As TransitStat grew, managers and directors began looking at other areas for process improvements. Areas of improvements include adding special training on 6,000-mile inspections; reducing the NABI bus benchmarks for transmission/oil change (from two hours to 15 minutes) by incorporating this task with another; and reducing the C-Frame replacement benchmark from 30 hours to 10 hours.
Although TransitStat began in the Operations Division, the performance culture circulated throughout the entire organization, creating an increased awareness of the monitoring of data. Total savings over all three years: $23.892 million
“Through TransitStat, a performance management program, GCRTA is continuing to position itself as an industry leader. TransitStat entails weekly performance monitoring forums, embracing the use of data, statistics and metrics as a means to exceed customer expectations, as well as achieve operational excellence. It is a critical link to achieving high-level performance directed towards three of GCRTA's critical goals: Maintaining financial health, improving customer service and enhancing the GCRTA image in the community.
Over the past three years, the TransitStat program assisted team members and staff in reducing costs by more than $22 million at GCRTA.”
Capital Metro – Mirror Awareness Guide
One of Capital Metro’s most common types of collisions was mirror-to-mirror. Surprisingly, more collisions occurred from vehicles overtaking buses rather than from oncoming traffic. To counter this problem, the agency developed its Mirror Awareness Guide (MAG) devices and affixed them to the street-side rear section of its buses. The MAG device is the width of a bus mirror and set to the center height of the street-side exterior mirror.
The premise is simple: when an overtaking vehicle approaches the bus and begins to pass, the driver should notice the protruding MAG device, which focuses their attention on the bus, causing them to pass with a wider safety cushion.
If they fail to notice the device and travel too close to the bus, their mirror will hit the device producing a loud noise without harming their mirror or the flexible MAG. This should encourage them to move away from the bus before striking its mirror.
The MAG devices key features are inexpensive design, quick-and-easy installation and a reduction in mirror-to-mirror accidents.
CTTransit – Hydrogen Garage Modifications
Initially, bus companies testing hydrogen-fueled buses spent millions of dollars building small separate garages or bays for these specially fueled vehicles. These facilities were very expensive as they were designed to contain an explosion should one occur. CTTransit felt this was the wrong strategy and hired a consultant with extensive experience working with hydrogen with sophisticated computer modeling tools.
Hydrogen is the lightest element in the universe, and if released, it disperses quickly. It is only flammable or explosive if concentrated. CTTransit was able to prove to the state facility engineer and fire marshals a better way to handle a hydrogen leak was not to contain it, concentrating it, but dispersing it immediately.
The approved final solution was groundbreaking and inexpensive. CTTransit placed hydrogen leak detectors in its bus and bus bay and connected both to the facility backup electrical power supply should grid power fail. It locked out/tagged out the bus’ hydrogen fuel system before bringing it into the garage and ran it solely on electric power.
Plastic covers were placed over bus bay light fixtures to prevent hydrogen from entering them and eliminating the lights as a possible spark source. Ventilation ducts were lowered from the ceiling so a constant low flow of air would be directed on the bus at all times.
A red and green traffic light was also installed in the bus bay for easy recognition of system effectiveness. If the green light is showing, all systems are working properly and it is safe to bring the bus inside. If the red light is on, something is not working and the bus may not be brought inside.
The total cost of changes to allow a hydrogen-fueled bus into an all-diesel garage: $75,000.
Proterra – EcoRide
Traditionally, the barriers to employing battery-powered buses in large-scale applications were the range and charging needs of batteries. Additionally, the weight of traditional buses has made it difficult to feasibly incorporate a battery with sufficient power and energy storage capacity into coach designs.