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Media Relations Contact:
Morgan Lyons

July 21, 2004

DART bus customers getting a new ride, smoother trip

NABI bus imageIn the coming weeks DART bus operators won't be the only ones saying "welcome aboard" to customers in Carrollton, Farmers Branch, Garland, Glenn Heights, Irving and Rowlett. Eighty new buses can speak for themselves, thank you very much.

The onboard announcement system - which uses English and Spanish - is just one of the features of the buses built by North American Bus Industries (NABI). They began arriving from the firm's plant in Anniston, Ala. in May and will continue arriving through the summer. The buses will be part of DART's Express Bus fleet, replacing the 1991-model over-the-road coaches. Each of the buses costs $300,000. A federal grant funded 83% of the cost of the buses.

The new vehicles will be powered by a cleaner engine fueled by ultra-low-sulfur diesel, which exceeds current clean-air standards and new state standards scheduled for implementation in 2005. The new buses are three times cleaner than the buses they are replacing.

NABI bus imageThe new bus has a wider door and front door wheelchair access, all designed to get our customers to and from their destinations faster. While the buses look like those used in local service, they have reclining seats and individual reading lights. Along with the onboard announcement system that tells and shows passengers what stop is coming up, the buses have larger, higher visibility destination signage, not currently used in DART's suburban buses.

DART began updating its bus fleet in 1998, and since then has introduced more than 700 new buses. Another fleet update is scheduled in 2008.

Click here to view high-resolution images of the new DART bus.

New DART Bus Facts

Manufacturer: North American Bus Industries, Anniston, Ala.
Cost: $300,000 (83% funded by federal grants)
Weight: 32,000 pounds
Length: 40 feet
Width: 102 inches
Fuel Range: 400 miles or greater
Engine: 4-cylinder Detroit Diesel Series 50, Ultra-Low-Sulfur/Low-NOx Diesel
Computer Controls: Monitors engine and transmission for performance and emissions
Capable of kneeling to assist in boarding
Automatic bus stop announcements in English and Spanish
Interior Accommodations: 40 Seats with reclining upholstered seats
Overhead luggage racks
Individual reading lights and air conditioning
Wheelchair lift equipped: Room for two customers using wheelchairs

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