MAP-21 Provision Halts Bus Testing Regulation

The law directs the Federal Transit Administration to work with manufacturers and transit agencies to set a new pass/fail standard for bus testing, and this takes precedence over full-load testing change.

The Federal Transit Agency has withdrawn a proposed rule that would have required transit agencies to assume an average passenger weight of 175 pounds when they do full-load testing of buses to be bought with FTA financial assistance. The assumed weight was 150 pounds, but the agency moved in 2011 to up it to 175 and to change the floor space occupied per standing passenger from 1.5 to 1.75 square feet.

The changes were intended to reflect the actual weight of today's average American adult, but they are being withdrawn by FTA because Congress intervened: The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, the federal highway funding law known as MAP-21, directs the agency to work with manufacturers and transit agencies to set a new pass/fail standard for bus testing, and this requires a more comprehensive review of the overall bus testing program, FTA said in its withdrawal notice.

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