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HRTPO TIP Project of the Month: Hampton Roads Transit Bus Replacement and Rebuild

HRTPO TIP Project of the Month: Hampton Roads Transit Bus Replacement and Rebuild

By: Chris Wichman, Transportation Planner

Hampton Roads Transit’s Bus Replacement and Rebuild program has been selected as the July HRTPO Project of the Month. More than a single project, Bus Replacement and Rebuild (UPC #T9126) is part of a broader fleet management strategy that appears as a single project in the HRTPO Transportation Improvement Program. The project scope includes purchasing thirty-four 40-foot replacement buses as well as the refurbishment of eleven 29-foot buses. Rehabilitation of existing rolling stock is one HRT strategy for making the most of limited federal transit funding. While the cost of purchasing a new 40-ft bus exceeds $400,000, rehabilitating an older bus of the same size ranges from 33% to 47% of the new bus price and will return half the original life expectancy of the bus. This type of refurbishment program is a brand new approach for HRT.

In order to maintain a fleet of reliable vehicles, HRT has developed a new organizational strategy for maintenance, equipment rehabilitationand equipment replacement. HRT is also subject to scrutiny from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), which sets specific requirements for the life cycle of transit buses. The FTA’s service-life policy establishes the minimum number of years or miles that transit vehicles purchased with federal funds must be in service before they can be retired without financial penalty. The goal of the FTA policy is to ensure that transit vehicles purchased with federal dollars remain in service long enough for federal taxpayers to get an adequate return on their investment.

The HRTPO has allocated $8.5 million in Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) and $4.4 million in Regional Surface Transportation Program (RSTP) funds to this project. The purchasing and rehabilitation of HRT buses is currently underway and is funded through 2015.

Can you spot the rehabilitated bus?

Photo credits: Hampton Roads Transit


Before Rehabilitation


After Rehabilitation



Photo credits: Hampton Roads Transit 

Vital Stats

  • Current Cost Estimate: $14.6 million
    • Includes purchase of thirty-four 40-ft replacement buses and eleven 29-ft refurbished buses.
    • Funding Highlights
      • $8.5 million Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Funds (including 20% state match)
      • $4.39 million Regional Surface Transportation Program (RSTP) Funds (including 20% state match)
      • Project funding began in October 2012
      • Project funding will end in September 2015


  • The FTA required life span of a new 40-ft transit bus is 12 years or 500,000 miles
  • The FTA required life span of a new 29-ft transit bus is 10 years or 350,000 miles
  • HRT active revenue fleet consists of 268 vehicles servicing over 60 bus routes.

For more information on Hampton Roads Transit bus services, visit the agencies website at http://www.gohrt.com/services/bus/

For more information on the HRTPO TIP, go to www.hrtpotip.org.

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