The AC Transit board agreed Wednesday to buy 40 new buses from the Gillig bus manufacturer in Hayward in the transit sytem's first major vehicle order since adopting a "buy America" policy for new vehicles.

AC Transit will pay an estimated $348,162 per vehicle, making the order roughly $15.2 million, district spokesman Clarence Johnson said. AC Transit has received a state commitment to supply $8.2 million of the money.

The vote was 6-1 to authorize district managers to negotiate the purchase from Gillig. The no vote was cast by Director Jeff Davis.

AC Transit had been buying many of its buses from the Van Hool company of Belgium, but the board in 2009 adopted a "buy America" policy aimed at getting buses from domestic manufacturers.

Some bus riders complained the Van Hool seat and floor design increased the risk of slips and falls. AC had design changes made to reduce that risk.

AC Transit carries some 200,000 passengers a day in 13 cities in western Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

Contact Denis Cuff at 925-943-8267.



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