CHARLOTTE, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--DesignLine Corporation announced today that its 45 foot compressed natural gas (CNG) coach bus has completed all phases of the federal-required Altoona testing and has been running in revenue service on NJ TRANSIT routes. NJ TRANSIT has given DesignLine the notification to proceed with the manufacture of 76 buses, the total number identified in the contract.
The CNG-powered bus offers the design elements of a coach bus coupled with the cost savings associated with natural gas propulsion. The resulting bus, called the EcoCoach, is an efficient, clean burning coach designed for over the road and intercity use. With the first Altoona-tested 45 foot CNG coach to reach the market, DesignLine is poised to capture a significant share of the emerging sector for CNG coaches.
"We couldn’t be prouder of our EcoCoach bus," said Joseph Smith, President of DesignLine. "This bus was designed and built to meet every challenge that might come its way on the road, and completing the grueling and comprehensive Altoona testing proves we succeeded in that effort. This bus has been put through every test possible and has performed extremely well."
The Altoona Bus Testing and Research Center provides bus manufacturers and the FTA reliable and unbiased data regarding vehicles. The goal is to promote greater reliability and performance of new bus models. The testing covers a number of broad areas, including: safety, structural integrity and durability, reliability, performance, maintainability, noise, fuel economy, brake, and emissions.
"When I ran buses in New York City for MTA, the ever-changing and high cost of fuel was a constant challenge,” added Smith, former President of MTA Bus Company. “The availability of an Altoona-tested CNG coach bus now allows transit systems and bus operators to reap the savings associated with the significantly lower cost of CNG fuel over diesel."
DesignLine, a Charlotte, NC-based bus design and manufacturing company, was founded in 1985 in New Zealand and relocated and headquartered in the United States in 2006. The company specializes in technologically-advanced transit and coach buses for public and private operators.