DOE News Release
Sept. 8, 2006

John Walsh, (208) 526-8646

New INL bus combines historic look with modern features

The newest bus in the Idaho National Laboratory fleet doesn't look much like the other buses. The new yellow bus, with its curved back and retro headlights, harkens back to the historic buses that roamed Yellowstone National Park in the 1930s. But its modern features make it ideal for accommodating today's laboratory visitors.

The yellow bus can seat up to 22 passengers and give them a good view of passing scenery through the large side windows. The bus is equipped to show DVDs and slides so that tour directors can easily make presentations to riders about INL as they travel. A low floor design and a ramp that extends from the passenger door make access easier and allow the bus to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The bus will run on biodiesel, but can use normal diesel fuel if necessary.

INL collaborated with other government agencies and private automotive industry in developing the yellow bus -- the National Park Service, the Department of Energy, the Federal Transit Authority and ARBOC, a private automotive company. It is adapted from an early version of a tour coach INL engineers helped develop with Yellowstone National Park for summer and winter use in the park. While the Yellowstone coach can be converted from tires to treads for winter travel, INL's yellow bus will travel only on tires.

The INL's yellow bus was displayed and operated in Idaho Falls several years ago during a nationwide tour of the vehicle. DOE-Idaho officials acquired the bus after recognizing the technology features that would benefit the INL tours program, which interacts with thousands of visitors each year, as well as scores of VIP visits.

The INL yellow bus was inaugurated during an August laboratory visit by Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson and Kentucky Rep. Harold Rogers, who toured INL's Critical Infrastructure Protection research facilities. The bus will be operated through INL's Communications and Public Affairs tours group.


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