With the extreme summer heat taking over the region, mechanics at the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority are working hard trying to keep up with the sweltering temperatures.
The biggest issue, across the board at the Central avenue garage, is maintaining air conditioning units.
Tim Rowe, maintenance superintendent at TARTA.
“It’s a challenge to keep them all up and running.”
And there are a few reasons why. For instance, Rowe says, it’s the most complex system on the bus and there are two of them, one in the front and one in the rear. So, when there’s a problem, often times, it’s not an easy fix.
TARTA maintenance crews also factor in the age of the fleet. Several buses are nearly 20 years old and in the last couple of weeks alone, there have been more than 80 A/C issues written up and that number is likely to climb with the excessive heat.
“It’s always a battle,” Rowe adds.
TARTA is trying to tackle the problems. Currently, there are two mechanics on staff who only work on A/C repairs. One works first shift, the other is on second.
In situations where the units go out completely buses are swapped out so passengers and drivers can be as comfortable as possible given the circumstances.
Rowe also points out that the cooling systems are working overtime. Not only are the buses very large vehicles, but the doors open frequently to let riders on and off, making it harder for the inside to cool down.
On a more positive note, there are buses from 2018 in the lineup that have far fewer issues during the summer months. In the meantime, there’s more work to be done and TARTA’s dedicated maintenance team is making the repairs to get buses back on the road.
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