Thread: MBTA Bus & BRT
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Old 12-29-2017, 08:54 PM   #453
Joel N. Weber II
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 587
Re: new buses

Originally Posted by dwash59 View Post
So, you think the Proterra press releases are objective?
I certainly believe that it's worth carefully evaluating the claims in Proterra press releases rather than dismissing them just because WRTA has experience with their products but the MBTA doesn't.

And you think Proterra should supply the order for 194 buses to the MBTA when that is close to the number of buses they have received orders for in the history of the company? And if we just count buses they've built, 194 is more than the number they've built in company history. I'm not even sure that if you asked them, they could deliver the buses in the timeframe that the MBTA needs them. When King County Metro ordered 73 buses from them in January 2017, the agreement was 8 delivered in 2017-2018, 12 in 2019. If you ordered 194 buses today, you may not see any until 2020.
I'm skeptical of this ``the MBTA needs them'' claim. If we were to get a small number of Proterra buses in the short term, and find storage space for all of the older low floor buses with diesel engines and put the same level of effort into running 14 year old low floor buses that went into keeping 21 year old high floor buses running, is there really no way to get through the time it would take Proterra to ramp up production?

I think getting Proterra to ramp up production is likely lower risk than the Hyundai-Rotem commuter rail project, in that it appears that Proterra has already successfully built some buses that are very much like what we would want. If the Hyundai-Rotem risk was worth taking when there was no valuable technology improvement expected from taking that risk, why would it make any sense to avoid taking advantage of technology improvements because of some sudden new risk aversion?
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