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  Conditions and Performance Report
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System Conditions: Transit
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This report incorporates new information on and improved modeling of bus vehicle and maintenance facility conditions, based on a national sample of vehicles and facilities. Similar improvements for rail vehicle conditions will be in the next report.

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The average condition of urban bus vehicles in 1997 was 3.1, or “adequate.” Sixty-three percent of the urban bus vehicle fleet consists of full-size buses, whose average condition has remained steady at 3.0 for the last decade.

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The average condition of rail vehicles in 1997 was 4.0, or “good.” The downward trend in rail vehicle condition is primarily due to the deterioration of the Nation’s heavy rail vehicle fleet, comprising 60 percent of rail vehicles, whose average condition rating declined from 4.7 in 1987 to 3.9 in 1997. Fourteen percent of urban bus facilities are less than 20 years old. Fifty-three percent are between 10 and 30 years old, and 33 percent are over 30 years old.

Most urban bus maintenance facilities, 57 percent, are considered to be in adequate condition. Twenty percent are in good or excellent condition, and 23 percent are in substandard or poor condition.

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The decrease in the condition rating of urban buses and urban bus maintenance facilities relative to conditions reported in previous cycles is due primarily to updated and improved modeling of bus vehicle condition derived from the National Bus Condition Assessment.

The percentage of urban transit rail track in good or excellent condition increased from 43 percent in 1984 to 73 percent in 1997. The percentage of rail maintenance facilities in good or excellent condition increased from 28 percent in 1984 to 60 percent in 1997.

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