, 95% of their cost is paid for by state and federal money.”

    this is the reason are current buses are too large and vast waste of money and energy. We bought them because the bill wasn’t pick up by the city. Remember the ill-fated eletric buses- a nightmare from day one. I will argue that the city large buses pose an enviromental hazard when the energy use is measured by percentage of seats occupied. It would have been cheaper to have a free van service and get rid of all the buses.

    Smaller buses should have been the order of the day years ago. In the past five years I can count on one hand the number of buses I seen that were more than half full. Go look for yourself downtown. I hope the new buses are half the size of the old ones. That should make them cheaper, more efficent, and we can buy more of them for the same amount of money allowing the bus system to expand at little increase in cost.

  • I imagine (and hope) that this is what they’re going for with the smaller buses. About 10% of the time that I take a city bus, it’s full. Probably half of the time it’s half full. It should be noted that I seldom ride at peak (7am-9am, 4pm-6pm) times, though.

    It’s too bad that the electric buses didn’t work out. I’m pleased that the city had the nerve to try them out, and the good sense to drop them when they didn’t work. (The not-going-up-hills thing was a problem. I thought they’d have to reinstate the old practice of keeping a mule at the bottom of Vinegar Hill to help it up.)

  • They didn’t need to buy the electric buses to find out that they wouldn’t work very well here. They tried them out and the manufacturer warned CTS that the buses wouldn’t work very well in Charlottesville before they were even purchased. There was an article in the Chattanooga paper about it. They bought them anyway and spent all kinds of money and time trying to prove the manufacturer wrong. That’s good?

  • This is from the Chattanooga newspaper: “AVS Chairman Joe Ferguson said Charlottesville has a lot of hills and the company told the transit system that the AVS propulsion system wasn’t meant for that terrain.

    “They put them in an area that wasn’t capable of handling that grade. They didn’t listen,” he said.

    Mr. Ferguson said some of the Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation System’s oldest electric buses from AVS have the same drive train and they’ve been running downtown for years.

    “The old system operates perfectly well in downtown Chattanooga,” he said.

    CARTA has a fleet of 18 AVS electric buses, all of which operate on its 3-mile shuttle route downtown. In addition, CARTA has 11 more buses on order from AVS which the system intends to put into regular transit service for the first time.

    Arlie Hahn, director of marketing and infrastructure development for Virginia Power Co., said AVS explained to Charlottesville around the time of the purchase that the buses would be difficult to operate successfully in that city.

    “There’s very little flat ground in Charlottesville,’ said Mr. Hahn. ‘When you begin to try to pull a steep grade you’re pulling a massive amount out of the batteries and the range goes down to nothing.”

  • I’d like to know why they didn’t buy compressed natural gas buses. Aren’t they less polluting than any diesel bus? Some of the public works trucks are CNG.

  • They didn’t need to buy the electric buses to find out that they wouldn’t work very well here.

    It’s not the first time, and probably not the last, that Charlottesville will insist on learning other cities’ lessons all over again (see “Free Bike Program”).

  • So Waldo, are you still pleased that the city “had the nerve” to try out the electric buses?

    Here’s the URL for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. The original article appeared in August of 1999.

  • So Waldo, are you still pleased that the city “had the nerve” to try out the electric buses?

    Of course not, knowing that. Do you think I’m stupid?

    Don’t answer that. ;)

  • It’s obviously time to find out where these “state and federal” funds are coming from, and put an end to it. There appears to be no sense of accountability on this waste of taxpayers money.

  • Absolutely! Who thought up this public transportation nonsense anyway? Let’s just sell off all the buses and vans and go the Los Angeles route, building freeways in every direction! If it worked for them – oh, wait.

  • What are you talking about? There are dozens of free bike programs in operation all over the world (mainly the US and Europe) today and they’re quite successful. What lesson would they be learning when they kick off the program this spring? Even if they manage to fail against the odds, the city won’t have lost anything. No need to be so cynical.

  • I’m not being cynical. I’m referring to several Free Bike programs I read about in the local media around the time that this was being debated. Maybe we read different news, but all the ones I saw cited were unsuccessful (unless you want to claim that having to continually pump large numbers of replacement bikes into the program is “successful”). One of the more notable ones took place in Portland, Oregon.

  • Nahh, I’m not going to call you stupid. In fact I am glad to hear you acknowledge that your previous posititon was stupid. Such an admission is very unusual for a politician. Of course you’re young and you want to get elected so you’ll probably change and learn to NEVER admit you made a mistake.

  • Yes whenever possible reduce dissent with absurdity. No one said public transporation was bad or unwise. The discussion was about the effectiveness of the money spent.

    To take your tack, Yes lets raise taxes and take away all the cars. People can’t be trusted to pick effiecent and enviromentally sensitive transport. Because when the greens are in charge “the trains and busses WILL run on time!

    you can trust us. we are not fat cats, in fact most of us can’t do nothing but complain.

  • Several years ago (10 to 15?) C’ville had some smaller buses (Mercedes?). Does anyone remember why the city switched back to the full size bus?

  • lets hope not!

  • Isn’t “clean-burning diesel” an oxymoron? Sounds like something Enron thought of.

  • The visible emissions from the newer “clean burning diesel” buses are a lot less than the old clunkers. The new ones also discharge from the top rather than from the side and then into your face or open car window.

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