Bus Refurbishing - Definition

Q.  Is there an FTA document that defines the level of detail that must be accomplished for bus "refurbishing", "rehabilitation", and "remanufacturing"?  Years ago I thought there was such a document that specified that this type of work should result in an extended life of xx years.

A.  In FTA Circular C 9030.1A, [September 18, 1987], paragraph IV-4, a project for the "remanufacture" of buses was defined as the "structural restoration of a standard, heavy-duty bus in addition to installation of new or rebuilt major components to extend its service life at least eight years."

That language has since been replaced by the following language from FTA Circular 5010.1D, November 1, 2008:

Ch. IV, Section 3.g. Rolling Stock Rebuilding Policies. FTA laws, regulations, policies, and procedures allow the use of capital funds for vehicle rebuilding programs that meet the vehicle requirements in Federal Motor Carrier Vehicle Safety Standards and Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Specifications for Transportation (49 CFR part 571 and 49 CFR part 38). Requirements for Bus and Rail fleets are summarized below:

  1. Buses to be rebuilt should be at the end of the minimum useful life and in need of major structural and/or mechanical rebuilding. The age of the bus to be rebuilt is its years of service at the time the rebuilding begins. The eligibility of this major capital bus rebuild work is in addition to the eligibility of vehicle overhauls as described in Chapter IV, Subsection 3.h., “Rolling Stock Overhauls,” below. Grantees should contact the regional or metropolitan office to determine the extent which the useful life of the bus is affected by the rebuild. The minimum extension of useful life is four years.
  2. Rail cars to be rebuilt must have reached the end of its minimum useful life (end of- life rebuild). The minimum extension of useful life is ten years. The eligibility of this major capital rail rebuild work is in addition to the eligibility for vehicle overhauls as described in Chapter IV, Subsection 3.h., “Rolling Stock Overhauls,” below. Depending upon the extent of rebuilding planned, the rebuild may be subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements. h. Rolling Stock Overhauls. Rolling stock overhauls are an eligible capital expense as preventive maintenance. This eligibility for capital assistance applies also to leasing and to contracted service. Overhauls are usually done to make sure rolling stock reaches its useful life. Overhaul does not extend the useful life of rolling stock. This eligibility is in addition to eligibility of rebuilding specifically discussed above in Chapter IV, Subsection 3.g. For rolling stock to be overhauled, it must have accumulated at least 40 percent of its useful life.

(Revised: August 28, 2009)