Altoona Bus Testing Program

This project provides ongoing support for the FTA New Model Bus Testing Program designed to promote production of better transit vehicles and components and to ensure that transit customers purchase safe vehicles able to withstand the rigors of transit service. The program is conducted in Altoona, Pennsylvania. The Altoona Bus Testing Center was established in 1989 by the Pennsylvania Transportation Institute (PTI) with funding provided by FTA. Staff of the Center are responsible for testing new model buses as required by federal law to be eligible for federal funding. The Penn State Bus Research and Testing Facility, located near University Park, Pennsylvania, is also part of the Altoona Bus Testing and Research Center. Under this project, bus testing requirements will be carried out as defined in bus testing regulations. The Testing Program is administered by the Vehicle Systems and Safety Program at the Altoona Bus Testing Center, and PTI in State College. The testing center program provides bus manufacturers and transit agencies invaluable information that is used to improve quality and safety of transit buses. Currently, Center uses buses for safety, structural integrity, performance, maintainability, noise, and fuel economy. Two additional tests, emissions and brake testing, will soon be added. Test results are compiled in a comprehensive report available to the industry and the public. Testing to date has resulted in more than 4,000 reported malfunctions ranging from minor problems to serious design deficiencies and safety related failures. By identifying serious design problems before the buses are placed in revenue service, many costly fleet failures and serious safety problems have been averted.

  • Record URL:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Program Information: National Fuel Cell Bus Program, Engineering of Rolling Stock and Equipment - Bus Project Includes FY07, FY07, and FY08 funding


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Transit Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  USA  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Rymarz, Gregory

  • Performing Organizations:

    Pennsylvania State University, University Park

    Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute
    Research Office Building
    University Park, PA  USA  16802-4710
  • Principal Investigators:

    Kulakowski, Bohdan

  • Start Date: 20021000
  • Actual Completion Date: 20031000
  • Source Data: RiP Project 5822

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01486839
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Federal Transit Administration
  • Contract Numbers: FTA-PA-03-7002.02
  • Files: RiP
  • Created Date: Jul 18 2013 1:01AM