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BUSRIDEMAINTENANCE.COM

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Maintenance Facility Design


Table of Contents Firm Profile

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Bus facility preliminary design: 7 common-sense steps

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By Don Leidy

Good for them, good for you – today’s Driver’s Room and Dispatch Center

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By Mark Ellis

PM: What is the cost of doing nothing?

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By Don Leidy and Mark Ellis

Bus parking - inside and out

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By Ken Booth and Sheena Zimmerman

Maintenance doesn’t have to be the “pits”

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By Ken Booth

Polyurea coating – Could it save your wash bay?

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By Mark Ellis and Justin Tripp

Giving bus maintenance a lift

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By Ken Booth

Keeping your buses clean – vacuum systems

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By Jared Weismantel

Tire storage solutions for maintenance facilities

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By James Bond III

Multistory bus operations and maintenance facilities

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By Jon Holler

Best repair bay configuration

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By Mark Ellis

VLMs prove their worth in maintenance facilities

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By Steve Radomski and Jonathyn Reed Find Maintenance Design Group

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Maintenance Design Group Excellence in Facility Design

Let’s face it. Most transit agencies work with stretched facility budgets. Yet you need the best building your budget can buy. Defining what that looks like can be difficult, especially if you don’t design facilities on a daily basis. The articles in this eBook will help you get on the right track to your best facility. You’ll find questions to ask, insight on hot topics, tips to enhance operations, and the secret to keeping your facility and equipment in top operating condition. Whether you’re building a new facility, renovating an existing one, or relocating your maintenance functions, you’ll find information that will equip you to make confident decisions. And by following some basic guidelines, you’ll deliver a project that meets the needs of your stakeholders today, tomorrow, and for years to come. About Maintenance Design Group Maintenance Design Group is the leading transportation and maintenance facility planning and design firm in the U.S. A specialty consulting firm, MDG focuses exclusively on transit, public works, utility, educational, and governmental operations and maintenance facilities. With MDG, you get national experts in the planning and design of transportation facilities. You tap into the “best of the best” approaches and perspectives across hundreds of projects. And, quite simply, you get the best facility for your operations. Services include: • Programming • Site Analysis and Selection • Master Planning • Conceptual Design • Process Piping • Equipment Industrial Design • Building Systems Engineering (MEP) • Design-Build Bridging Documents • Value Engineering • Facility Maintenance Plans

The articles in this eBook will help you get on the right track to your best facility.

Solutions no one ever dreamed of MDG consultants blend innovative approaches and emerging technologies to come up with new ideas. In fact, we’ve developed many industry firsts that are now industry standards. We’ve been involved in the planning and design of more than 650 facilities – and that translates to unparalleled experience. But don’t expect a cookie cutter approach. Your project is unique in its requirements, challenges, and opportunities, so we make sure your solution is just as unique. One way we do this is through our design charrette process. Using this process, you get a completely customized facility concept, and stakeholder consensus on it, in just a few days. Friends for life Clients often come back for our help across multiple projects over many years; we’re friends for life. As an MDG client, you join a strong community of agencies, companies, and organizations that have trusted us with their projects, employees, and futures. Interested in a customized facility that works for you today – and tomorrow? Have an operations or maintenance facility question you’d like answered? Just want to know more? Let’s chat. busridemaintenance.com | BUSRIDE MAINTENANCE

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Maintenance Facility Design

Bus facility preliminary design: 7 common-sense steps By Don Leidy investing time to find the right solutions for both short- and longterm rewards. As you move to the charrette, keep that same open mindedness and spirit of adventure.

The author leads a facility design charrette for a bus transit client.

“Common sense.” Seems like a simple concept to apply, doesn’t it? Yet when you’re in the midst of facility design, that philosophy sometimes goes by the wayside. So how do you make it your guiding principle? Take these seven commonsense steps during preliminary design to get the best bus transit facility result: 1. Partner with experts. You have great ideas you’d like to incorporate in your facility. Yet trying to design it yourself can be overwhelming and risky. Instead, find facility design consultants and use them. They’ll uncover your challenges – even the ones you don’t know about yet – and solve them. They’ll listen to your ideas and help you determine which you can incorporate and how. And they’ll lead you through the process of programming, master planning, and conceptual design. 2. Establish your stakeholder group. Immediately assemble a group of stakeholders, which may include managers, operators, technicians, and more. Each brings a different perspective and insight into the application of ideas in the(ir) real world. They feel valued and you get a much better understanding of their facility needs. This group helps lay the programmatic foundation on which you build a master plan that works for all. 3. Take tours. Tour recently completed facilities with your consultants and stakeholder group. It’s good to look at three to five facilities in your region, both similar to and different from yours. Ask what works well…and not as well. Share your ideas and see if any resonate with them. And at the end of each tour, have the group discuss what they found intriguing. Include these ideas in the programming process. 4. Sleep on it. The time between programming and the design charrette is well spent brainstorming. Think about how you want your facility to work. Consider the ideas you’ve seen and dream up more. Then share them with your consultants. Your facility is distinct from every other. Honor that distinctness by 4

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5. Incorporate a design charrette. The onsite design charrette may be the single most important step for creating a facility that truly serves your needs. The charrette is a process where your design team essentially brings a complete design studio to your facility for an extended, integrative design session. It not only saves time (taking only four to five days versus weeks or months); it also empowers you to create your ideal facility. Hold two design charrettes – the first for the master plan; the second for the conceptual floor plans. You and your stakeholders attend a series of short, iterative daily meetings. Each day, the design team presents solutions that incorporate ideas and address challenges. Then you choose the best of the best. Charrettes build consensus across all stakeholder groups and provide an eye-opening, educational, and enjoyable process for all involved. Need more incentive to incorporate a design charrette into your process? Discussing and determining solutions before design and construction saves money and change orders later. 6. Conduct a peer review. As the end of the charrette process, invite the people whose facilities you toured to review your final site plan and conceptual facility floor plans for safety, efficiency, and functional flow. These individuals have firsthand experience so getting their feedback on your preferred preliminary plans is extremely valuable. 7. Consider the value of new. The industry is quickly evolving, yet many facility designs still rely on traditional approaches, old technology, and outdated equipment. Think beyond initial capital investment to long-term operating costs. Consider the benefits of innovative ideas, particularly in your critical functions. Your consultants can help you determine where “new” makes the most sense. There’s a single common-sense thread throughout these seven common-sense steps: integrating users into the process. Though you may be apprehensive about using an inclusive process, you’ll be amazed how dynamic it makes the process and how much it contributes to creating a facility design you never dreamed possible. Don Leidy, principal of Maintenance Design Group, has worked with transit agencies throughout the U.S. to plan and design their bus maintenance facilities. To learn more about MDG’s capabilities and to gain valuable insights and information, please visit www.maintenancedesigngroup.com.

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Good for them, good for you – today’s Drivers’ Room and Dispatch Center By Mark Ellis Let’s say you’re a transit bus driver. Your vocation can be pretty rewarding. You help people, meet the public, and provide a valuable service to your city’s citizens. But you report to work in a facility that’s unwelcoming, chaotic, and unorganized. A place that, just by its configuration, size and furnishings, actually makes your job difficult and your frame of mind hectic. How does that impact your morale and productivity? Now imagine if that same space supports your professional and personal needs. A space so carefully planned that it enhances your productivity, social encounters, and overall wellbeing. A facility that makes it more fun to go to work. How do you feel now? The Drivers’ Rooms and support areas in bus maintenance and operations facilities often seem an afterthought to the overall facility design. But that’s changing with the evolution of the modern Drivers’ Room. The Drivers’ Room (aka: Train Room, Drivers’ Lounge, Operators’ Room) is one of the most important “people spaces” in your facility. It impacts the largest percentage of your workforce – your bus drivers. In the past, Drivers’ Rooms served simply as meeting and waiting areas for drivers prior to being dispatched as the face of your agency to the public. They were functional; nothing more. Today’s new Drivers’ Rooms are interactive and dynamic spaces. They not only provide driver meeting and lounge areas but also are the hub of driver support, information distribution, and social interaction. All are important aspects of any successful and modern work environment. Facility design professionals and agencies that recognize the importance of experiential driver support areas make intentional design decisions to that end. They capitalize on functional adjacencies and opportunities to centralize support functions and implement technology and sustainable design features to reap long term benefits. These benefits impact human resources through lower absenteeism, better job performance, and higher overall employee engagement. They also lower operating costs via more energy efficient spaces and longer lasting materials. The modern Drivers’ Room includes: • A central lounge area with durable yet comfortable furnishings so drivers can relax before and after shifts. • The kitchenette/vending area, sporting modern appliances for storing and preparing food and vending machines to purchase meals and snacks. • Wi-Fi internet access and integrated charging outlet areas for mobile devices.

• Driver amenities including exercise facilities, quiet rooms, and TV rooms, and other support functions like restrooms, showers, and open genderless locker alcoves, all designed to take advantage of workplace flow. • Natural lighting and innovative heating and cooling features to reduce energy use. Recent trends include galley kitchenette/vending areas and open concept design. At the City of Raleigh/Capital Area Transit (CTA) facility, the driver lockers are arranged to take advantage of natural light, making the space feel open and enhancing the Drivers’ Room experience. At Division 13, Los Angeles Metro’s newest facility, the Driver’s Room kitchenette is a hub of activity and social interaction.

The Dispatch Center is an important consideration within the Driver’s Room. It’s where drivers get information such as extra board assignments, shift information, bus assignments, and route deviations. Dispatch often wants visual connection with the Drivers’ Room and interaction with drivers on their way to the buses. To achieve this, most have a dispatch counter, but the noise and bustle of the Drivers’ Room can detract from business conversations and other Dispatch functions. In response, the “Bank Teller” design is sometimes used, but it’s restrictive, impersonal, and ill-suited for professional interactions. The latest solution is the Dispatch Vestibule. The vestibule, typically an all glass enclosure, separates the Dispatch counter from the drivers’ lounge area, behind the drivers as they enter it. It’s an open and quiet area. This design maintains the visual connection between the Dispatch Center and the Drivers’ Room, yet provides an environment conducive to driver-dispatcher interaction. Intentional decisions can make your Drivers’ Room a welcoming environment, a respite before or after a shift, the place to be. Bottom line – drivers that report to work in a modern, professional Drivers’ Room will be happier, want to come to work, and head out to their routes feeling like a valued member of your agency. And that translates to a better experience for your passengers. Mark Ellis, central region manager for Maintenance Design Group, has worked with transit agencies throughout the U.S. to plan and design their bus maintenance facilities. To learn more about MDG’s capabilities and to gain valuable insights and information, please visit www.maintenancedesigngroup.com.

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Maintenance Facility Design

Maintenance Design Group completed a facility maintenance plan for Capital Area Transit’s Raleigh, NC, maintenance facility.

PM: What is the cost of doing nothing? By Don Leidy and Mark Ellis Money talks, and when a public entity discovers how much time, energy and money it can save with a comprehensive facility maintenance plan, money practically screams. However, properly and vigilantly conducted facility maintenance is not just about saving money. A comprehensive facility maintenance plan also extends the functional life of building systems and equipment. Unfortunately, not everyone quite understands that perspective. No one would ever dream of buying a vehicle — a personal car or an agency’s bus — and running it for 20 years without ever changing the oil. Similarly, the facility itself requires the same attention to preventive maintenance (PM) as does the fleet. The rationale is to increase the overall life of a facility and its equipment by catching potential problems before they require emergency repair —reactive maintenance. Simply put, it is more cost effective to repair than to replace. Maintenance plans save expenses From tightening belts to cleaning housings, greasing bearings to checking weatherproofing, practically every element of a facility requires some degree of regular attention. A comprehensive, work order-driven PM schedule provides continuous regularly scheduled service to the facility and the equipment it houses. PM work orders, developed by facility maintenance experts from manufacturers’ operations and maintenance manuals along with architectural and engineering specifications for the building and its elements, provide the basis of an optimized maintenance schedule. Rotational scheduling and an easy-to-apply workorder methodology makes it much easier to distribute the daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annual and annual tasks when they come due. The true value of PM is best seen in specific scenarios. Consider a vehicle washer. One of the most expensive and maintenanceintensive pieces of equipment, vehicle washers can cost up to $250,000 to purchase and install. A manufacturer-supplied written checklist dictates daily preventive maintenance required to properly maintain this complex and completely automated machine. That maintenance checklist must be completed, dated, and signed every day, proving that the maintenance work was done. The manufacturer knows that without this maintenance, it cannot guarantee the machine’s effectiveness and reliability. That is precisely why manufacturers provide a written checklist.

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Photo by Jerry Blow Architectural Photography. Architecture by Williard Stewart Caliendo Architects, PA.

Make PM a priority PM for bus facilities has not always been a priority, though it was always included in the FTA’s triennial review. The recent push to bring public infrastructure into a state of good repair has upped the importance of asset management and preventive maintenance. The mission statement of nearly every transportation company is to get safe, clean buses on the street to move people from point A to point B. Only recently was the connection made between cost-effective reliable service and asset management/facility maintenance. This is different today because we have learned the value that a good facility PM program creates. Driven by new technology As technology progresses, so too does preventive maintenance technology. With more and more operations and maintenance manuals arriving on CD-ROM, PM experts can now quickly and easily incorporate that information into the PM plan. Generating work orders and PM schedules using advanced PM software, PM specialists now make state-of-the-art, computerized PM management widely available to all owners — basically anyone willing to institute a PM plan. But technology doesn’t stop there. A basic level of facility maintenance planning is essential to maintain a primary level of readiness. Advancing to the more sophisticated levels of maintenance all depends on the facility and the equipment being maintained. Higher levels of PM become much more common where the facility and equipment is more advanced. What is most important is making the leap from reactive maintenance to the first level of preventive maintenance. After that, refinements to implement predictive maintenance practices progress naturally to the asset management process. As hard as it is to believe, many maintenance facilities still have no PM plan in place. But this is changing by the day as more decision makers around the country see the tremendous value and return that PM provides. PM programs only grow in popularity as agencies continue to implement plans that extend the lives of their facilities. Don Leidy is managing principal and Mark Ellis is Central Region manager for Maintenance Design Group (Denver, Houston, Baltimore, Los Angeles) – a recognized leader in bus and motorcoach maintenance facility design. They have been preparing facility maintenance plans for over 30 years. To learn more about their capabilities and to gain valuable insights and information, please visit www.maintenancedesigngroup.com

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Bus parking— inside out By Ken Booth and Sheena Zimmerman

Interior versus exterior bus parking has become a hot topic for transit providers in cold weather climates. Proponents of interior storage assert that warmer, sheltered parking improves and extends the life of the buses, makes maintenance easier, reduces fuel consumption and carbon emissions, and enhances worker morale and productivity. Critics argue that the construction, energy and maintenance costs are prohibitive. When evaluating indoor versus outdoor bus parking, there are several factors to consider. Initial cost While the design of interior bus parking is basic and does not require expansive infrastructure, it does involve significant capital expenditure for the structure. Even the most basic building will need exhaust ventilation, adequate lighting, space for vehicle maneuvers, and heating to prevent vehicles and components from freezing. Exterior bus parking is not without cost. Depending on the agency’s fleet size, significant site acreage could be needed as well as additional paving, increased site drainage and retention ponds. In addition, outdoor parking has increased requirements for site lighting, security devices and infrastructure for engine block heaters. Lifecycle cost The above initial costs are all direct costs at the outset of the bus parking decision. However, there are many lifecycle costs that come into play. The interior bus parking will require ongoing maintenance and upkeep - like any other building - to keep it functioning well and servicing the agency for its anticipated lifetime. Exterior parking lifecycle costs, while not as evident, can add up over time. Of most significance is the wear and tear on the buses themselves. Doors, windows, hydraulic systems, tires and the body of the bus itself will all wear out much faster when stored in extreme temperature and weather. When buses are stored outside, they often run overnight or for hours in the early morning to be ready for operations on very cold mornings. This additional run time produces more wear on the engines and increases fuel costs. According to the staff for Southern Teton Area Rapid Transit (START), Jackson, WY, when it is extremely cold, buses must be left running all night. On ordinary winter nights with less

Interior bus parking extends vehicle life, reduces fuel consumption and enhances productivity. Photo: Gayle Babcock – Architectural Imageworks, LLC

extreme temperatures, buses must be started an hour or two before a shift to ensure they are warm enough to run. The agency estimated it used an additional 8,000 gallons of fuel per year and created 170,000 pounds of unnecessary carbon emissions. By storing buses indoors, both the amount of fuel and carbon emissions are reduced considerably. Finally, exterior parking increases staff time for snow removal from pavement and buses. The cost of the extra work hours for these tasks, compounded with the increased risk for employee accidents due to ice, snow and cold temperatures, all add into the lifecycle costs of exterior parking. Non-monetary impacts While bottom line costs are usually the driving factor in facility decisions, there are several less quantifiable impacts to parking buses outside. Due to site layout requirements and necessary infrastructure for engine block heaters, agencies have less flexibility for building, circulation and parking layout. It can also limit future facility expansion on the site. Operationally, storing buses in an interior heated building with good lighting provides a more favorable work environment and improves employee morale. It also benefits the agency’s clients, allowing for quicker access to buses and reducing loss of productivity associated with preparing buses for operation. Indoor parking also impacts the surrounding community. When buses are prepped for service indoors, the associated noise from buses backing up, headlight glare and bus exhaust are less intrusive on neighbors. This is true in the case of START, whose neighbors include an upscale hotel and residences. The final non-monetary impact is becoming more frequently cited - carbon emissions. In addition to significantly reducing fuel costs, not running bus engines all night and for extra hours cuts carbon emissions. This improves air quality in communities prone to thermal inversion and smog, and for the planet as a whole. Because every agency is unique, bus parking solutions should always be tailored to meet each agency’s specific requirements. However, it is imperative to take into account all costs - initial construction, lifecycle, bus maintenance and replacement, and fuel - as well as the intangibles of employee satisfaction, safety and impact on the environment and surrounding community. Ken Booth, Mountain Region manager, and Sheena Zimmerman, facility designer, for Maintenance Design Group – a nationally recognized leader in bus maintenance facility design – have worked with over 100 agencies to plan and design their facilities. To learn more about their capabilities, please visit www.maintenancedesigngroup.com

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Maintenance Facility Design

Maintenance doesn’t have to be the “pits” By Ken Booth Preventive maintenance (PM)/inspection bays, or “pits” as they are often called, play a very vital role in making any maintenance facility more efficient. An agency’s maintenance approach, as well as their mechanics’ preferences often drive how the undercarriage of a bus is accessed. Typical PM/inspection bays may be designed and configured in several ways. Each has its advantages and disadvantages depending on the application, vehicle size, safety requirements and how mechanics will use the space. Below are some of the most often-used configurations for these work spaces, as well as factors to consider when selecting which is best for your bus maintenance facility.

under pits still require ventilation for possible buildup of gasses, functional equipment like stools and ladders to accommodate technicians of different heights, and adequate lighting for the entire length of the pit.

DUCK-UNDER PIT

long service life with minimal maintenance. Other options, like the LLWA, give agencies alternatives which may provide more lasting benefits like higher employee satisfaction and safer, more ergonomic work conditions.

LOWER LEVEL WORK AREA

The lower level work area (LLWA) concept provides some great improvements over the walk-in and duck-under pits by providing a code-compliant “basement area” equipped with a mobile lift work platform. Technicians can adjust the position and height of the work platform for their comfort, meaning shorter employees do not WALK-IN PIT have to balance on buckets or stepstools to reach their work The walk-in pit maintenance areas, and taller employees do bay is a quick and easy setup not have to strain their necks, where the bus operator just backs, and knees trying to reach drives over it. The operating/ their tasks. Instead, they can upkeep costs once the pit is each adjust the platform to a installed are minimal. It is also proper height for a safe working possible to have more than environment. This enables one bus on the pit at a time a technician of any height to depending on the length of work on any area beneath a the vehicles and the pit. Work low floor or standard floor bus. can be completed both above Lighting is attached to the lift and below the bus at the same and travels with the technician time. The disadvantages are A lower level work area (LLWA) concept provides some great improvements over walk-in to ensure that the work area is that the walk-in pit is a fixed and duck-under pits. always well lit, alleviating the depth, meaning maintenance techs of different height may not be able to work in an ergonomic need for extensive, full-pit-length lighting systems. Maintenance position or will need to use step stools or ladders. These pits Design Group (MDG) developed this concept and worked with also require lighting systems placed along the entire length of the manufacturer to design the mobile lift work platform. the walls to provide adequate light, and ventilation to prevent buildup of heavier than air gases. Walk-in pits also do not have At the end of the day, budget often drives the design of PM/ a set stopping point to keep a bus from parking over the stairs, inspection bays. Walk-in and duck-under pits are often the first which are located at the end of the pit. When this occurs, it can option. With proper ventilation, netting, stepping stools, and prevent a technician from exiting the pit during an emergency. lighting these inspection pits can get the job done and give a

Like the walk-in pit, duck-under pits have a quick and easy setup, above and below bus simultaneous access, and minimal operating costs once the pit is installed. However, duck-under pits have a more advanced design than the walk-in pit, giving technicians access through two entrance and exit points on the side of the pit rather than just one at the end. This makes it safer for the technician to exit in case of an emergency. But duck-

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Ken Booth, Mountain Region manager for Maintenance Design Group (Denver, Houston, Baltimore, Los Angeles) – a recognized leader in bus maintenance facility design – has worked with transit agencies throughout the US and Canada to plan and design their facilities. To learn more about MDG’s capabilities and to gain valuable insights and information, please visit www.maintenancedesigngroup.com

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Polyurea coating Could it save your wash bay? By Mark Ellis and Justin Tripp The use of polyurea coatings in maintenance facilities has been increasing in popularity for the past decade, although their use in automotive and facility applications has been around for nearly 30 years. Traditionally, polyurea coatings have been used to line the inside of truck beds to protect the underlying metal from weather and other corrosive elements, and to provide for easier clean up. This principle also applies when polyurea coatings are used on wash bay floors and walls in maintenance facilities. Not only does the coating protect the underlying floors and walls, but it also allows for ease of cleaning these surfaces. What is polyurea? Polyurea is a chemical mixture of an isocyanate compound and a resin blend. When these two chemicals are mixed and introduced to compressed air, they form a hardened rubberlike compound that, when applied correctly and dried, forms a completely sealed coating that is impervious and easy to clean. How is it applied? The most common way to apply a polyurea coating to a surface is by spraying it with special equipment. The preferred method to quickly cover large areas like wash bays is by using a machine that draws the chemicals from two separate drums into a paintlike sprayer. Since the chemicals come from bulk supply drums, it expedites the coating process. Also, this application machine has a control panel that adjusts the speed of the chemical mix along with how much air is being released. This helps deliver the coating in a consistent even layer. What are the benefits? Paint, epoxy and other coatings are the traditional ways to protect surfaces in harsh wash and maintenance facility areas. However, when these coatings are used in a wash bay or a maintenance pit where they are exposed to grease, dirt and moisture, they begin to lose their protective qualities. Paint begins to fade and flake away over time and with repetitive exposure to a pressure washer. Paint also scratches and releases very easily, exposing the underlying surface to moisture and contaminants. Polyurea coatings, unlike traditional paints and coatings, hold up against abrasion, corrosion, pressure washing and temperature changes. In addition to protecting the surface, polyurea also strengthens the structure because it is a solid coating across the entire area without gaps or end points. The material is somewhat flexible and allows for expansion and contraction with weather changes, and it completely seals

Polyurea coatings hold up against abrasion, corrosion, pressure washing and temperature changes.

so no moisture will penetrate through to the surface that is being protected. Polyurea coatings also protect against many chemicals that can pass through paint. As for cleaning, grease and dirt are easily washed away with a pressure washer, leaving the coating completely intact. As is popular with paint, polyurea coating can be dyed to match the preferred wall and floor color scheme in a facility. What is the downside? While there are many upsides to using polyurea coatings on wash bay surfaces, it is not the cheapest option. On average, 1/8inch polyurea coating in basic black costs about $2.50 per square foot for the material, not including the application labor. Thicker application coating and custom colors will increase the price. Applying the coating is also not as easy as rolling paint on the walls. There are necessary personal safety equipment requirements including using a full breathing mask and a protective jump suit to be worn during application. Overspray on surrounding surfaces can also be a problem, so surrounding areas that are not being coated must be completely covered and sealed with plastic to protect them from overspray. Overall, polyurea coatings are a good investment for your wash bays and other harsh maintenance environments because of the long lasting protection they give to the building surfaces and structure and the ease of cleaning. Polyurea coatings also are impervious to moisture and most chemical damage and can withstand both physical and environmental trauma. In addition, the ability to customize the color adds a professional touch that will last the life of the facility with limited upkeep or maintenance. Mark Ellis, central region manager, and Justin Tripp, facility designer for Maintenance Design Group have worked with transit agencies throughout the U.S. to plan and design their bus maintenance facilities. To learn more about MDG’s capabilities and to gain valuable insights and information, please visit www.maintenancedesigngroup.com

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Maintenance Facility Design

Giving bus maintenance a By Ken Booth

lift

flush mounted with the floor. The second, a parallelogram lift, has a pantograph motion that moves both vertically and horizontally as the lift raises. These lifts require a 16–inchdeep recessed concrete floor. The third type is a four-post lift that is surface mounted directly to the shop floor and requires ramps to access the platforms. Platform lifts have capacities ranging from 50,000 to 100,000 pounds and can accommodate vehicles with a wheel base up to 46 feet long. The lifts engage a vehicle at the tires, and can include a 32,000 pound jacking Axle/frame engaging lifts beam to lift the tires off the ramp. Axle/frame engaging lifts are extremely useful Platform lifts can be flush mounted to the Platform lifts are expensive to install and in bus maintenance operations as they allow shop floor. the ramps impede access to some areas of the unobstructed access to all wheel areas and any component or system under a bus. The modern design allows vehicle. Also, if surface mounted, the lift will require drive-on simplified controls to position the lifting units to multiple ramps of 8 to 10 feet necessitating a longer bay. Recessed lifts leave a void in the floor in which tools or other items can fall, preprogrammed vehicle wheel-bases. Within this style of in-ground hydraulic/mechanical lift there however, pit covers are available to remedy this on some models. are two basic types, both featuring an axle-engaging, fixed rear lifting unit with movable front and/or middle lifting units and an Mobile lifts Mobile lifts are the most flexible of the three types of heavyabove-ground control console. One type has a scissor actuating mechanism that is completely removable and re-locatable and duty lifts. These lifts can be used in multiple bays if used in can be installed in an ultra-shallow 34–inch-deep concrete conjunction with mobile jack-stands, and can accommodate any containment pit below the finished floor. The other type has vehicle wheelbase length. They are the easiest to install as they a multi-stage cylinder requiring a 72–inch-deep containment just plug in, and they don’t require any foundation mounting or pits. This type of lift is ideal for installation in an existing shop or enclosure design. Axle/frame engaging lifts are one of the more expensive for agencies with tight equipment budgets. The mobile lift engages the vehicle at the tires and requires types of lifts and require multiple adaptors to lift a mixed fleet of vehicles. They may require three lifting units if a vehicle a lifting column at each of the vehicle’s wheels. If lifting an has three axles. Also, a drain with an oil/water separator is articulated bus, a total of six columns is required. Each column typically required to evacuate any water that enters the lift has a typical minimum lifting capacity of 18,000 pounds and a lifting height of 70 inches. The lifts have the option of battery containment box. operated and/or wireless communication between the columns permitting safe, synchronized lifting. The lifts can be moved to Platform lifts Platform lifts are great for quickly lifting buses to perform another bay if portable jack stands are used. Mobile lifts require a longer set up time when lifting a inspections, oil changes and other fast service maintenance functions. These lifts are an alternative to installing a lower level vehicle, occupy more floor area and may require additional work area as they can be flush mounted directly to the shop floor. storage space. They also impede maintenance around the wheel They are the only suitable lift for use in a wash bay if properly area of the vehicle. treated with water resistant coatings. These lifts can also be used Ken Booth, Mountain Region manager for Maintenance Design Group (MDG) has in conjunction with alignment systems. worked with transit agencies throughout the US and Canada to plan and design their There are three types of platform lifts. The first operates in bus maintenance facilities. To learn more about MDG’s capabilities and to gain valuable a vertical motion and can be installed on the floor surface or insights and information, please visit www.maintenancedesigngroup.com Selecting the type of lift needed for a bus maintenance facility depends on many factors. What is the type, weight wheelbase, and number of axles on the bus being maintained? What types of maintenance tasks will be performed? How much space is available in the bays? Is the lift going into a new or existing facility? How much flexibility is needed? What’s the budget? Once you have the answers to these questions, you can begin to compare the three basic heavyduty lifting systems described below.

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Keeping your buses clean vacuum systems By Jared Weismantel

Part of servicing a bus fleet means regular vacuuming to keep buses clean for passengers and to extend the useful life of the interior surfaces. The larger the fleet, the more variables that enter into the decision of selecting the best vacuum system for an agency. Considerations include length of service cycle, number of vehicles, type of vehicles, cleaning staff, and stationing of the vacuum system. There are three main types of commercial vacuum systems for keeping bus fleets clean. Here we will explore them briefly, along with some of the pros and cons of each. Canister-type vacuum The canister-type vacuum is a small, contained unit located on the service island with a typical maximum hose length of 25 feet and is similar to those found at gas stations. Dust and dirt from the bus floor is swept toward the bus doors, then the canister vacuum is used to extract the dust and dirt. While relatively inexpensive and requiring only a small amount of space on a service island or housekeeping pad, the small size means that the canister needs to be emptied frequently to a nearby trash receptacle. Also, the short hose length does not allow for fullbus vacuuming. This system can be appropriate for smaller fleets with limited service island space and service budgets. Another advantage is the ability to quickly service and replace an entire canister if necessary. Central vacuum system Housed on the central service island, a central vacuum system requires the service tech to simply unwind the vacuum hose and walk, unencumbered, the entire length of the bus to extract dust and dirt with the vacuum. While one of the quickest, easiest, and best for the health and safety of the technician, the central vacuum system has some drawbacks, the first being price. Equipment alone is nearly 10 times more costly than a canistertype vacuum system. In addition, the service island requires a minimum of 300 square feet for the vacuum equipment plus additional space for the vacuum hose reel. This system also has significant energy demands, and as a single system, if it is down for service, all stations are unavailable. Also, because the hose traverses the whole bus, it can rub against doors and seats resulting in wear and tear and possible damage to the vacuum hoses, bus doors, and the seats over time.

Central vacuum system, Springfield, MO.

Bellows system The bellows system involves aligning the bus door with the bellows on the service island. The tech, wearing protective eye, ear and breathing apparatus enters the bus and uses compressed air to blow dust and dirt towards the bellows. In addition to cost and space required on the service island for the bellows equipment, this system has some other drawbacks. Technicians are required to work within the vortex of the vacuum and need extra time to put on effective health and safety gear. As dust and dirt is blown towards the bellows, some of it ends up on the bus seats as well as potentially in the electronics of the dashboard, farebox, destination sign, etc. The bellows system also requires wider service islands to fit the equipment. The equipment may require frequent and sometimes costly service or repair. As with any piece of service or maintenance equipment, each agency needs to carefully evaluate a number of factors before making a purchase decision. In addition to cost, service time, facility size and layout, as health and welfare of employees all need to be considered. Jared Weismantel is a facility designer with Maintenance Design Group. He has worked with transit agencies throughout the U.S. to help plan and design their bus maintenance facilities. To learn more about MDG’s capabilities and to gain valuable insights and information, please visit www.maintenancedesigngroup.com

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Maintenance Facility Design

Tire storage solutions for maintenance facilities By James Bond III

minimal effort by one person for easy tire retrieval. The technician simply rotates the carrier frames, locates the desired set of tires, stops at the proper position, and then removes the tires safely and efficiently at ground level, all at the touch of a button. In addition to increased efficiency, the system reduces the risk of injuries by letting the machine do the lifting. Tire carousels are a very efficient type of storage system, requiring minimal floor space. The small footprint of the carousel takes advantage of vertical space instead of floor space. They are also available in lockable, weatherproof models for placement outside. The tire carousel enables the agency to keep an accurate count of inventory since all tires are visible, and in one place. There are a few downsides to tire carousels. As an automated piece of equipment, they require periodic maintenance. This means tires are not accessible during repairs or if the power is out. As with any equipment with moving parts, safety protocol is necessary to prevent injuries while the machine is in motion. Fabricated tire racks Fabricated racks are an economical, durable and low maintenance tire storage option. They can be custom made to meet specific needs for storage capacity, space availability, and room configuration. They can be built vertically up to three tiers high for increased capacity. However, fabricated tire racks require additional equipment, such as a fork lift or pallet jack, for tire retrieval. This presents the potential for injuries due to dropped tires during the retrieval process. Depending on configuration, the racks can take up significant floor space, and racks need to be anchored in place to a wall.

Tire carousel storage systems are one of the more advanced ways to store and organize tires.

A bus maintenance facility is not complete without a tire shop. With the tire shop comes the need to efficiently store tires for easy access and retrieval. While the optimum solution is to store the majority of the inventory at the tire supplier’s warehouse and have them delivered on a regular basis, there will still be a need to have tire storage on hand to accommodate emergency tire replacement. There are several solutions to tire storage, ranging from sophisticated mechanical systems to custom-fabricated storage racks. While each has its advantages, selection usually depends on the agency’s budget, space needs and number of buses that need to be supported. It is important to note that local fire codes dictate how many tires can be stored in one room. Sometimes the number of tires stored may be increased if there are increased fire protection measures. Some fire codes also dictate how high the tires can be stored. Tire carousel Tire carousel storage systems are one of the more advanced ways to store and organize tires. They can be operated with 12

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Stacking tire racks Stacking tire racks allow for vertical storage of entire racks of tires rather than just individual tires, producing time savings when moving large quantities of tires at one time. The racks can be stacked as high as needed, taking advantage of the vertical volume in a shop and freeing up floor space. The stacks also make it easy and efficient to move a whole rack of tires for shipment or relocation within the shop, rather than moving tires individually. A fork lift is necessary for retrieval and relocation of racks. Tire retrieval from higher levels of the stacking racks can pose hazards, especially if the racks are stacked full or without much room to maneuver. Because of the stacked configuration, bottom tires can get a flat spot if stored for too long. The tire shop is an important aspect of a successful bus maintenance operation. This makes a safe and efficient tire storage solution essential. While individual agency requirements and local fire code will inform your decision, it is important to perform due diligence to make sure the selected system provides the best benefits for your agency. James Bond III is a senior facility designer with Maintenance Design Group. He has worked with transit agencies throughout the US to help plan and design their bus maintenance facilities. To learn more about MDG’s capabilities and to gain valuable insights and information, please visit www.maintenancedesigngroup.com.

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Multistory bus operations and maintenance facilities By Jon Holler Site selection for a bus operations and maintenance facility is often governed by available parcels relative to routes or other facilities in the system. These criteria often result in less than favorable site conditions for configuring an efficient and functional building. In some situations, the most viable option is a multistory facility. This type of configuration has a number of benefits, but also introduces some drawbacks to a conventional facility where all bus operations and maintenance occur on one, at-grade level. While there are many different ways to configure the program spaces in a multistory facility, there are pros and cons to consider for each type of space located on an upper level. This analysis starts with identifying the least flexible spaces for ground level location, then works down to those spaces that have more flexibility for fitting elsewhere in the building program. Maintenance bays require efficient, safe circulation, simple organization of support spaces, and robust infrastructure to support functional activities. These high bay spaces need ample daylighting and task lighting, dedicated ventilation, integrated process piping, and durable heavy duty construction. They have the least flexibility in configuration and placement, and the need for lifts or lower level work areas significantly limits what can be put both above and below this space. In addition, moisture, thermal and acoustical impacts of maintenance functions greatly restrict any occupied spaces that could be located below. Fuel, fare and wash can more easily be located on structured levels, though consideration for circulation, waterproofing, drainage and spill containment needs to be addressed. Fueling on upper levels brings in more costly fire protection and piping measures, while fare retrieval is more easily accommodated with little or no changes. It is not advisable to have bus queuing on a ramp, for these functions. Bus storage requires extensive building or site area and circulation space. Because buses require more vertical space, careful consideration is needed for storage on lower structure levels. Clear, direct

and uninterrupted access from service functions is important and can be well suited to upper level locations. Storage space has significant fluctuation in use and performance with the space nearly empty during the day and nearly full overnight. A rooftop location can be good solution, as it mitigates ventilation and lighting requirements since most activity takes place during daylight hours. Car parking is a flexible program space that can be located on multiple levels throughout a structure. It can be stretched out lineally without significant losses in functional efficiency, and can be partially day lit and naturally ventilated, even on levels other than the rooftop. Also, it functions in lower floor to floor heights than what would be required for buses. Administration space can fit into more flexible locations within the facility and can work around existing structures as necessary. Daylighting strategies can still be effective even on a second level Bus operations spaces such as dispatch and drivers’ rooms can be located on the same upper level as bus storage, and still be efficient. If ground level dispatch is preferred, it should be connected via vertical circulation with the bus operations spaces above. Each solution for bus operations and maintenance is unique. When faced with a limited site, a multistory facility can be a viable option, but requires careful analysis of program and work flow for maximum safety, efficiency and productivity. Jon Holler is a senior facility design manager and the Southeast regional manager with Maintenance Design Group. He has worked with transit agencies throughout the US to help plan and design their bus maintenance facilities. To learn more about MDG’s capabilities and to gain valuable insights and information, please visit www.maintenancedesigngroup.com.

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Maintenance Facility Design

Best repair bay configuration By Mark Ellis Considering a new bus maintenance facility? The highest impact decisions you make may be related to the bus repair bay. A well-designed bus repair bay enhances your operation and the effectiveness and efficiency of your maintenance technicians. As such, your design professionals need to consider the types of buses maintained and the level and type of maintenance performed. Design criteria should document the following parameters and elements for a safe, effective, and efficient work area. Bay size. Though it may seem basic, getting this right can mean the difference between a functional facility and a constant headache. When sizing your bus repair bay, consider the following: • Bay width: Bays need adequate work clearance around the entire bus – and that includes the sides. Too often, width is compromised during design, resulting in a bay that can’t accommodate basic equipment movement, portable lifts, or rooftop access ladders. The typical standard for bay width, (considering most buses are 8 feet, 6 inches wide) is 20 feet. This provides 5 feet, 9 inches of space on each side of the bus, or 11 feet, 6 inches between buses in adjacent bays. Keep the space between bays clear. Clutter can significantly hinder workspace effectiveness. Place dedicated portable equipment storage areas throughout the facility to eliminate clutter. • Bay length: You need safe and adequate circulation space around the front of the bus. But bay length is actually determined more by the back of the bus, depending on how you access the bay. Most fixed route transit buses, over-the-road commuter buses, and tour coaches feature a rear engine. To accommodate engine compartment access for bus technicians, most modern bus maintenance facilities are configured using a “back-in” philosophy. With tools like back-up floor graphics and lift spotting dishes, backing into a repair bay is safe and effective. Pulling a bus out, with a 180-degree view of exterior traffic patterns, is safer than backing out blind for up to 40 feet. When a back-in philosophy is used, generally accepted bay length standards call for 5 feet between the overhead door and the front of the bus and another 10 feet at the rear. These standards yield a bay that’s 55 feet long for a 40-foot bus and 60 feet long for a 45-foot bus. If your fleet includes 60-foot articulated buses, your bay length will increase to 75 feet. • Overhead clearance: Overhead clearance contributes greatly to both immediate and long-term effectiveness. Bus 14

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When sizing a bus repair bay, consider bay width, bay length and overhead clearance.

lifts are mandatory in most bus maintenance operations. All lifting systems (in-ground, platform, and mobile lift columns) require adequate clearance with no overhead obstructions. If a bus repair bay lacks the proper overhead clearance, you may not be able to lift the bus. A typical overhead clearance standard for modern bus maintenance facilities is 19 feet, determined by adding three factors together: • 11 feet - the average height of a commuter coach • 6 feet - the average lifting height of most heavy-duty bus lift systems • 2 feet - the clearance between the top of the bus and building structure, ducts, lights, etc. Functional column placement: Placement of structural columns during design can help you achieve the best repair bay configuration. For instance, you can functionally place columns between every bay, 6 feet, 6 inches from the central aisle. The columns can support lubrication reel banks and vehicle exhaust reels above while providing a perfect location for workbenches and convenient access to compressed air and electrical outlets below. Today’s design professionals can incorporate your fleet data to show the bay configuration and clearances in a three-dimensional computer model. With this, you can confidently place functional support systems, like overhead lubrication distribution system reels, vehicle exhaust reels, lighting, and heating systems. The proper bay configuration, clearances, and equipment will help determine the size of your facility and the ultimate effectiveness of your bus repair area. Taking the time to think through these elements, along with the functional adjacencies to the surrounding support spaces, will pay off in creating a facility that works for you. Mark Ellis, central region manager and senior facility design manager for Maintenance Design Group, has worked with transit agencies throughout the U.S. to plan and design their bus maintenance facilities. To learn more about MDG’s capabilities and to gain valuable insights and information, please visit www.maintenancedesigngroup.com.

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VLMs prove their worth in maintenance facilities By Steve Radomski and Jonathyn Reed From the first bus service in 1905, maintenance and repair efficiency have been critical to service quality and operational costs. A key component of that efficiency is parts availability and inventory control. It’s simple: the faster you can get parts to a bus, the faster you can get the bus back in service. Parts were traditionally stored on shelving units; associated processes were manual. As bus transit agencies grew in size and diversity, parts space and staff grew as well. Over time, technology facilitated better parts inventory, tracking, and cost control. Drawer and shelving unit innovation followed. And efforts continued to reduce storage needs, retrieval times, and related staffing requirements. One of the most recent and significant advancements in the quest for continual improvement is the Vertical Lift Module (VLM).

Proof in action UTA Lovendahl Light Rail Maintenance Facility, Midvale, UT Maintenance Design Group (MDG) first introduced VLMs to the transit industry in 2002 at the UTA Lovendahl Light Rail Maintenance Facility. The VLM increased productivity and inventory control. And the reduced area required for parts storage in this facility lowered construction costs, which more than offset the VLM cost. The idea quickly became a standard in most MDG facility designs, particularly when space is limited.

Vertical Lift Modules VLMs are automated high-bay warehouse systems. Each VLM stores the equivalent of about 200 shelving units in approximately 80 percent less floor space (75 square-feet vs. 1,500 square-feet). The key is vertical storage. VLMs use a facility’s overhead space and drastically reduce the footprint needed to store a large amount of product. VLMs can vary in size and height to fit building design needs and hold up to 132,000 pounds, with each product tray typically accommodating up to 1,600 pounds. VLMs can be designed for nearly any facility. They’re selfcontained, automated, and operated by computer console. The user enters a product number; inventory response comes back, along with a command to retrieve the tray on which the item is stored. The tray is presented and the item retrieved.

West Ox Bus Operations and Maintenance Facility, Fairfax County, VA One of the few facilities shared by two transit agencies in North America, the West Ox facility accommodates two users – Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) and Fairfax County’s “Fairfax Connector” system. Both agencies agreed to share maintenance bays during the project’s first phase but required separate parts control and security, so an individual VLM was installed for each agency. During the phase II expansion, WMATA maintenance operations will move to a separate wing, with a new WMATA parts storage area and VLM added. Meanwhile, Fairfax Connector will take over both existing parts areas and VLMs by removing the wire mesh dividing them. At West Ox, VLMs not only save space, but also provide security, separation, and future flexibility.

Benefits of VLMs Agencies reap benefits beyond space savings. VLMs provide controlled environments that prevent facility dust and debris from damaging parts. Retrieval time decreases as users stand an average of 10 feet from VLM inventory versus walking up to 80 feet for each shelved part. And automation increases efficiency and productivity. Users benefit too. VLMs are 99 percent accurate. They’re also safer as users retrieve parts at an ergonomically correct height and without the risks associated with a typical warehouse environment.

Equipment Maintenance and Transit Operations Center, Montgomery County, MD Montgomery County replaced its maintenance and operations center to make room for new transit-oriented development (TOD) next to the WMATA Shady Grove Metro Transit Station. The campus accommodates maintenance operations for 1,200 bus, highway, and heavy vehicles. Building concepts incorporated high-density planning approaches for the county’s diverse fleet. Two VLMs were installed in the new facility; a future third can accommodate growth and increased fleet diversity. With VLMs, Montgomery County can maintain operations while supporting community-critical TOD.

VLMs Increase

VLMs Decrease

Storage density Efficiency and productivity Safety Security and accountability Operational cost savings

Building footprint Parts damage Retrieval time

Self-contained, automated, and operated by computer console, VLMs can be designed for nearly any facility.

Steve Radomski, AIA, LEED AP and eastern region manager, and Jonathyn Reed, facility designer, at Maintenance Design Group have collectively worked on more than 80 operations and maintenance facilities across the U.S. For more valuable insights on facility design, please visit www.maintenancedesigngroup.com.

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Maintenance Facility Design  

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