For Immediate Release
26 March 2018
MST Puts New Buses Into Service
Monterey-Salinas Transit (MST) has begun the process of replacing its older buses. This was long overdue, as MST’s fleet consists of buses as old as 18 years, with some having traveled nearly a million miles. That’s almost twice the useful life of what a U.S. city bus is expected to operate.
A number of factors have driven the decision in refreshing the fleet. Even though MST’s older buses are just as safe as a new one, they are more costly to operate, less fuel efficient, produce more greenhouse gas emissions, and are more subject to breakdown than newer buses.
The first four brand-new buses went into service in both the Salinas and Monterey areas this weekend, and 23 more are on the way to the area. Passengers will be able to easily identify the new buses by the MST logo pattern on the seat fabric. But upgrades aren’t all cosmetic. MST drivers appreciate that steering them requires less effort, and that the foot pedals are adjustable, so buses can be operated more safely by almost anyone. The destination signs (head signs) are easier to maintain and are packed with more LEDs, offering more programming options, and making them easier to read.
Deputy Chief Operating Officer Norman Tuitavuki said the new buses went into service on Saturday and are performing well on their routes with virtually no issues.
The new buses are made in Livermore, California, by the GILLIG Corporation, and were purchased with a combination of federal grants and state and local funds.