Motor Coach Industries (MCI), a U.S. subsidiary of NFI Group Inc., today announced a five-year contract for up to 50 MCI D45 CRT LE and D45 CRT Commuter Rapid Transit coaches from Valley Metro.
The contract begins with an initial order for four (4) MCI D45 CRT LE coaches, scheduled for delivery in summer 2020. The procurement is part of Valley Metro’s strategic plan to improve the level of service and passenger comfort on its commuter express highway routes connecting Phoenix, Mesa, Tempe and surrounding communities.
ADA and Buy America compliant and Altoona tested, MCI’s next-generation Commuter Coach has a patented low-entry vestibule featuring an automated retractable ramp that delivers significantly shorter dwell times and a more efficient boarding process for all passengers
In addition to plenty of horsepower for hills and highways, transit agencies appreciate the shorter turning radius of MCI D45 CRT LE, providing improved navigation around city streets. The new model, which went into production in 2019, 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.
While Valley Metro has operated heavy-duty transit buses by MCI’s sister company (New Flyer) on its regional routes, this order represents Valley Metro’s first purchase of MCI commuter coaches.
“We are extremely honored to have an opportunity to support Valley Metro,” said Tom Wagner, MCI Vice President Public Sector. “When designing this coach, MCI consulted with leading advocacy groups, including the National Council on Independent Living, that evaluated numerous concepts and the final prototype design. Their participation guided the coach design, creating a versatile, comfortable and more accessible Commuter Coach for systems like Valley Transit.” MCI also plans other variants of the new model to succeed the industry’s historically all-time bestseller known for its workhorse reliability.
“We are excited to introduce a style of commuter bus that will enhance the overall experience for our express riders,” said Scott Wisner, Bus Services Delivery Manager, Valley Metro. “In addition to enhanced comfort and safety amenities, the area designated for mobility devices will help riders more easily board and exit the bus.”
Valley Metro is the regional public transportation agency that provides coordinated, multimodal transit options to the residents and visitors of greater Phoenix, with 50 million passenger trips on its buses in fiscal year 2019. It coordinates with 19 member agencies to plan, construct and operate regional bus, light rail and alternative transportation programs for riders of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities in the metro area.