Earlier this year, County Connection took delivery of seven new buses. These buses, which are manufactured locally in Hayward, are now fully integrated into the fleet and have been in revenue service since earlier this summer. These buses also represent the first ones purchased that emphasize our County Connection brand and the extensive work towards modernizing the look of our buses in a cost efficient manner.
If you take a closer look at these new buses on the street, you might notice a few things. For one, they are brighter than previous buses. The beige background has evolved to crisp white, and the reddish-brown color has subtly become a clearer red. This alone creates a much brighter and more modern look. So far, passengers and the public are giving us the thumbs up on our efforts.
In addition, on the side of the new buses we have moved our “County Connection” branding up towards the top of the bus, instead of the bottom. This ensures that our brand remains visible to the public even if there is an advertisement on the side of the bus. This is in keeping with one of the tenants of the recently adopted policy on County Connection branding. We plan to continue to work on modernizing and highlighting the County Connection brand, in an inexpensive way, while letting transit users know who we are and what we do. By timing the rework on bus paint colors as we purchase new buses, rather than to change all the buses in our fleet will be of neutral cost instead of incremental.
Environmentally Better Too
How our buses look is significant, but not as important as how they affect the environment. Our seven new buses are powered by engines fueled by clean diesel. These diesel buses are not like your father’s diesel bus; they are much cleaner in terms of emissions. For example, these new buses are at least 50% cleaner in terms of mono-nitrogen oxides NO and NO2 (nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide) than the seven buses we retired. More impressively, these clean diesel buses emit over 90% less particulate matter (PM) than their predecessors prior to 2002. On top of that these new buses achieve fuel efficiencies in terms of miles per gallon (MPG) that represent an increase in MPG of at least 18%. So, the new buses are much better for the environment than the seven buses they replaced whether it’s related to reducing greenhouse gases or reducing overall air pollution. Plus, the greater MPG will save County Connection on its fuel costs.
As is our standard practice, the new buses were purchased via competitive bid. The winning bidder was the Gillig Corporation located down the road in Hayward. Gillig not only had the best proposal, they also had the best pricing. Gillig employs over 700 skilled workers, of which many live and shop in central Contra Costa County.
So, you can see why we are proud of our new buses and we are pleased that in the recent months following the introduction into our fleet that passengers and others are giving them good reviews too.