Gunnison Valley RTA Public Transportation
Section 2: Maintenance Capacity, Fleet Condition, and Replacement Plan – Vehicle Replacement and Acquisition Strategy
GVRTA uses age, mileage and condition as a basis for replacement.
For the age and mileage determinants, GVRTA uses FTA recommendations for vehicle age and mileage, which is every 12 years or 500,000 miles. As stated previously, FTA defines useful life as 12 years for large size, heavy-duty transit buses.
For the condition determinant, GVRTA uses FTA condition ratings and real time data based on maintenance costs. See Appendix C for the eight year comparison of maintenance and repair costs that
helps determine condition.
The average condition of the majority of GVRTA’s fleet is marginal, (Nabi/Bluebird buses) which is defined as defective or deteriorated components in need of replacement. GVRTA rates the condition of
their vehicles based on the number of major bus maintenance issues documented in the fleet condition section of this document.
Based on the useful life and condition determinants, GVRTA has had to plan and seek financial assistance for replacement of buses slightly ahead of the 12-year useful life qualifier (scheduled for 2019) for the four Nabi/Bluebird buses currently in the fleet. Therefore, FTA Section 5339 funds were sought and received to replace one Nabi/Bluebird bus in 2018. Additional federal/state grant funds will be sought in 2017 to replace two more Nabi/Bluebird buses, with an expected delivery timeframe of 2019. The final Nabi/Bluebird bus replacement will be sought in 2018 (2019 calendar year grant funding) for delivery in 2020.
Given the tremendous amount of maintenance issues, cost, and downtime required to service the 2007 Nabi/Bluebird vehicles, along with ever increasing service levels required for winter peak service,
GVRTA is changing the fleet acquisition strategy to include a 1) bus model change; 2) fuel change; and 3) an expansion of the fleet to allow for a spare ratio.
- GVRTA will no longer purchase standard or low floor transit buses given the highway speeds and service requirements. Instead, all purchases for the fleet will be heavy duty, over the road commuter style coaches, which provide better quality components that hold up at highway speeds and increased passenger seating capacity.
- Gunnison County has placed a strong emphasis on fuel economy and independence and is converting its fleet to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) between 2016 and 2019. Therefore, the County has requested all RTA bus purchases from 2017 forward be CNG.