MCI turns 85, plans 35-foot J-coach and electric buses

SAN ANTONIO – Motor Coach Industries, which turns 85 this year, is celebrating with a groundbreaking commuter coach, a redesigned J4500, a new 35-foot J-coach and a move into electric commuter coaches.

MCI executives said during an Expo press briefing that the company sold more than 1,000 motorcoaches last year for the first time since 2008.

It captured 37.5 percent of the motorcoach market in 2016, and as of the third quarter of 2017 enjoyed a 42 percent share.

“We are entering 2018 cautiously positive,” said Patrick Scully, MCI executive vice president of sales and marketing.

MCI’s redesigned J4500 has a roomier interior and the capacity to seat 60 passengers. It now offers more legroom, a larger lavatory and optional rear window. Updated lighting throughout the interior includes an optional programmable color LED package with extensive trim choices to accommodate both operator and passenger branding.

A reconfigured quieter and more efficient air intake system is behind the advancements in floor space, and drivers will particularly appreciate a high-definition instrument panel and cockpit for improved comfort, better visibility and easier access to diagnostic information.

MCI’s new high-capacity MCI D45 CRT LE commuter coach is designed to make boarding easier and faster for all passengers, especially those using mobility devices.

The CRT LE low-level entry vestibule accessible by a second door at the midpoint of the coach includes seating for five passengers, allowing for up to two secured mobility devices and an attendant, and high-capacity 54-passenger seating configuration overall, with seating for 52 when there are two passengers using a mobility device.

A prototype of the company’s 35-foot version of the J4500 is currently being tested, with production planned for January 2019. It will feature the same design and common components of its larger sibling while offering a basic 40-seat configuration with an option for 44.

MCI’s all-electric series of J4500 and D45 CRT LE coaches is expected to be in production in January 2020.

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