MCI brought its latest generation of Commuter Coaches to the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) EXPO and Annual meeting in Houston Oct. 13 through Oct. 15, offering transit agencies the greenest, safest and most reliable coach model on the market.
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MCI showcased three versions of its industry-leading Commuter Coach model. MCI’s booth included Houston Metro’s newest clean-diesel; a 40-foot CNG model; and a coach equipped with the next-generation Bendix braking and ZF axle and suspension system.
Here comes the new commuter express
Only MCI currently manufacturers a commuter coach which is Buy America-compliant, Altoona-tested and available in clean-diesel, hybrid and CNG options. Designed for the highway, the MCI Commuter Coach offers a high-floor design and rugged semi-monocoque structure that elevates passengers and drivers well above traffic. Forward-facing seating and advanced safety features such as electronic stability control provide comfortable, secure trips. As cities, suburbs and exurbs plan commuter service expansions, the MCI Commuter Coach offers an optimal package, combining the low total cost of operation with maximum seating capacity, reliability and safety.
As for total low cost of operation, the MCI Commuter Coach offers a highly competitive per-seat price and workhorse reliability. In fact, a recent National Transit Database Maintenance report shows that the Commuter Coach has 191% fewer failures per vehicle than BRT and 55% fewer than typical transit buses. It’s a hit with passengers too, thanks to comfortable seats, reading lights, airflow controls, and optional 110-volt outlets, Wi-Fi connectivity and three-point passenger seatbelts.
“MCI is leading the evolution in high-speed commuter express as metro areas expand,” said Patrick Scully, MCI Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “Each year, commuters grow more sophisticated about the safety, comfort and environmental standards they’ll need to give up their passenger cars. We think our lineup of MCI Commuter Coaches will convert drivers to coach as never before.”
Metro’s new workhorse
At the MCI booth, attendees had the chance to inspect one of Houston Metro’s clean-diesel coaches, part of a recent 95-coach order for MCI. Currently, Metro runs 300 MCI coaches, including 122 diesel-electric hybrid models. On their latest Commuter Coach, Metro has ordered an impressive set of features including Kiel North America Avance 2010 seating for 55 passengers, a Transmark Mobile View nine-camera color surveillance system, 110-volt power outlets with USB plugs at every seat, and Sportworks bike rack.
“MCI is honored to showcase Metro’s new Commuter Coach, especially with Expo held in its hometown,” said Tom Wagner, MCI Vice President of Public Sector. “Attendees will see how Metro is helping ensure its ridership enjoys the maximum level of safety and comfort. MCI has a large presence at Expo, demonstrating our commitment to serve the public sector with high-quality equipment and leading aftermarket support.”
Accelerating Clean-Air CNG
MCI also featured a 40-foot CNG Commuter Coach to help communities advance clean-energy commitments. The model comes equipped with the proven Cummins ISL engine and Allison B500R transmission paired with an Agility fuel system to offers a range of 400 miles and lower emissions. New Jersey Transit recently ordered 147 CNG Commuter Coaches, which meet EPA and CARB standards as the transit agency increases its focus on alternative fuel standards. MCI’s CNG coaches have been in the NJ Transit fleet since 77 were delivered in 1999 and 2000 —logging on average more than 700,000 miles.
Going clean-diesel with ZF/Bendix systems
MCI also displayed a clean-diesel coach with Cummins ISX engine, Allison B500 transmission, the new ZF axle, Bendix ADB22X disc brakes and steering system to offer improved performance and handling. The coach also features Sachs shocks and corrosion-resistant stainless steel frame tubing.
MCI Service Parts at APTA
“Think MCI” (for parts bids) is the focus for MCI Service Parts representatives, who showcase a wide range of components for most transit bus makes and models, as well as those for MCI coaches. MCI’s parts organization includes an entire team focused on responding quickly to procurements for transit parts. MCI has been making major investments in its inventory of both OEM and Coach Guard parts, with a special transit team to handle complex bids, facilitate ordering and offer technical support.