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DTA Electric Buses Temporarily Removed from Service for Software Updates

Published: Expires: 12/27/2018

The Duluth Transit Authority (DTA) recently removed their electric buses from fixed-route service for software updates to improve two issues.

The first issue related to the “hill hold” feature of the electric buses that prevents the bus from rolling back on a hill while transitioning from a stop to forward movement. The bus was rolling back more than our specifications when using this feature. The DTA requested that the manufacturer provide a software update to resolve the issue. This software update was successfully tested today and will now be done to the remaining six electric buses. The bus braking system itself is completely safe and operating as designed.

DTA Bus Operators have previously received training on how to safely operate the new electric buses. Additional training will be provided after these upgrades are completed on the vehicles.

The other issue pertained to the heating system’s software. To increase bus mileage range, the vehicle’s auxiliary diesel heater will now be used as the primary source of heat for the bus with the electric heater being secondary. This change will cause less drain on the main bus batteries.

The DTA will reintroduce the electric buses into daily service after the software updates, testing of the updates and any needed driver training has been completed. This will likely occur the week of December 17th.

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