It's not hybrid or natural gas yet, but the emissions on the new bus is near zero.
-Cliff Rubel, Director of Maintenance for MCTS
Technology and engineering has changed quite a bit in the 29 years Cliff Rubel has worked in the maintenance department at Milwaukee County Transit System. "The buses are replaced every 12 years or 500,000 miles," says Rubel. The first of the newest model of MCTS buses arrived this week, the Xcelsior.
"In 2011, MCTS did a test on 30 of our buses," says Jennifer Bradley, Communications Manager for MCTS. "Customers and drivers were surveyed about the stroller area on our buses." They had an overwhelmingly positive response for more stroller/shopping cart space. The new Xcelsior models meet those needs.
The Xcelsior models have some additional features new to the fleet of buses already running in Milwaukee. One of those upgrades is a fiberglass body panel that replaces aluminum for longer life and easier maintenance. "The exterior of the bus most people won't notice the difference," says Rubel. "The paint scheme is the same."
If you're one of those riders that finds themselves always running for a bus, there's an extra feature on the Xcelsior you may appreciate: an additional electronic route number sign at the rear of the bus. Available on buses in other cities, it's an important feature that is missing from current Milwaukee buses.
The Milwaukee area will benefit from improved air quality and lower emissions that come along with the Xcelsior fleet. The new buses will run on all streets of the city, concentrating on the busiest of routes.
Information about MCTS or the Xcelsior bus is found online at www.ridemcts.com.