Preventive Maintenance Intervals for Transit Buses


John Schiavone

Document Type


Publication Date


Subject Area

infrastructure - vehicle, mode - bus, literature review - literature review


Case studies, Certification, Interviewing, Literature reviews, Onboard monitoring, Preventive maintenance, Questionnaires, State of the practice, Technicians, Transit buses, Transit operating agencies, Vehicle fleets


This synthesis studied preventive maintenance measures taken by a sampling of transit agencies to ensure buses are on time, protect taxpayer investments, and promote passenger satisfaction and public safety. The synthesis is offered as a primer for use by maintenance managers and other interested transit agency staff, as well as state and metropolitan transportation and planning agency staff, university educators, and students, to help lessen the number of inconvenienced passengers and the potential for safety-related incidents. Case studies reported on an automated onboard bus monitoring system, a technician certification program, and a review of challenges faced by a transit agency dealing with a diverse fleet mix. The study revealed how preventive maintenance intervals and activities were established at different agencies, understanding that each has a different fleet makeup, operating environment, and maintenance philosophy. This synthesis is based on the results of a survey questionnaire received from transit agencies in the United States and Canada, a literature review, and telephone survey interviews conducted with three transit agencies as case studies.