Nova Bus inks deal with Minnesota transit authority, plans to invest in buses fueled by natural gas

PLATTSBURGH — Nova Bus is moving ahead with new partnerships, innovations and legislative assistance that will benefit its local operation. The company, located in the Town of Plattsburgh, is a leading provider of sustainable transit solutions in North America.

The company has announced a new partnership with the Minnesota Valley Transit Authority, which has placed an order for seven 40-foot Nova LFX Smart Buses for its BRT services.

“We are proud to have the opportunity to call MVTA our new business partner,” Gilles Dion, President and CEO of Nova Bus, stated in a press release. “It’s a new market for us, and we look forward to providing them with distinctive vehicles that feature cutting-edge design, cost savings, and the perfect balance of style, function and maintainability.”

The LFX Smart Bus includes a proprietary integrated electric engine cooling system that can improve fuel economy by up to 18 percent.

The company opted for a stainless steel structure that is designed for varying operating conditions, with Minnesota’s climate in mind.

MVTA also wanted sleek appeal and the ability to handle large passenger loads at elevated platforms. Nova LFX’s offers a single roofline, a new interior design and large doors. The model features disc brakes, composite flooring and all LED lighting options for improved safety and cost savings.

“The Minnesota Valley Transit Authority is very excited to add this bus to our fleet,” said MVTA Chair Gary Hansen.

The buses will be assembled in Plattsburgh and delivered in the fall of 2012.

Nova Bus officials are also pleased that Congressman Bill Owens submitted bills Congress may act on later this year to reduce tariffs on its products. The bill, which also pertained to other company’s products, comes up every few years with little opposition. It would be available for public comment and must pass through a review process by the International Trade Commission and other federal agencies.

North Country Chamber of Commerce President Garry Douglas lauded Owens for helping North Country companies remain competitive.

Finally, Nova Bus expects to produce transit buses that run on compressed natural gas.

The company plans to invest up to $4 million on the venture as the demand for such buses rises. The work, which is expected to impact the company's Plattsburgh plant, is planned to start next year.

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