Work to correct ART issues begins this week | KOB 4
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Work to correct ART issues begins this week

Caleb James
January 22, 2018 10:23 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Get ready. Albuquerque Rapid Transit Construction Take Two kicks off this week.

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The beeps and boops of construction crews Albuquerque motorists thought they left behind will return once more. A long list of issues has to be fixed. Some stations have height issues, and some may not be disability accessible.

Those updates that need to be made to ART stations up and down the Central Corridor isn't the only thing going on behind the scenes. There's also the question and the issue of those buses. Electric vehicle manufacturer BYD has run into multiple hiccups supplying buses on time for the project. Only 10 out of 20 have been delivered.

"Now there's a question about whether ... did we pick the right vendor or not?" said City Councilor Pat Davis.

Davis said problems with batteries and chargers on the all-electric buses alerted inspectors. There's now an effort at city hall to figure out what happened.

But BYD Vice President Macy Neshati said the buses will get to Albuquerque and they will work.

"We're a victim of our own success," he said.

In an interview with KOB, Neshati said a huge flood of electric vehicle orders stalled delivery of the buses, but there were also major questions about whether those buses could last a full day of driving. In some tests, the buses ran for just 200 miles instead of the 275-mile estimate.

However, Neshati said those buses were being driven faster than they should be and on a different route. He said original mileage estimates should be easily achieved. The charging stations for those buses did require a $20,000 upgrade to meet operating standards.

"We regret the inconvenience we've caused, but we're 100 percent committed to getting these buses up and running," he said.

As an extra safety net, BYD has also included two extra buses in the order -- 18 were expected; it's now 20. That's in case of unexpected issue down the line, including any less-than-expected battery range.

Credits

Caleb James

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

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