New buses arrive at HRT

Norfolk

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Hampton Roads Transit had new buses as part of an effort to improve fleet reliability by retiring older, worn-out equipment.

The first of the 38 buses arrived this week following their cross-country journey after being assembled at the Gillig factory in Hayward, California.

The order includes 24 29-foot buses, one 35-footer, and 13 40-foot buses for the fleet.

The buses are initially parked at the agency’s 18th Street facility where final preparations for service are performed, including registering them with the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Older buses are typically auctioned off. The average age of HRT’s current bus fleet is about 10 years old, meaning too many are past their normal life cycle.

HRT officials say older buses are more expensive to operate because they need more maintenance. They also break down more often, affect on-time service performance, and hurt customer satisfaction.

When the last of the 38 new buses are in place and the older ones auctioned, the agency’s average fleet age will fall to about 8.78 years old. Several years ago it was as high as 13 years old.

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