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NEW ARTICULATED BUS DISPLAYED

NJ TRANSIT Shows Off Prototype

NEWARK, NJ, January 15, 2003 – A shiny new addition to NJ TRANSIT’s bus family was displayed today outside the Corporation’s Headquarters in Newark.

The new prototype, a 59-foot articulated transit bus, will be tested for approximately 90 days in different operating environments, primarily in urban areas where high ridership requires more seating capacity than traditional 40-foot buses.

As we work to upgrade NJ TRANSIT's aging equipment, it's important that we make sure all of our customers have updated, clean and efficient equipment,” said Transportation Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Board Chairman Jack Lettiere. “Many of our buses are beyond retirement age and these new buses will make sure our customers get the ride they deserve.”

“The arrival of the articulated transit bus supports NJ TRANSIT’s continuing commitment to meet growing passenger demands and offers our customers the latest in comfort and convenience,” said Executive Director George D. Warrington. “These new buses are modern and environmentally friendly, replacing antique buses that have been on the road for nearly 20 years.”

In November 2001, the NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors awarded three contracts in an ongoing effort to provide the Corporation’s customers with a modernized bus fleet and to reduce engine emissions. One contract was awarded to Neoplan USA Corporation of Lamar, CO to purchase 85 articulated buses with an option to purchase 70 more, at a cost not to exceed $42.5 million.

The articulated buses – which are 59-feet long and include an “accordion,” or bendable section in the middle – can carry 59 seated passengers and additional standees. The buses will primarily be used on NJ TRANSIT’s heavier traveled local and intercity bus routes. The new buses will be used to replace the existing articulated bus fleet that was bought by NJ TRANSIT in 1985 and has exceeded the 12-year useful life.

All the new articulated buses have “kneeling” capabilities, are lift equipped and have mobility device securement areas, in full compliance with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). The buses will also be equipped with engines that meet or exceed federal emission regulations for 2003. Other amenities include, LED-powered destination signs, modern heating and air conditioning systems, comfortable upholstered passenger seating and slip resistant flooring.

The first 85 articulated buses, which will be delivered over the course of this year, will consist of 49 transit style buses – which are primarily used on local bus routes – and 36 suburban style buses, which are used on longer distance intercity bus routes, mainly in New Jersey and New York.

A second prototype “suburban style” articulated bus will arrive within the next month for testing. The buses will appear on four of our heaviest traveled bus routes in Essex, Passaic, Bergen and Hudson counties.

NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 761,000 daily trips on 238 bus routes, two light rail lines and 12 commuter rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 163 rail stations, 27 light rail stations and more than 17,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.

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Editors Note: Photos are available of the articulated bus upon request.