Talkin’ Dirty

Capital Metro’s shuttle service for the 2009 Austin City Limits Music Festival was very successful. We ferried 105,422 riders to/from Zilker Park over the course of the three-day festival. It’s always great to see so many people riding the bus, and from all over the country, too.  We ♥ to see a full bus!

10/4/2009 - Jay Janner/AMERICAN-STATESMAN
10/4/2009 - Jay Janner/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Of those 105K+ riders, more than 16,000 (muddy) people rode from the festival back to Republic Square Park on Sunday. I was not here to see it personally, but I heard our bus interiors were looking (and smelling) pretty shabby when they rolled back home after ACL ended Sunday night.

Perhaps this is a good time to briefly outline the stringent cleaning process we have here at Capital Metro that ensures your ride is a clean one. I suspect you early Monday morning bus commuters in particular, might appreciate the care we take to keep the fleet looking good.

I  had a conversation this morning with Carl Woodby, director of vehicle maintenance here at Capital Metro. Every evening, each bus that has been in service will get cleaned. Here’s a summary of the process:

1. Sweep the bus and remove trash.
2. Check all fluid levels, including fuel and oil. Replenish as needed.
3. Clean interior windows, windshield and mirrors. Wipe down the dash.
4. Clean and sanitize the hand rails, grab bars and stanchions. (This is an extra step we’re taking now to help eliminate the spread of the flu.)
5. Mop the bus floor.
6. Send the bus through the bus wash to wash the exterior. (If it’s been a dry, clear day, we don’t always wash the buses every single night to conserve water. Incidentally, we also recycle/reclaim the water we use in the bus wash.)

It takes 30-35 minutes to clean each bus. On Sunday night, it took a bit longer. 😉

Capital Metro is serious about the cleanliness of the fleet. In talking with Carl, we clean more frequently than some of our peers. For example, a lot of other transit agencies only clean the interior glass once a week, whereas we do it every night. Likewise, many agencies do not mop every night.

But in addition to the thorough cleaning, Capital Metro takes it a step further. Every six weeks our buses get detailed, as in, use-a-toothbrush-to-scrub-out-the-crevices detailed.

I’ll tell you, our buses look a whole lot better than my car, which has never been detailed and only rarely gets a wash.

Dillo dirt is no match for our vehicle maintenance department!

2 thoughts on “Talkin’ Dirty

  1. Don Dickson

    While I did see some mud smears inside the bus I rode on Monday morning, I was still pretty impressed. Those folks were really, really dirty and smelly on Sunday night. And the bus was neither on Monday morning.

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