Wash Bay Project
MuscaBus is seeking public comment on a proposed automatic wash bay project. If you have a comment or concern, please fill out the public comment form. We will be taking comments from May 28, 2021 to June 11, 2021.
Description of the project:
MuscaBus would like to construct an automatic drive through wash bay that includes an automatic high-pressure wash system with water reclamation and manual pressure washer. We project that MuscaBus will use the system daily washing twelve buses (eleven light duty buses and one 9-passenger conversion van). The wash bay will be in our gated parking lot next to our storage garage, accessed only by employees. The building will be located on the current Transit property (shared with the Public Works Department). The building will have an equipment room holding the electrical panel and controls. An upgrade will be made to the electrical, plumbing and sewer systems to bring them up to current code and to enable the implementation of the water reclamation system.
Site Plan: Wash Bay in Red
Justification of the proposed project, including anticipated benefits to the transit program:
MuscaBus currently has a manual wash bay that was installed in 1986. It is housed in a building attached to our vehicle garage. Due to the age, the wash bay is often out of service. The main reason it is out of service is the soap/water dispenser stops working. Since the system is almost 40 years old, it takes days to find replacement parts. In addition, the drainage pipes become clogged, as the pipes are smaller than appropriate for the system. When the drain is not working, the Public Works Department has to clean out the drain. They are not always able to do this in a timely manner as they are off site working on City projects. Another area of concern is the size of the wash bay building. It is just large enough to fit our light duty bus, making it difficult to get around the bus with a water/soap wand. The service staff also has to work around concrete steps lining the sides of the building. The staff needs to go up and down this step on a wet surface several times to wash the bus. This undesirable working condition could put them at risk of a fall. The doors to the wash bay are not automatic, which requires the service staff or drivers to enter and exit the bus to bring the bus in and out of the building to be cleaned. We have had two drivers fall on ice as they finished washing buses, when getting out of the bus to shut the door behind them. A new automated system would provide a safer and more reliable system that would allow our buses to be washed daily, eliminating the need for service staff and drivers to exit the bus while entering or exiting the wash bay.
Current Wash Bay:
The amount of time an automatic wash bay will save our staff is up to two hours a night. Our manual system requires our service staff to spend at least 30 minutes washing each bus. The staff cannot wash all our buses in one night due to the amount of time it takes. The new system will take less than three (3) minutes to clean a bus by simply driving it through the wash bay. Currently, neither the bottom of the bus nor the top can be sprayed and cleaned in a safe manner. The automatic system will apply soap and pressure wash both the top and bottom of the buses which will allow them to actually be cleaned properly. This adds to the life of the bus as it helps keep the frame and exterior of the bus free of corrosive materials. A bus free of corrosive materials benefits the maintenance of the bus with less down time repairing rust and corrosion issues like electrical wiring shorts. General repairs such as brake jobs, shocks, or other common maintenance items will take less time to complete when the mechanics do not have to fight rusty and broken fasteners. A clean vehicle makes it easier to see potential problems quickly as well. We anticipate environmental benefits with the automatic wash bay, as well. An automatic system uses less water and chemicals than manual washing. The water that is used will be 100% recycled and the use of less chemicals helps to reduce harm to the environment and save on the cost of operation.
To summarize, the benefits for MuscaBus of a new automatic high-pressure, touchless wash system are:
- Bus exteriors maintained on a daily basis to provide a clean and appealing appearance to the public we serve.
- Efficiency in cleaning enables daily washes
- Daily cleaning prolongs the life of the chassis and body of bus
- Ability to clean top and bottom of bus
- Greatly reduced risk for service staff and drivers as they will not be manually scrubbing and working on a wet surface
- Reduce maintenance cost and time
- Reduce harm to environment by recycling water and using less chemicals
- Reduced costs of operation by saving water and amount of soap required.
- Time saved by staff to wash bus allows them to focus more time on interior cleaning