Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano today announced that a contract has been awarded for the purchase of 110 new Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses for the Nassau Inter-County Express (NICE) fleet. The multi-year contract calls for delivery of 52, 40-foot fixed-route buses beginning in early 2016 with an option to purchase 58 additional buses. The new buses will replace the oldest buses in the 315-bus fleet.
“Funds allocated by the Federal Transit Administration are enabling Nassau County to replace NICE’s oldest and least reliable buses, which are expensive to maintain,” said County Executive Mangano. “Updating the NICE fleet will enhance system reliability and improve the experience for NICE’s customers.”
Buses being replaced are at least 12 years old, with a minimum of 500,000 miles in service. Since its inception in 2012, NICE has purchased 69 newly manufactured vehicles, including 45, 40-foot fixed route buses and 24 paratransit vehicles. The new Xcelsior XN40 model buses will be manufactured by New Flyer Industries – a leading manufacturer of heavy-duty transit buses in the U.S. Similarly, the Metropolitan Transit Authority ordered 140 Xcelsior buses for its fleet in January.
“Our customers will enjoy a more comfortable ride, our drivers will operate vehicles with the latest technology and standards of safety and our repair and maintenance challenges should improve,” said NICE Chief Executive Officer Mike Setzer. Setzer noted that keeping the NICE fleet in good working order while keeping down the cost of repairs has been one of the greatest challenges for NICE.
The new buses are equipped with the latest GPS technology, designed to enhance passenger information and communications and enhance overall operations of the NICE fleet. The buses operate on CNG, which is more environmentally friendly fuel. Each bus seats 40-44 passengers plus standees and will have a low-floor design that “kneels” at stops to ease boarding and disembarking, and automatic handicap ramps.
The purchase is made possible in large part with Federal Transit Administration funds earmarked for the support of mass transit capital purchases. Eighty percent of the $53 million purchase comes from the FTA, with 20% from County capital funds.
For more information on NICE Bus, visit www.nicebus.com.