Propane Vision

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Blue Bird Body Company submitted a model Propane Vision, propane-powered 45 seat (including the driver) 39-foot bus, for a partial STURAA test in the 10 yr/350,000 mile test category.  The Federal Transit Administration determined that the following tests would be performed: 1.1 Accessibility of Components & Subsystems, 1.3 Removal/Replacement of Selected Subsystems, 4.1 Performance, 4.2 Brake Test, 5.2 Structural Distortion Test, 6. Fuel Economy, 7.1 Interior Noise Tests, 7.2 Exterior Noise Tests and 8. Emissions Testing.  Testing started on June 11, 2013 and was completed on July 17, 2013.  The Check-In section of the report provides a description of the bus and specifies its major components. 

The interior of the bus is configured with seating for 45 passengers including the driver.  Note: the manufacturer stated that this test bus is not designed for standing passengers.  At 150 lbs per person, this load resulted in a measured gross vehicle weight of 24,820 lbs.    

Effective January 1, 2010 the Federal Transit Administration determined that the total number of simulated passengers used for loading all test vehicles will be based on the full complement of seats and free-floor space available for standing passengers (150 lbs per passenger).  The passenger loading used for dynamic testing will not be reduced in order to comply with Gross Axle Weight Ratings (GAWR’s) or the Gross Vehicle Weight Ratings (GVWR’s) declared by the manufacturer.  Cases where the loading exceeds the GAWR and/or the GVWR will be noted accordingly.  During the testing program, all test vehicles transported or operated over public roadways will be loaded to comply with the GAWR and GVWR specified by the manufacturer. 

Accessibility, in general, was adequate, components covered in Section 1.3 (Repair and/or Replacement of Selected Subsystems) along with all other components encountered during testing, were found to be readily accessible and no restrictions were noted.            

The performance of the bus is illustrated by a speed vs. time plot.  Acceleration and gradeability test data are provided in Section 4, Performance.  The average time to obtain 50 mph was 24.97 seconds.  The Stopping Distance phase of the Brake Test was completed.  The results follow:  for the Uniform High Friction Test, average stopping distances were 32.67’ at 20 mph, 62.62’ at 30 mph, 97.55’ at 40 mph and 119.65’ at 45 mph.  The average stopping distance for the Uniform Low Friction Test was 34.47’.  There was no deviation from the test lane during the performance of the Stopping Distance phase.  During the Stability phase of Brake Testing, the test bus experienced no deviation from the test lane.  However, the vehicle did experience pull to the left during both approaches to the Split Friction Road surface.  The Parking Brake phase was completed with the test bus rolling 7” after five minutes in the uphill position and 5” of roll after five minutes in the downhill position. The Distortion Test was completed with all subsystems, doors and escape mechanisms operating properly.  No water leakage was observed throughout the test.  All subsystems operated properly. 

A Fuel Economy Test was run on simulated central business district, arterial, and commuter courses.  The results were 4.17 mpg, 4.59 mpg, and 7.99 mpg respectively; with an overall average of 4.98 mpg.

A series of Interior and Exterior Noise Tests was performed.  These data are listed in Section 7.1 and 7.2 respectively. 

The Emissions Test was performed.  These results are available in Section 8 of this report.

Number: 1308
Model: Propane Vision
Manufacturer: Blue Bird Body Company
Vin Number: 1BAKGC5H6BF281638