Seat color, battery cabinet cracks among ART bus holdups | KOB 4

Seat color, battery cabinet cracks among ART bus holdups

Jen French
March 27, 2018 10:15 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Nearly six months past the October 2017 deadline, BYD buses for the Albuquerque Rapid Transit project still aren't ready. Neither the city nor BYD could give a definite date as to when all 20 buses would be ready to ride.


A letter BYD sent to the City of Albuquerque in January reveals one of the holdups for three buses was the seat color. Representing BYD, Gerges Scott said that they were orange instead of red.

"Aesthetically, you would have had a problem," Scott said, senior vice president for agenda. “The seats were fine themselves."

The City of Albuquerque and former Mayor Richard Berry showcased its first BYD bus last November before the River of Lights. The first bus, ABQ RIDE spokesperson Rick DeReyes said, isn't structurally sound and needs to return to manufacturing plant in Lancaster, California.

"1701 [the first bus] has a lot of different problems with it, not to mention it's built on chassis that's not up to standard," he said. "It's not a chassis that we ordered so that's going back."

DeReyes added that 15 other buses have concerns like battery cabinet cracks and cosmetic issues. Scott said BYD is repairing those buses at the Daytona facility in Albuquerque at the company’s expense.

Scott said some of the bus damage could have happened while the buses were being driven across the southwest.

"In transit, you're going to have to remember that the buses when they're coming from California to Albuquerque, they're going to be run on a speed limit higher than they're going to be run on the route itself," Scott said.

The remaining four buses have been assembled but remain at the BYD plant in Lancaster. They’re waiting for a City of Albuquerque inspector to give them the green light. BYD isn’t disputing the city's request for repairs.

"They want to make sure they have the right product, Scott said. "I mean, they're paying a lot of money for each individual bus."

BYD and the City of Albuquerque will meet in the coming week to discuss the status of the buses.


Jen French

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