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Media Relations Contact:
Morgan Lyons

March 15, 2001

"I'll take you there"

DART 30-foot iBus debuts Wednesday at Dallas Auto Show

Come kick the tires and get behind the wheel of DART's latest model, the iBus, at the Dallas Auto Show, March 21 through 25 at the Dallas Convention Center.

I'm new.The idea behind the 30-foot iBus is to bring transit closer to the customer. The "i" in iBus emphasizes the individuality of the smaller bus and the way DART will deploy it. "Using 30-foot buses instead of 40-footers will make it possible for more flexible routing in certain locations, and that means we can do more to attract customers," said Tim Newby, assistant vice president of planning. In other words, the bus will provide more individualized service.

I'm small.DART has developed a special promotional campaign to premiere the new bus. The campaign theme emphasizes some of the personal qualities of the iBus and the routes it will serve. The iBus speaks for itself with distinctive colors and exterior advertising, announcing: "I'm fun," "I'm convenient" and "I'm new."

I'll take you there.The new buses, manufactured by Champion Bus, Inc. of Michigan, are actually 29 feet and 11 inches long, weighing 23,000 lbs. empty, and seating up to 25 passengers. The buses are equipped with wheelchair lifts and, like DART's 40-foot buses, high-tech state-of-the-art passenger information features such as an automatic voice annunciator that tells and shows passengers what stop is coming up.

The smaller buses are powered by a turbocharged Cummins 6-cylinder diesel engine that produces 210 horsepower. The engines are low emissions vehicle (LEV) certified.

The new 30-foot buses are running on the new Route 8 -- extending from Union Station in downtown through the Oak Lawn area, and then to Preston Center at Northwest Highway via Douglas. The buses debuted in late January. DART plans to put 91 of them into service over the next two years.

"These buses will primarily be deployed on shorter, neighborhood routes, many of them feeding a rail station or transit center, where we don't need the capacity of a 40-foot bus," said Newby. "They'll start showing up throughout our service area as they are delivered to DART."

Champion Model CT300 Bus Specifications

Length: 29 feet, 11 inches
Weight: 23,000 pounds
Passengers: 25 facing front, or 19 with two wheelchairs on board
Accessibility: Ricon F9A wheelchair lifts
Doors: 1
Engine: 6-cylinder Cummins ISB Diesel, turbocharged
Emissions: Certified Low Emissions Vehicle (LEV)
Amenities: Voice destination announcement system
Cost: $180,000

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