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AVTA Temporarily Suspends Commuter Services

Antelope Valley Transit Authority Temporarily Suspends Commuter Services

Lancaster – (04/09/2024) Antelope Valley Transit Authority announced today the temporary suspension of their commuter services to downtown Los Angeles, Century City, San Fernando Valley and the TRANSporter to Santa Clarita. This includes routes 785, 786, 787 and 790. 

The suspension is due to battery issues encountered by the agency related to the charging of AVTA’s fleet of MCI D45 CRTe LE CHARGE battery-electric commuter coaches. Only the MCI electric commuter coaches, and therefore the commuter routes, are impacted by this suspension.

“Out of the abundance of caution and desire to provide safe and dependable transportation, AVTA has placed these commuter vehicles temporarily out of service,” stated AVTA Board Chairman Marvin Crist. “We hold the safety of our passengers and employees as our top priority and until we can be certain the commuter fleet is reliable and safe to operate, it will not be used in service.”

Last week, AVTA’s maintenance team reported issues with the electric MCI commuter coaches as they progressed through the charging process. Battery issues were detected, and the bus charging was discontinued. The incidents were reported to MCI. Similar problems occurred in the Fall of 2023 and were reported to the manufacturer.

MCI has not provided an adequate explanation of the problem. MCI management reported that AVTA’s charging equipment and procedures are not the cause.  Without a sufficient explanation of the cause and correction of this issue, AVTA executive management, in agreement with the AVTA Executive Board, out of an abundance of caution made the decision to suspend the use of these MCI commuter coaches.

“AVTA is the first 100% electric fleet in North America,” continued Chairman Marvin Crist. “When you are the first to travel any road, you run into some rough spots. AVTA’s staff is well-equipped to manage the challenges of new electric technology. I am confident they will continue to safely provide the residents of the Antelope Valley with greener and technologically superior transportation services.”

AVTA executive management assures the commuters using these bus routes that service will resume as soon as possible. Solutions are currently being explored to provide replacement service for these routes using leased commuter coaches. AVTA expects to begin to restore service within two to three weeks.

This suspension does not affect AVTA’s local service or the agency’s use of any BYD zero-emission battery electric buses. 

During this disruption, AVTA urges commuters to check AVTA’s website and social media and sign up for AVTA Rider Alerts at Commuters may also call the AVTA customer service department at 661-945-9445 for current information on solutions available and resumption of service.

AVTA provides local, commuter and dial-a-ride service to a population of more than 450,000 residents in the cities of Lancaster and Palmdale as well as the unincorporated portions of northern Los Angeles County. Its total service area covers 1,200 square miles and it is bounded by the Kern County line to the north, the San Bernardino County line to the east, the Angeles National Forest to the south, and Interstate 5 to the West.