Press-Republican

November 21, 2012

Nova Bus wins $48 million contract

70 buses for Houston to be assembled in Plattsburgh

DAN HEATH
Press-Republican

PLATTSBURGH — Nova Bus has won a $48 million contract to build 70 articulated buses for the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County to serve Houston, Texas.

The order will be assembled at Nova Bus’ plant in the Town of Plattsburgh.

Nova Bus President and CEO Gilles Dion said the deal represents a tremendous opportunity to expand the company’s presence in the Southwest.

“We’ve been privileged to be able to demonstrate our product quality and customer support during a six-month trial period, and we look forward to making this partnership a mutual success,” he said in a press release.

The new high-capacity buses will be used to renew Harris County’s bus fleet and will be put into regular service. The articulated vehicles will be able to carry up to 112 passengers along any city streets, as the design provides maneuverability similar to 40-foot buses. 

Nova Bus’ LFS Artic buses are currently in operation in large urban centers, including New York City and Montreal.

The vehicles will come equipped with Nova Bus’ proprietary electric engine cooling system, which provides significant fuel savings, reduced greenhouse-gas emissions and competitive life-cycle costs. The vehicles will also feature Nova Bus’ latest transit bus interior, a design based on client and focus-group feedback as well as inspired by other industries such as aerospace and rail transportation.

‘A GREAT PRODUCT’

North Country Chamber of Commerce President Garry Douglas welcomed the announcement. 

“This latest success for Nova, on top of other contracts they have secured this year and the major contracts awarded to Bombardier in recent months, are really putting the North Country’s transportation equipment cluster on a roll,” he said by email. “This bodes well not only for Nova but for the many suppliers and vendors in the region who will be a direct part of delivering on this contract and the others.”

Town Supervisor Bernie Bassett said the contract was great news for the town and the region. 

“It’s good that facilities like Nova Bus have been able to secure contracts,” he said. “Any time we can secure jobs, it’s good news for those families and good news for the economy.”

Bassett and other town officials toured the plant last week and came away impressed by the operation.

“They are producing a great product,” he said. “As they continue to get out there, other municipalities see the quality of that product.”

“Today’s announcement is another positive sign that we are making progress towards long-term economic growth in the community,” said Congressman Bill Owens (D-Plattsburgh). 

“I applaud the work that Nova Bus and economic-development leaders have done to help create local jobs, and stand ready to assist with similar endeavors down the road.”

Nova Bus Public Relations Advisor Isabelle Grégoire said there are a little more than 200 employees in Plattsburgh at present. This order will allow the company to maintain that level of employment.

The company and its Plattsburgh location remain well positioned moving into 2013, Grégoire said. They are working to secure additional contracts, she said, but nothing has been finalized at this time.

Nova Bus is part of the Volvo Group, which employs approximately 12,000 workers in the United States in seven production facilities.

Email Dan Heath: dheath@pressrepublican.com