Over the past several weeks, some ART buses have experienced service interruptions on a number of routes, due to mechanical issues. The City of Asheville Transportation Department is aware of the inconvenience and want our riders to know that ART is working diligently to fix and prevent these delays in the future.
In order to get buses back on the road and out of the maintenance shop, staff are working overtime on repairs. Additionally, ART has begun outsourcing some of the major repairs to expedite their return to service.
ART has a total of 23 buses in the fleet. Peek fleet, or maximum number of buses in service at any given time during the day is 17. ART has a total of six spare vehicles. Of those six, four are “hard-down” for engine overhauls and other major repairs that can take weeks to complete.
“At any given point in a day, there will generally be at least two vehicles out of service for routine maintenance, so in reality there few, if any, spare vehicles,” said Transit Planning Manager Elias Mathes. “This has put ART in a situation where any type of relatively minor mechanical issue, like a broken mirror or check engine light, is causing service to be interrupted.”
The Transportation Department has been planning to replace ART vehicles and in January will have 5 new electric buses joining the fleet. These new buses will provide a huge relief and help prevent the delays and interruptions ART is currently experiencing.
“The fleet replacement schedule has the system on track to purchase an additional five buses per year for the foreseeable future,” Mathes said. “These bus purchases are both for replacement vehicles and expansion vehicles to accommodate new service.”
Staff are working to mitigate the impact of these service interruptions by sharing the information with the public as quickly as possible. To find out if there is a delay on your route sign up for alerts online at RideTheART.com or download the NextBus app to your smartphone. NextBus is also available online at this link.
Thank you for your patience and we appreciate your ridership!
View a video message by ART General Manager Joe Brooks at this link.