Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

planning - surveys, economics - appraisal/evaluation, organisation - management, mode - bus


United States, Transit operators, Transit buses, Preventive maintenance, Installations, Facilities, Evaluation and assessment, Condition surveys, Complexes, Asset management, Asset decay


This assessment of the national bus situation involved on-site physical inspections of buses and related facilities at a representative sample of transit operators in the United States. In total, the current physical condition of 572 vehicles and 77 facilities at 31 different transit properties was evaluated. The primary goal of this assessment was to provide the Federal Transit Administration with an accurate snapshot of the current physical condition of the nation's bus fleets and related assets. A secondary goal was to develop improved statistical models of bus and facility decay to significantly improve modeling accuracy and the understanding of asset decay. The primary highlights of the assessment results are as follows: (a) the condition of the nation's bus fleet is poorer than expected; (b) the bus life cycle is characterized by three vehicle decay regimes; (c) vehicle decay rates vary widely across transit agencies; (d) vehicle and facility condition is better for agencies pursuing preventive maintenance and poorer for agencies pursuing corrective maintenance; (e) primary determinants of vehicle decay are high utilization rates, salt-related corrosion, and poor preventive maintenance; and (f) bus facilities are in poorer condition than expected. On the basis of the condition assessment data decay curves for vehicles and facilities were reestimated.