DES PLAINES, Ill., Nov. 2, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- (TSX:NFI) Motor Coach Industries (MCI), a U.S. subsidiary of NFI Group Inc., ("NFI"), the largest transit bus and motor coach manufacturer and parts distributor in North America, announced today its all-new MCI D45 CRT LE, a major breakthrough in passenger accessibility, has passed the mandated U.S. Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Altoona test for new bus models.
FTA's bus testing program, named for the Altoona, PA testing center, rigorously tests the reliability of all new bus models for use in federally funded public transit systems procurement.
The MCI D45 CRT LE received a 10-month battery of tests accelerating a 12-year, 500,000 miles service life. According to Paul Fazio, MCI Engineer and Director of New Product Development, the model sent to Altoona was set for the heaviest level of customer usage, just shy of the model's full GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) of 54,000 lbs. to equal a real-life, rush hour load of fully-seated and standing passengers at peak travel time.
The D45 CRT LE is MCI's first complete redesign of an MCI model in 20 years. "We anticipated positive results because the model's platform is based on our J-series structural design which has proven to be very robust in all types of operating environments," said Fazio. "The D45 CRT LE passed its durability tests with flying colors. This is a significant outcome as the platform will also be the basis for our battery-electric D-model planned for a production start in 2020."
MCI has a long, successful history with the Altoona program. In fact, MCI demonstrated its industry leading innovation and safety by becoming one of North America's first motor coach manufacturers to test at Altoona, submitting a 102 DL 3 to the facility in 1995. And in the line of new MCI models launched in following years, MCI would place the industries first hybrid-electric coach through Altoona testing in 2008. Today, the D4500 and its variants are the leader in commuter express bus service throughout North America.
"We are proud of the hard work of our engineers," said Ian Smart, MCI President. "Our goal is to have the D45 CRT LE perform reliably on commuter routes in all types of weather and road conditions. We are very confident our customers will experience a long vehicle life with this versatile model, which will deliver a whole new standard of passenger accessibility and reliability."
The Altoona tests on the D45 CRT LE began in September of 2017 and concluded last month. MCI is planning to return to Altoona with other variants of the new design. "We'll be back at Altoona in April with our first battery-electric MCI D45 CRTe LE and with the non-vestibule version of the D45 CRT in September," says Fazio.
The ADA- and Buy America-compliant MCI D45 CRT LE incorporated a whole new design process at MCI, which included direct participation from various advocacy groups including the National Council on Independent Living and the American Association for People with Disabilities. The CRT LE's mid-vehicle vestibule features an automatic curb-level ramp that enables most mobility devices swift entry and exit. And its forward door also has an enhanced ergonomic spiral entryway to facilitate ease of boarding the dual-entry system cuts dwell times to equal conventional low-floor transit boarding times.
About NFI Group
With nearly 6,000 team members, operating from 31 facilities across Canada and the United States, NFI is North America's largest bus manufacturer providing a comprehensive suite of mass transportation solutions under several brands: New Flyer® (heavy-duty transit buses), ARBOC® (low-floor cutaway and medium-duty buses), MCI® (motor coaches), and NFI Parts™ (parts, support, and service). NFI buses incorporate the widest range of drive systems available including: clean diesel, natural gas, diesel-electric hybrid, and zero-emission electric (trolley, battery, and fuel cell). For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, NFI posted revenues of US $2.4 billion. NFI common shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol NFI. News and information are available at www.nfigroup.com.
About Motor Coach Industries
Motor Coach Industries (MCI) is North America's motor coach leader in public and private markets, offering the J4500 (the industry best-seller for 13 consecutive years) and the all-new J3500 model (the workhorse D-Series including the breakthrough ADA-accessible MCI D45 CRT LE). MCI also supports nearly 30,000 MCI coaches on the road with maintenance, repair, 24-hour roadside assistance, and the industry's only Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) accredited MCI Academy technician training center. Further information is available at www.mcicoach.com.
This press release may contain forward-looking statements relating to expected future events and financial and operating results of NFI Group that involve risks and uncertainties. Although the forward-looking statements contained in this press release are based upon what management believes to be reasonable assumptions, investors cannot be assured that actual results will be consistent with these forward-looking statements, and the differences may be material. Actual results may differ materially from management expectations as projected in such forward-looking statements for a variety of reasons, including market and general economic conditions and economic conditions of and funding availability for customers to purchase buses and to purchase parts or services, customers may not exercise options to purchase additional buses, the ability of customers to suspend or terminate contracts for convenience and the other risks and uncertainties discussed in the materials filed with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities and available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Due to the potential impact of these factors, the NFI Group disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, unless required by applicable law.
SOURCE Motor Coach Industries