Bus riders on Stockton, California’s popular Metro Express Route 40 are now enjoying a greener and more comfortable ride. San Joaquin Regional Transit District (RTD) recently added six Nova LFX articulated hybrid buses to its fleet. RTD’s Metro Express service, combining Routes 40, 43, and 44, represents 45% of RTD’s total system-wide ridership. Increasing capacity to respond to such demand had become a serious concern for the transit authority.

From problematic situation to solution

“Ridership on the Metro Express has continually grown exponentially,” said Donna DeMartino, General Manager/CEO at San Joaquin RTD. “We were experiencing up to 75 passengers per revenue hour. Our buses were full, and often, we've had to turn waiting customers away because we didn’t have room to board them. We recognized this dilemma and knew that to address the problem, we needed bigger buses.”

The new Nova LFX articulated buses will allow RTD to handle the highest volumes. They can carry over 100 passengers per bus, compared to a maximum of approximately 75 passengers on a traditional, 40-foot transit bus. Each bus has the capacity to replace up to 100 cars, while taking up only 5% of the space.

Director of Operations Norm Tuitavuki explained why RTD selected the Nova LFX: “The full sheet metal structure was one of the key factors, but we like the overall interior and exterior design of the bus. We like the way the wiring was built into the cabinet style, fold-down access areas – this makes it much easier for our maintenance team to conduct inspections, troubleshoot electrical components, and access necessary equipment on the bus. We also like the size of the driver area and the placement of the driver components. The wheelchair ramp by Lift-U is the best we've seen and used, by far. When you add on the hybrid component, that pretty much sealed the deal for us. We also like Nova Bus' commitment to customer satisfaction and their ongoing personal communication with our staff to ensure we receive the best care possible.”

Nova Bus President Jean-Pierre Baracat highlighted RTD’s Metro Express as an efficient transportation model that contributes to solving the city’s congestion challenges. “We’re proud to see our low emission, safe and fully accessible buses play a part in their success. This is yet another step in growing our presence in California,” he added.

But what really made Nova Bus team beam with pride was when Mr. Tuitavuki concluded, “Don’t get left behind wondering if you could have had a Nova LFX Artic. Make the purchase and you won't regret it. Our employees and customers have been raving about these new buses.”

CAPTION: Donna DeMartino, San Joaquin RTD’s General Manager/CEO.

Related links: San Joaquin RTD rolls out new LFX, Facebook picture album, San Joaquin RTD website


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