Cost effective vehicle purchases

From TransitWiki
Revision as of 18:06, 25 July 2012 by Amiller (talk | contribs)
Jump to navigation Jump to search


The decision to purchase a vehicle requires careful consideration of up-front vehicle acquistion costs, and later vehicle operations and maintenance costs. With the increase in the costs of fuel and maintenance labor, fuel efficient, reliable vehicles are now more valuable than in the past. Cost-effective vehicle procurement is an important part of maintaining a reliable fleet that can run efficiently and for long hours. The problem of ‘peaking’ adds to these problems. Peaking refers to the high number of vehicles needed to accommodate the high numbers of passengers that converge on the system during morning and evening rush hours. This means that transit systems have to obtain and maintain more vehicles than are needed during off-peak hours.

State and local governments are eligible to receive funds for capital costs, like vehicles, from the federal Department of Transportation through several programs, like the Surface Transportation Program, the Bus and Bus Facilities Program, and others, though they must follow certain guidelines and meet eligibility requirements.[1]

A hybrid Los Angeles Metro bus in 2009. Photo by Mike Bottone, via Flickr user Metro Transportation Library and Archive.

Efficiency Implications

More text here.

Labor Implications

Yet more text here.

Case Studies

Vehicle Purchasing Study

German Case Study

Professors Buehler and Pucher examined the elements of a successful increase in transit efficiency in Germany. They found that purchasing new vehicles, and sharing them among transit agencies, was a part of improving the financial sustainability of Germany's transit system, along with reducing labor costs and fare reform.[2]


  1. US Department of Transportation, Livability. “Grants and Programs.”
  2. Buehler, Ralph and John Pucher. "Making Public Transport Financially Sustainable." 2011.

Additional Reading