DES PLAINES, IL, Dec. 9, 2019 /CNW/ - (TSX: NFI) Motor Coach Industries (MCI), a U.S. subsidiary of NFI Group Inc., ("NFI"), one of the world's leading independent global bus manufacturers, announced that AC Transit approved the purchase of 36 of MCI's new, more accessible D45 CRT LE commuter coaches. The order is a result of a recent competitive procurement for up to 137 D45 CRT LE coaches, of which 50 can be procured for AC Transit's use with the remaining 87 options being available for use by other transit authorities throughout the United States.
The newly procured D45 CRT LE coaches will operate on AC Transit's bustling Transbay Network. Ultimately, these coaches will be the backbone of AC Transit's efforts to eliminate commuter gridlock across three of the Bay Area's most congested bridges.
ADA (American With Disabilities Act) and Buy America compliant, the Altoona-tested next generation MCI D45 CRT LE Commuter Coach was designed through consultation with leading advocacy groups. These groups, including the National Council on Independent Living, evaluated numerous concepts and the final prototype design.
In addition to the breakthrough accessibility, the D45 CRT LE offers plenty of horsepower for hills and highways and a shorter turning radius for improved navigation around city streets. The new model also offers enhanced interior illumination and brighter LED headlights to enhance visibility. A wider front door with an ergonomic spiral entryway also features enhanced illumination on the stairwell.
"For many riders with impairments, AC Transit is an essential lifeline to physicians, careers, and recreation. With a passenger focus, we are assembling an entirely new bus fleet that not only accommodates all riders but mobility devices as well," says AC Transit General Manager, Michael Hursh. "MCI's new D45 CRT LE is the coach that will help revolutionize our boarding. Its middle door's ADA ramp opens to an ingenious vestibule; eliminating stairs; quickens boarding; and provides ample space and greater independence for riders with mobility devices."
AC Transit became the first public transit agency to test the MCI D45 CRT LE in revenue service, following the transformative model's debut at the 2017 APTA Expo in Atlanta. MCI loaned its MCI D45 CRT LE prototype to AC Transit in December of that year as a test vehicle on several Transbay bus lines regular routes for a three-week demonstration, enabling AC Transit to solicit feedback from passengers, drivers, maintenance staff, and its accessibility committee. The pilot ran in excess of 100 trips, throughout AC Transit's expansive service area, free of charge for all passengers in exchange for participation in an on-board survey of the MCI D45 CRT LE's overall ridership experience. The results: 93% of riders surveyed wanted AC Transit to add the model to its fleet, giving its ride quality, comfort of seats and overhead reading lights the highest rating.
"MCI's relationship with AC Transit spans two decades," said Tom Wagner, MCI Vice President, Public Sector. "We were extremely honored to have AC Transit among the first to embrace the MCI D45 CRT LE's ground-breaking new design, providing riders with a more comfortable, accessible experience."
AC Transit is California's third-largest bus-only transit district and the transportation of choice for nearly 170,000 riders each weekday. With two service areas traversing 364-square service mile, the district operates 151 bus lines, aboard 637 active coaches. Currently, 79 MCI Commuter Coaches serve as the backbone of AC Transit's immensely popular Transbay service.
With 9,000 team members operating from more than 50 facilities across ten countries, NFI is a leading independent global bus manufacturer providing a comprehensive suite of mass transportation solutions under brands: New Flyer® (heavy-duty transit buses), Alexander Dennis Limited (single and double-deck buses), Plaxton (motor coaches), MCI® (motor coaches), ARBOC® (low-floor cutaway and medium-duty buses), and NFI Parts™. NFI buses and motor coaches incorporate the widest range of drive systems available including: clean diesel, natural gas, diesel-electric hybrid, and zero-emission electric (trolley, battery, and fuel cell). In total, NFI now supports over 105,000 buses and coaches currently in service around the world. NFI common shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol NFI. News and information are available at www.nfigroup.com, www.newflyer.com, www.mcicoach.com, www.arbocsv.com, www.alexander-dennis.com, and www.nfi.parts.
Motor Coach Industries (MCI) is North America's public and private market motor coach leader, building the J4500 (the industry best-seller for 13 consecutive years), the all-new 35-foot J3500 model, and the workhorse D-Series including the breakthrough ADA-accessible MCI D45 CRT LE Commuter Coach offering lower dwell times. MCI will add battery-electric propulsion in 2020. With nearly 30,000 MCI coaches on the road, MCI also provides maintenance, repair, 24-hour roadside assistance, parts supply through NFI Parts, and technician training through the industry's only Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) accredited MCI Academy. Further information is available at www.mcicoach.com.
This press release may contain forward-looking statements relating to expected future events and financial and operating results of NFI Group that involve risks and uncertainties. Although the forward-looking statements contained in this press release are based upon what management believes to be reasonable assumptions, investors cannot be assured that actual results will be consistent with these forward-looking statements, and the differences may be material. Actual results may differ materially from management expectations as projected in such forward-looking statements for a variety of reasons, including market and general economic conditions and economic conditions of and funding availability for customers to purchase buses and coaches and to purchase parts or services, customers may not exercise options to purchase additional buses and coaches, the ability of customers to suspend or terminate contracts for convenience and the other risks and uncertainties discussed in the materials filed with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities and available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Due to the potential impact of these factors, the NFI Group disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, unless required by applicable law.
SOURCE NFI Group Inc.