RTA purchasing a back-up bus

Three of four RTA buses are running

After dealing with nearly constant mechanical trouble on their four new transit buses, the Gunnison Valley Rural Transportation Authority (RTA) is purchasing a back-up bus. Representatives from Alpine Express, which operates the RTA’s free public transit service, are heading out to Sacramento, Calif. this week to pick it up.



Mechanical troubles on the RTA’s buses started soon after they were put into service, ferrying passengers between Gunnison and Crested Butte several times a day. Most of the repairs have been covered under the dealer’s warranty, but some of the repairs have required the buses to travel back to the dealership, North American Bus Industries, in Denver.
“They’ve been doing everything they’re supposed to do for the warranty,” says RTA director Scott Truex.
Alpine Express has previously substituted in its own vehicles if an RTA bus is unavailable to run a route, but sometimes the substitute is a much smaller van.
After a year of repeated mechanical troubles that rarely left the RTA with a full fleet of four buses on hand, Truex considered buying a used bus as a back-up. The RTA board of directors approved the expense on January 9.
Truex says North American Bus Industries agreed to split the cost of the $22,500 back-up bus, a 1991 public transit bus that was last used in Sacramento. “They think it’s the right thing to do,” Truex says of the dealership. He says the used bus will be very similar to the buses the RTA is currently using.
Truex says there will be a few other costs in order to bring the back-up bus into service, such as a full tune-up and inspection, and putting the RTA logo on the side.
At press time, one of the RTA’s four buses was broken down and was in Denver for engine repairs. However, Truex says the four buses have seen much less mechanical trouble in recent weeks.

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