Local business delivers 80 newly outfitted paratransit buses to RTC, meeting high safety and emissions standards

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 9, 2014 
Contact:
Amy Maier, Faiss Foley Warren (702) 933-7777 x. 308 office, (702) 904-0296 cell
Sue Christiansen, RTC, (702) 676-1891 office, (702) 580-0407 cell

RO Bus Sales “up-fits” vehicles with innovative CNG units

LAS VEGAS – Showcasing a successful local government and small business partnership, RO Bus Sales has delivered the last in the first round of 80 innovatively outfitted new paratransit buses to the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC).

The paratransit vehicles are modified to meet strict RTC and federal safety standards under a $7.67 million contract the RTC awarded last October with four options for an additional 320 units through 2017. It includes purchasing the buses and “up-fitting” them to more environmentally-friendly CNG (natural gas) powered units and adding safety features.

With the contract, RO Bus Sales added six full-time employees, including a project planner, production foreman, installers and two service technicians. The company also now provides steady work for four local subcontractors.

To meet RTC standards for fuel capacity equivalent to its 55-gallon gasoline tanks, RO worked with the bus manufacturer and CNG up-fitter to configure two tanks vertically in rear compartments of the unit (a third tank is under the bus) to provide the required rear passenger exit. Tanks typically are positioned across the back of this type of bus. The result: 60-gallon capacity complete with fire suppression and gas detection sensors.

“No one has ever up-fitted a paratransit vehicle this size (27-feet long) with this configuration and fuel capacity,” said Bobby Bracken, general manager at RO, the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2013 Small Business of the Year for Nevada. “RTC has elevated our bar and is committed to working with local businesses. They’re ahead of the game with advancing technology and open to whatever we can do to better support them.”

“Safety and efficient operations are top priorities for the RTC, and these paratransit units are industry-leading vehicles in these critical areas,” said Tina Quigley, RTC general manager. “We are extremely pleased with the responsiveness and results from our new partnership with RO Bus Sales. Not only is the company providing quality services to the RTC that will benefit our customers, but RO Bus Sales also is creating new jobs locally and helping grow our economy.”

According to Quigley, RO also successfully met these challenges:

  • Installed defueling ports to allow one unit to refuel another, instead of sending a CNG fuel truck or towing the unit off its route.
  • Revamped the battery trays with lightweight acrylic design that hold two 77-pound batteries firmly in place, another RTC-mandated safety feature.
  • Added capacity for wheel chair lifts – 200 pounds above the 800 pounds required – to accommodate the increasingly high-tech devices.

The next round of up-fitting an additional 80 units begins in October when new paratransit buses are shipped from the Indiana-based manufacturer.

About the RTC

The RTC is the transit authority, transportation planning organization and regional traffic management agency for Southern Nevada. The RTC’s vision is to provide a safe, convenient and effective regional transportation system that enhances mobility and air quality for citizens and visitors. The RTC encourages residents and visitors to use a variety of transportation choices to help reduce traffic congestion, clean the air and improve the quality of life in Southern Nevada. For more information, visit rtcsnv.com

About RO Bus Sales

RO Bus Sales is one of the leading full service bus, limousine, and mobility vehicle dealerships in the country, with offices in Las Vegas, Utah, and California. RO offers new and used vehicle sales and is the dealer for eight manufactures. RO has over 27,500 square feet of climate controlled service and repair facility and three mobile trucks to provide their clients repairs on the road or at their place of business, and a full fabrication shop to modify or customize any type of vehicle they sell. With a fleet of loaner vehicles, they keep clients on the road and boast a large and diverse over-the-counter parts inventory. www.robussales.com

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RO Bus Sales co-owner Brian Edwards (left), general manager Bobby Bracken and owner Joe Machin with one of the last of 80 paratransit buses the Las Vegas company up-fitted with advanced energy-saving CNG (natural gas) tanks and other safety features for the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC). The project added six jobs at RO and ensured steady work for four subcontractors in a successful public-private partnership.

RO Bus Sales co-owner Brian Edwards (left), general manager Bobby Bracken and owner Joe Machin with one of the last of 80 paratransit buses the Las Vegas company up-fitted with advanced energy-saving CNG (natural gas) tanks and other safety features for the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC). The project added six jobs at RO and ensured steady work for four subcontractors in a successful public-private partnership.