Implement Capital Program to Replace Aging Transit Fleet

Situation Assessment

The City of Laredo (El Metro) has a bus fleet total of forty-eight (48) heavy-duty diesel and compressed natural gas buses for fixed route services including eighteen (18) vans for the Demand Response service. The current annual ridership in the urbanized area of Laredo is over 3.1 million passengers. El Metro ranks as one of the highest amongst peer transit services, and overall ridership; fleet operation cost is the biggest road block towards a cost effective position.


The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) guidelines minimum service life expectancy for heavy-duty buses is twelve (12) years or five hundred thousand (500,000) miles. In 2016, the Laredo revenue fleet will exceed the minimum service life expectancy by thirty-six percent (36%) of the fifty-three (53) buses the City has in service. In addition, in 2016 all of the Demand Response fleet meets the minimum service of life expectancy of five (5) years.


Residents of the City of Laredo, neighboring Cities of Rio Bravo and El Cenizo, alongside with visitors and tourists, benefit from El Metro buses for their transportation needs. Primarily, El Metro riders rely on public transportation to go to work, to attend secondary and college level schools, and to attend medical or personal appointments. Transit dependent riders are mostly low-income residents for whom the ownership of a vehicle is not financially feasible. In addition, to local residents, El Metro also services visitors from the City of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico who visit Laredo for leisure or to visit relatives.


The high demand for public transportation and utilization of El Metro Transit System continuously takes a high toll on the revenue of fleet. Although fare collection is high, El Metro like most transit agencies across the nation is unable to reach a strong financial position to afford or borrow the capital funds required to replace its aging fleet.


Capital funds are needed to procure twelve (12) heavy-duty buses and nine (9) vans. Fleet replacements and e retirement of non-cost effective units is crucial to improve the operational efficiency of the agency. Equally important renewed fleets will enable El Metro to provide better quality, safer and energy efficient public transportation services.

El Metro’s vehicle replacement plan is outlined in the City of Laredo Capital Improvement Plan, and it is also reflected in El Metro’s Five Year Transit Development Plan. The City of Laredo is requesting $4.9 million dollars in assistance to replace twelve (12) heavy-duty buses and nine (9) Demand Response vans.


Claudia San Miguel
Laredo Transit Acting General Manager  
1301 Farragut
Laredo, Texas 78040
Phone: (956) 795-2288 Ext. 234
Fax: (956) 795-2258