Detroit Department of Transportation adds 28 diesel buses to its fleet

Aug. 16, 2022
The 40-foot clean diesel buses were supplied by New Flyer and will replace 28 decommissioned buses that have been in service since 2010.

Last week, the Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT) held an event showcasing its 28 new clean diesel buses featuring new technology and bringing DDOT’s fleet to its youngest and most environmentally friendly fleet in its history.

The 40-foot buses were supplied by New Flyer and feature protective shields for the driver’s compartment, USB charging ports, bike racks and video screens to display information.

The buses will replace 28 decommissioned diesel buses that have been in service since 2010. The new buses use a fuel blend of 20 percent biodiesel and standard diesel. DDOT notes that while the decommissioned buses also utilized “clean diesel,” engine technology has improved significantly in the past 12 years, meaning the new buses produce fewer emissions overall.

With the addition of the new buses, the average age of DDOT’s fleet is the lowest it has ever been. The average age of the fleet is now 5.8 years, down from 6.9 years before the new coaches came into active service. DDOT notes that when Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan took office in 2014 and began systematically replacing aging buses, the average age of the fleet was nearly 10 years, just shy of the FTA retirement age of 12 years/500,000 miles.

“We are committed to providing Detroit’s transit riders with safe, quality transportation and that includes upgrading coaches when necessary,” said DDOT Executive Director of Transit Mikel Oglesby. “We are always happy when we can get more buses on the road to get Detroiters where they need to go. The fact that these buses use clean diesel, and are more friendly to the environment, is an added bonus.”

DDOT has welcomed 32 new buses in 2022, which includes the 28 clean diesel vehicles, as well as four electric buses in May that will be used for a pilot program. DDOT’s fleet replacement plan will see an additional 10 buses arrive later this year followed by another 10 in early 2023. Of the 292 coaches in active service, the 288 non-electric coaches use clean diesel technology as per the engine manufacturer and EPA standards.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Editor in Chief

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the magazine’s editorial direction and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.