Metrobus, by the numbers

You see Metrobuses on the street every day, but what does it take to keep them running?

The life of most transit buses is 12 years, but Metro says it keeps its buses 15 years. After seven to 7 1/2 years, Metro puts each of its buses through a midlife rehab that includes overhauling engines, transmissions and other parts. Metro spends about $150 million a year to repair, replace and maintain its bus fleet of 1,492 vehicles.

Some other statistics from Metro on its buses:

- 76: How many buses have been rehabilitated this fiscal year (which ends June 30). Usually Metro does about 100 a year.

- Eight to 10 weeks: How long it typically takes to rehab a Metrobus.

- $122,000: What it costs to rehab a bus.

- 107: Number of Metro employees who work on helping to rehab a bus.

- 4,100: Number of seats that are refurbished each year in the bus rehab program.

- 200: Number of windshield wipers that are replaced annually as part of the rehab process.

What does it take for Metro to run its bus fleet?

- Metro has 1,492 buses that it maintains and runs. Of those, 460 run on natural gas and 401 are diesel hybrids. The rest run on standard diesel gasoline.

- Gas prices are up for everyone, including Metro, which buys its gas in bulk. In the past six months, Metro’s costs have risen $1.20 per gallon, bringing the price for a gallon of diesel to $3.35.

- How much gas does it take to run all those buses? Nine million gallons of diesel fuel a year. That’s down from 13 million to 14 million gallons a year when Metro had buses that were less fuel efficient.

Dana Hedgpeth is the Washington Post’s lead reporter in covering the Metro rail and bus systems in the D.C. region and the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority (WMATA) that runs them.
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