1998 New Flyer D40LF - Blacksburg Transit No. 1813
This bus currently under repair and will return to service soon (November 2017).
This is a 1998 New Flyer D40LF. Its model designation signifies that it is a Diesel powered, 40-foot Low Floor bus. This bus was one of the first 15 New Flyers ordered by Blacksburg Transit, and was built and delivered in May of that year. These buses revolutionized service in the community they served. Not only were they Blacksburg's first wheelchair-accessible buses, these were also among the first heavy-duty low floor coaches to run in the state of Virginia.
Bus 1813 served the Town of Blacksburg and the Virginia Tech campus, and was often filled to "Standing Room Only" loads during Hokie football games and regular service on busy student residential routes such as Tom's Creek. The 1800-series New Flyers remained in service until May 2010, when they were replaced by a new fleet of hybrid-electric coaches. Bus 1813 was donated to the CC&T by Blacksburg Transit at that time.
The 1800s were the first of many New Flyer orders for the BT, and several identical coaches may be still be found there in daily service as of this writing. Coach 1813 features a powerful 8.5 liter Detroit Diesel Series 50 four-cylinder engine and Allison four-speed automatic transmission that is mated to German-made MAN axles. It was also one of the first BT buses equipped with a bike rack, and other innovations such as rear-mounted digital destination signs, LED exterior lighting, and Alcoa aluminum wheels. 1813 is one of Blacksburg's first talking buses. The annunciator system was installed for visually impaired passengers and broadcasts route names and passenger announcements, along with "Next Stop" information via GPS.
New Flyer is the current industry leader in the North American transit bus market. Founded in 1930 as Western Auto and Truck Body Works Ltd., the company was later purchased by Den Oudsten Bussen BV of the Netherlands and introduced their first low-floor transit coach in 1989, which ultimately became marketed as the LF series. These buses, including No. 1813, were based on a Dutch design by Den Oudsten. New Flyer is headquartered in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and also has a U.S. assembly plant in St. Cloud, Minnesota.