To buy or lease? That is the Question

To buy or lease? That is the Question

The sale or lease of pre-owned transit buses and commuter coaches in the US and Canadian market is unique in that there is typically not a large secondary market like there is in heavy-duty truck, motorcoaches and other commercial equipment.

The reason for this is because transit buses are operated by city transit agencies for twelve years or more and are usually retired thereafter.

However, organizations such as Transit Sales International (TSI) and Shuttle Bus Leasing (SBL) are experts in repurposing transit buses and commuter coaches making them available to customers in the secondary market in the US and Canada.


 What type of vehicles are in inventory?

TSI has an inventory of over 1,000 buses which are securely stored at its facility in Southern California and available for immediate sale or lease.

These buses have been purchased from transit agencies across the United States and are available in all vehicle lengths and propulsion types representing virtually all vehicle OEM brands. TSI is selective in which buses they acquire from transit agencies and focuses on units that are well maintained, typically from the southern tier of the country to minimize frame and corrosion issues.


What is the Vehicle Selection and Make Ready Process?

If a customer has a need for a vehicle to purchase, short-term or long-term lease, TSI or SBL works with the customer to select buses that suit his or her needs from a technical perspective (I.E. OEM, propulsion, length, etc.).

Once buses are identified from the TSI inventory, they are brought to Complete Coach Works (CCW) to begin the make ready process. At a minimum, CCW ensures that all vehicle systems are operational and the bus(es) are DOT ready. CCW applies a new white paint coat to the vehicle(s) to ensure a clean and sparkling exterior.

Depending on customer choice, CCW can also refurbish or update any part of the selected vehicle including powertrain, suspension, interior, seating, etc.


What are the prices of the buses?

Buses are offered for sale by TSI in a standard diesel 40’ configuration starting at $95,000 per unit exclusive of taxes, title and registration and are then scaled higher or lower in price depending on length, propulsion and extent of desired refurbishment beyond TSI’s normal standard as noted above.

Leasing options are available from SBL through a standard 12-month term starting at $5,500 per month (exclusive of taxes, title and registration) for the standard 40’ diesel transit bus. Pricing is then scaled higher or lower, similar to above, for differences in technical configuration and refurbishment level.

Lease pricing can be adjusted for longer or shorter terms as desired by the customer,however, terms shorter than 6 months are typically not considered. Purchase options are available for vehicles under lease during the lease contract and can be negotiated with SBL directly.

All pricing noted above is for delivery F.O.B. Riverside, CA.


Is there a cost for Maintenance, Repairs and Warranties?

For purchases and leases, the buyer is responsible for all repairs. Maintenance leases can also be considered on a case by case basis, however, volumes greater than 20 units need to be considered as well as location and contract term

Warranties are provided for 30 days (parts and labor) following vehicle delivery/pickup as well as a 90 day parts only warranty for a catastrophic failure to the engine, transmission or differential.

Are there any Limitations? What about the “The Fine Print”?

SBL does not have mileage or any other limitations within its lease requirements except for the requirement for leasees to follow the bus manufacturer’s maintenance and service protocols and to utilize OEM new or refurbished parts when possible.

Bottom Line

TSI and SBL make it easy for customers to buy or lease pre-owned transit buses or commuters coaches by providing the industry’s most comprehensive inventory vehicle selection, scaled pricing based on vehicle type, configuration and extent of refurbishment and lease terms to fit contractual or service needs.

Another significant benefit of purchasing or leasing from TSI and SBL is the speed at which vehicles can be made ready for deployment. Typically, for our standard scope of work vehicles can be made ready within 30-60 days.


Experienced Industry Professional Shah N. Remtulla Joins Complete Coach Works as Regional Sales Manager in the Southwest Region

Experienced Industry Professional Shah N. Remtulla Joins Complete Coach Works as Regional Sales Manager in the Southwest Region

RIVERSIDE, CA, JANUARY 22, 2024— Complete Coach Works (CCW), the nation’s leading transportation solutions provider, is pleased to announce the appointment of Shah N. Remtulla as Regional Sales Manager for the Southwest Region. With over 14 years of experience in the North American transit market, Remtulla brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to his new role. In this new capacity, Remtulla is responsible for sales, business development and customer relationships in Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Utah and Nevada.

Remtulla began his transit career in 2009 at NovaBus, where he initially served as a Bids Administrator before transitioning into a successful 8-year tenure in Project Management. His successes led him to the role of Regional Sales Manager for the same southwest region as we have at CCW. With a proven track record of excellence, Remtulla is well-regarded for his industry acumen, professionalism and comprehensive understanding of transit operations and his ability to listen to customer issues and design innovative solutions.

As a passionate advocate for innovative and sustainable transportation solutions, Remtulla is primed to excel in his new capacity as Regional Sales Manager. In this role, he will spearhead business development efforts, cultivate robust client relationships, and champion CCW’s diverse range of transit solutions with customers. With his comprehensive understanding of the transit industry and steadfast commitment to customer satisfaction, Remtulla will assume a pivotal role in driving CCW’s growth and influence in the Southwest region.

Patrick Scully, Chief Commercial Officer at CCW, expressed his excitement about Remtulla joining the team: “We are thrilled to welcome Remtulla to the Complete Coach Works team. I met Remtulla a few years ago at a trade show and I was immediately impressed by his presence and professionalism. In mid-2023, when I learned that he was available we immediately connected to assess his fit for our work at CCW. His exceptional track record, coupled with his industry insights and dedication to advancing sustainable transportation, perfectly aligns with our company’s mission. We are certain that Remtulla ‘s expertise will further our commitment to delivering innovative and efficient transit solutions.”

Remtulla, commenting on his new role, stated, “I am genuinely excited to be part of an organization that is at the forefront of transforming the transit industry. CCW’s reputation for excellence and innovation resonates deeply with my professional values. I eagerly anticipate collaborating with transit agencies in the Southwest Division to provide tailor-made solutions that cater to their unique operational needs.”

With his comprehensive background in the transit sector and a profound understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing transit agencies, Remtulla is poised to make a significant impact in his new capacity. His addition to the Complete Coach Works team further underscores the company’s unwavering dedication to driving sustainable transportation solutions and nurturing industry growth.

Complete Coach Works Begins the First Deliveries for Their 5-Year Mid-Life Overhaul Contract from San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) For a Total of 219 Coaches

Complete Coach Works Begins the First Deliveries for Their 5-Year Mid-Life Overhaul Contract from San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) For a Total of 219 Coaches

RIVERSIDE, CA, — Complete Coach Works (CCW), the nation’s leading transportation solutions provider, announced today the beginning of deliveries for a five-year contract awarded by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) to perform Mid-Life Overhaul services for a total of 219 coaches. This is the largest single contract that CCW has been awarded in its history.

SFMTA (or Muni) is a vital organization responsible for ensuring the seamless and efficient movement of people throughout the city of San Francisco. The agency oversees the largest transit system in the Bay Area. Muni has a rich history as one of America’s oldest public transit agencies and has grown to become the eighth largest public transit system in the nation. Muni’s buses, trains, and cable cars are integral to San Francisco’s identity, transporting both locals and visitors to their destinations.

To maintain Muni’s fleet in optimal condition, CCW’s Mid-Life Overhaul services will replace or refurbish various systems on its vehicles. With hundreds of thousands of riders relying on Muni every day, ensuring the reliability of each vehicle is critical to Muni’s operation. Muni’s fleet is diverse, including hybrid electric coaches, electric trolley coaches, historic streetcars, light rail vehicles, its world-famous cable cars and Muni’s battery electric pilot bus program launched in 2022. CCW’s expertise will play a vital role in ensuring that Muni’s fleet remains in optimal condition.

CCW will perform the work for this contract primarily at Riverside, CA headquarters with final deliveries managed at its Alameda facility in the Bay Area.
The overhaul work on both 40 ft and 60 ft hybrid electric coaches will include repowering the buses with either new or remanufactured Cummins ISL engines and the hybrid propulsion system.
Additionally, various systems including doors, electrical cabling and electronic equipment, suspension, lines and piping, propulsion, cooling, electrical, and the articulation joint are all part of the work scope for the project.
“We are honored to have been chosen by SFMTA to perform this major overhaul project,” said Brad Carson, CCW’s Chief Operating Officer. “CCW has a long history of performing similar scopes of work for other transit agencies including a previous Midlife Overhaul contract with Muni for 80 buses in 2013. We look forward to working closely with Muni on this new contract.”

Complete Coach Works Awarded Contract for the Refurbishment of Two 40-ft Gillig Buses by Eagle County Transit

Complete Coach Works Awarded Contract for the Refurbishment of Two 40-ft Gillig Buses by Eagle County Transit

RIVERSIDE, CA – Complete Coach Works (CCW), a leading provider of transit and sustainable transportation solutions, is pleased to announce it has been awarded a contract for the refurbishment of two 2008 40-ft Gillig buses by Eagle County Transit (ECO).

Eagle County Transit, committed to enhancing its transit services, has chosen CCW as its trusted partner for the revitalization of these key assets. The project aligns with ECO’s vision to provide passengers with an improved and sustainable transit experience.

Under this contract, CCW will leverage its expertise to refurbish the buses, ensuring they meet contemporary standards for performance and passenger comfort. The buses will undergo a comprehensive transformation, featuring remanufactured Cummins ISM ReCon engines and Allison transmissions to enhance reliability and efficiency.

Notable enhancements include the installation of new driver seats, reupholstered passenger seating, and upgraded flooring to elevate the overall comfort and aesthetics of the buses. The integration of modern LED lighting both inside and outside the buses further contributes to a safer and more energy-efficient transit environment.

“We are honored to have been selected by Eagle County Transit for this refurbishment project,” said Shawn Remtulla, Regional Sales Manager for the Southwest Region at Complete Coach Works. “This contract underscores our commitment to delivering high-quality solutions that prioritize passenger safety, comfort, and environmental sustainability.”

This collaboration reflects CCW’s dedication to advancing transit solutions that address the evolving needs of communities. The revitalized buses are expected to contribute not only to the efficiency of Eagle County Transit’s operations, but also to the overall satisfaction of passengers relying on their services.

Bridging the Gap Webinar Q&A

Bridging the Gap Webinar Q&A

Can you say a little more about infrastructure construction? Is it just upgrading vehicles or do you contribute to cables, roads, etc.?

CCW focuses on vehicle upgrades for electrification but does not specialize in infrastructure development for charging station installation.  We can certainly put you in touch with various charging station companies who might assist with the infrastructure side of installation.

How does new CARB emission regulations impact ability to lease buses in California?

SBL and TSI have a large variety of current California compliant buses including CNG, Hybrid and Hydrogen. These vehicles are available for both lease and sale.

What kind of vehicle or operational surprises have the fleet operators discovered after adopting BEVs in their fleets?

The primary issues experienced by fleet operators that have adopted BEVs in their fleets include range, charging time, needed route adjustments and parts pricing.  Range has traditionally been problematic as the range of a BEV is highly variable with load, ambient temperature, weather, state of charge (SOC), etc.  With reduced range vs diesel buses, charging needs to occur both during the day as well as overnight.  This places strain on existing route systems that weren’t designed for these charging opportunities in mind.   Further, although maintenance costs are reduced with BEVs vs diesel buses (when parts are needed such as motors, batteries, etc.) they tend to be very expensive to replace.

What kind of mix have you seen between drivetrain-only vs full re-furb builds?

CCW normally does a 50/50 split when looking at fleet overhauls. Half repower and half midlife refurbs.

Does CCW offer mobile charging solutions to fill the gap with infrastructure deployment lead times?

Currently, CCW does not offer a mobile charging solution for electric vehicles, however we have worked closely with our past customers to integrate electric buses into their fleet and have experience overcoming many challenging situations.

Have you seen any traction on state or federal credit vouchers for re-power upgrades?

There are many funding opportunities available at both the state and federal levels.  Virtually all funding accrues to the operator vs entities such as CCW which are either the OEM or upfitter.  FTA Lo-No grants are a popular avenue for funding zero emission buses.  The California HVIP voucher program is another popular avenue at the state level where CCW is in process of having our ZEPS product qualify for this voucher program.

What does CCW’s national footprint look like to support your products customer deploy?

CCW operates nationwide from a product standpoint and where customer support is needed at specific customers, we can design customized solutions such as having staff on site for a fixed period of time to support the deployment of equipment from CCW.  Alternatively, we would support our product from our headquarters in Riverside, CA and deploy regional field service staff as needed similar to other vehicle OEMs.

How closely does the ZEPs re-power drivetrain compare to OEM BEVs for energy efficiency, range, and other performance parameters?

Our ZEPS drive system has been tested in several head-to-head route tests and are always equally comparable and in a little over half the tests ZEPS is a more efficient drive system.

Does CCW foresee expanding the ZEPs re-powering into other work vehicles (school buses, class 6-8 delivery/box trucks, drayage/port hostlers, etc.)?

Our focus for the ZEPS product has been and will continue to be transit buses.  Given the amount of development and engineering costs we are not currently focused on adapting the ZEPS product to other vehicles.

With CCW’s 10+ years’ experience with battery electric buses, have you started to see second life opportunities for batteries? If so, what does that look like?

Yes, there are a lot of opportunities for second life on batteries that have slightly diminished energy capacity as long as they are handled right and treated properly.

What battery voltage do the drivetrain systems operate at?  Is it customer specified?

ZEPS current battery system has a nominal voltage of 600DCV.