Speed of service crucial for Prevost

Known mainly for its tour buses and private coaches, Volvo-owned Canadian bus builder Prevost, has entered the transit business. And it started in the most demanding metropolitan area in the world: New York City. Its buses operate the express commuter service.
Prevost bus in New York traffic
June Uom

June Uom, head of the service department for Prevost in South Plainfield.

Do you know what Justin Bieber and commuters in New York City have in common? They ride Prevost to and from work.

In the tour bus market, Prevost is still number one by a huge margin. Even the last two American presidents have used Prevost on their campaign trails.

But, since 2010, the focus has shifted somewhat and the company has entered into what is probably the most demanding area of transportation in the world: mass transit. After a test fleet of 90 buses was delivered to the City of New York in 2011, Prevost received a second order for another 300 in 2013.

Mass transit is a completely different market and the demands New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA) has imposed on buses are extremely high. The city streets where NYCTA operates are rough and its customers have huge expectations.

That is why the morning service calls are so important and quick responsiveness is a major factor in the deal. NYCTA is a customer that demands that every product deficiency is fully investigated, as soon as possible.

The teamwork, the focus on quality and the speed of the service has been crucial in making the customer satisfied and earning that second order of 300 coaches.

June Uom is head of Prevost’s service division. Each day, she assigns the company’s eight mobile technicians to the five depots in the area where NYCTA has Prevost vehicles.

“We try to send the same technicians to the same locations as much as possible. With the security in New York and all that, it’s good that the technicians get to know the customer and the customer gets to know them,” she says.

New Yorkers might not feel like Justin Bieber or a presidential candidate riding to work, but the project has been a great success internally for Prevost which is now ready to grow in the transit sector. NYCTA has a very high reputation and is a transit benchmark.

“NYCTA is a very experienced and skilled customer. Their high knowledge has been crucial for us and we have been able to improve our product, our reliability and serviceability. We see a lot of possibilities having other major public customers signing up for Prevost,” says Pascal Fillion, Chief project manager.

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