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DOT Announces Winners of National Bus Rapid Transit Vehicle Design Competition

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Buses American Government

DOT Announces Winners of National Bus Rapid Transit Vehicle Design Competition

Federal Transit Administration
July 2, 2001

Monday, July 2, 2001
Contact: Gail Taylor
Tel.: (202) 366-4043
FTA 07-01

Four designs for high-capacity buses that will soon help to relieve congestion and crowding in cities all across the country were honored recently at a Washington, D.C. ceremony.

Vince Taylor, U.S. Department of Transportation Deputy Chief of Staff made the presentations to the winning team members.

“Secretary Mineta believes that conservation must be an integral part of making sure our nation has a reasonable energy policy,” said Taylor. “The Bus Rapid Transit Program will conserve fuel, utilize safer buses and offer improved passenger amenities.”

The new style buses, to be used in high-capacity ‘bus rapid transit systems,’ demonstrate how new bus designs can be integrated with imaginative approaches to transit, which better serve communities across America. These new ideas can encourage transit equipment manufacturers, transit operators, and communities to rethink how new vehicle concepts and design might reduce congestion, increase energy efficiency and diminish emissions. Concepts from the winning vehicle bus designs will be integrated into several bus systems throughout the country.

The competition winners in the top four categories included:

  • The Village Technology Team (Annapolis, Md.) for “SMRTram-ITS in the Baltimore Harbor.” This submission highlights a bus design that is significantly narrower than a conventional bus and uses a dedicated single narrow lane busway. The single lane, when used with Smart Technologies, would support buses going in both directions, thus eliminating the need for two dedicated lanes on the busway.

  • The Portland and Company Team for “Road Rail.” Based on the needs of Portland, Maine, “Road Rail” offers an old time appearance for its bus and can utilize existing unused railroad tracks as a dedicated busway supporting rapid travel times. The vehicle also operates on conventional road surfaces supporting a variety of routes and destinations. The vehicles are designed in a modular fashion that allows them to be manufactured as smaller shuttle buses as well as medium size school buses. This modular design feature supports low cost manufacturing, thereby making these vehicles more affordable.

  • The Toyota Motor Corporation received an award for its “Innovative Bus Design for the Future for South Miami.” The Toyota Motor Corporation’s submission featured a vehicle with a futuristic aerodynamic design, similar to many modern rail vehicles. The bus is environmentally friendly, twice as long as conventional buses and can carry 200 passengers. The large capacity of the bus, coupled with the eight-mile exclusive busway, provides rapid travel times for a large volume of riders.

  • The University of Hawaii at Manoa Team accepted an award in the “Excellence in the Use of Established BRT Concepts” for “CitySurfer in Honolulu.” This attractive bus uses a series of waves in the vehicle shape and design, conjuring up images of white sandy beaches. The stations match the identity of the bus with a wave motif, using shelters powered by solar energy. The vehicles incorporate a variety of passenger information systems and amenities such as telecommunication ports, digital entertainment systems and computers with Internet access.

    In addition to the four top categories, there were eighteen additional awards for a variety of innovative ideas and vehicle design concepts. Winning teams included San Jose State University, Thomas Clarke and Team, DPK&A Architects and Synthesis Design Team, BRT Partnership Behr Browers Architects, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Portland State University, B. Tate Selby Architecture and Planning, Appalachian State University, Port Authority of Allegheny County and ENDESCO Team.

    The design competition was co-sponsored by Federal Transit Administration and WestStart, a nonprofit corporation dedicated to encouraging the design and implementation of new transportation technologies that are environmentally responsible and improve the quality of life.

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