ART buses sent back to manufacturer | KOB 4
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ART buses sent back to manufacturer

Joshua Panas
November 28, 2018 06:21 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The buses that were supposed to be used for the Albuquerque Rapid Transit project were sent back to California Wednesday morning.

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Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller said it was rejecting the K11 electric buses from BYD because they failed to pass inspections.

“This is a weight off of our shoulders,” stated Mayor Keller.  “It was good to see these problematic buses leaving town. It’s unfortunate the company couldn’t deliver and it leaves our city’s ART project years behind.”

The move is the latest step as the city severs ties with the bus company at the forefront of the controversial ART project.

“The buses never met their Altoona testing, ever,” said Keller. “They never delivered all the buses. They were late. They never hit the battery range they were acquired for.”

However, BYD officials have insisted their buses are up to par.

“The buses were inspected three times before they ever left our factory, they passed all brake testing, and they still pass, so they were looking for a way out of the contract from the beginning, it's just a philosophy difference,” said Michael Austin, the Vice President of BYD America.

That philosophy difference will lead to an even longer delay in ART bus service, up to 18 months. But Keller says the added time will not mean an added cost for the bus return.

“It’s frustrating. I feel it whether I’m driving home every day just being around town. I’ve lived on Central for the last ten years and so we're in this together,” said Mayor Keller.

BYD sent KOB the following statement after the buses were returned:

BYD Coach and Bus took back its zero-emission buses from the City of Albuquerque today for a return trip to our Lancaster, California, manufacturing plant.  While in-route, BYD was informed of a media statement released by the City along with a video link, purported to show a safety issue with the bus bridge plate.  At no time was this bridge plate issue ever reported to our firm.  Once again, blanket allegations are being made through press conferences or releases with no data or information to support same, as the City STILL has not released a copy of their inspection report. The battery-electric buses will undergo third party inspections later this week.   BYD is a global leader in battery-electric technology and stands with its clients and its products.

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Joshua Panas

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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