June 29--PLATTSBURGH -- Nova Bus has secured a $11.3 million order for 20 compressed natural-gas-powered transit buses.
The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, based in the Buffalo area, approved the purchase at a recent meeting.
It includes an option for an additional 166 buses to be built at the Plattsburgh plant over a five-year period, with costs to be determined when the option is exercised.
North Country Chamber of Commerce President Garry Douglas thanked all those who worked to make the order possible, including U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Congressman Bill Owens, State Sen. Betty Little and Assemblywoman Janet Duprey.
"Winning their first order in upstate New York is another breakthrough for Nova as they continue to build their place in the U.S. market.
"We continue to work with Nova and Prevost in their pursuit of orders and expect more good news as the quality of their buses is demonstrated across the country," Douglas said by email.
The resolution by Transportation Authority staff for approval of the Nova Bus bid states the authority has used Nova Low-Floor buses since 2000 and they have proven to be reliable.
Nova's bid was chosen by the Transportation Authority's evaluation team based on compliance with technical specifications, price, qualifications and experience. The other competitors were California-based Gillig, Alabama-based North American Bus Industries and Manitoba- and Minnesota-based New Flyer.
Nova Bus came out with a score of 95.6, compared to 93.6 for New Flyer, 93.8 for Gillig and 88.2 for North American Bus.
The buses are intended to replace vehicles purchased between 1996 and 2000 that have outlived their expected lifespan.
The breakdown of funding for the purchase shows $9 million from the Federal Transportation Administration, $1.1 million from State Department of Transportation and $1.1 million from the Transportation Authority.
MADE IN PLATTSBURGH
Plattsburgh Town Supervisor Bernie Bassett welcomed the latest contract for Nova Bus, pleased to see the company expand its market in the state beyond New York City.
"This puts that 'Made in Plattsburgh' label in another municipality," he said.
It is also rewarding to see the company receiving orders for its more environmentally friendly compressed natural-gas-powered vehicles, he said.
"These are very high-tech buses."
Bassett said the company's continued excellence in competing for transit authority contracts is easily visible.
"When you go by Nova Bus during the day, you can see evidence of their success by the number of cars in the parking lot."
Email Dan Heath:firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright 2014 - The Press-Republican, Plattsburgh, N.Y.