StreetCar RTV – new generation of Rapid Transit Vehicle from the Wright Group, makes its worldwide debut at the APTA Expo 2008 in San Diego California this week (5th – 8th October), in association with technology partner the ISE Corporation.
Exhibited in the stunning new livery of the “ACE Downtown Connector”, the 62ft (18.7m) long, 30 tonne GVW articulated Rapid Transit Vehicle (RTV) is the first of 50 such vehicles that have been commissioned by the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) of Southern Nevada.
Wright Group’s StreetCar RTV is at the heart of a whole new initiative to attract existing commuters away from their cars, as well as provide fast and efficient transit for the high numbers of tourists who visit Las Vegas and the surrounding area. The ACE Downtown Connector rapid transit project is the first phase in an overall project to eventually provide a high speed transit connection from downtown Las Vegas, through the resort corridor.
A centrepiece worthy of any integrated Rapid Transit system, StreetCar RTV successfully transfers the key attributes and technologies of a light rail service onto the road. It has a distinctive light rail-like appearance, with a slanted front windscreen and large, seamless windows giving it a sleek, modern design. With three wide doorways facilitating easy access for all users, StreetCar RTV offers low floor boarding and level floors throughout for efficient passenger flow.
Powered by a state-of-the-art Hybrid Electric Drive System developed in conjunction with the ISE Corporation and Siemens, StreetCar RTV is the first Series Hybrid-configured articulated vehicle in the US, providing a highly fuel-efficient mode of transport with exceptionally low environmental impact.
StreetCar RTV is a development of the StreetCar concept successfully launched in the UK in 2005, with a specification customised to RTC of Southern Nevada’s exacting requirements. As such, it is unlike any other bus in operation. With a modular chassis, the Siemens (ISE) Electric Hybrid Drive System is based on a Cummins ISL engine and features water-cooled Nickel Metal Hydride batteries and also incorporates for the very first time in transit buses, highly efficient permanent magnetic technology which creates a highly efficient motor.
Incorporating a Carrier Avantac all-electric, modular air conditioning system, Streetcar RTV has an innovative vehicle packaging and layout, featuring three wide doors which allow unimpeded boarding and alighting, a sealed driver’s compartment, integrated telematics and Real Time Passenger Information (RTPI), WiFi as well as ambient lighting. Further innovations include two wheelchair positions, one of which is rearward facing in full compliance of legislation and three interior bike racks – improving the both the exterior aesthetics and aerodynamics of the vehicle.
The safety and security of the StreetCar RTV’s 104 passengers at maximum capacity (44 seated) is enhanced by a Panic button, with live video feed from CCTV cameras capable of being relayed both back to its operational base as well as the Local Police Department.
Speaking at the launch of the StreetCar RTV at San Diego, the Wright Group Managing Director Mark Nodder said, “Each element of the StreetCar RTV has been designed and engineered to set new standards in public transit. Taking a radically different and totally innovative approach to every aspect of the mode, it has challenged every aspect of the traditional concept of the bus.”
He added, “From its hybrid propulsion system, dramatic exterior styling, total rethinking of the driver’s workspace and the redefinition of the passenger experience, StreetCar has redefined the category from BRT – Bus Rapid Transit to RTV – Rapid Transit Vehicle”.
The first of a $55m contract for 50 vehicles for RTC of Southern Nevada’s ACE Downtown Connector system, StreetCar RTV is built at the Wright Group’s Ballymena production facility in Northern Ireland. As with all Wright Group products, StreetCar RTV has undergone an extensive programme of testing and proving to ensure that it can withstand the rigorous daily demands in even the most extreme operating environment or conditions. It is fully supported by the Wright Group’s Customcare organisation, which provides parts and technical support wherever a vehicle may be in operation.
Chief Executive of the ISE Corporation Rick Sander commented, “We are proud to play an integral part in this ground breaking project, which has seen many US corporations such as ourselves develop and apply innovative technologies to provide a whole new concept in passenger travel. As leaders in our field, we firmly believe that hybrid fuel system technology has huge potential in many market sectors in this country and beyond, now that it is a proven economic proposition.”