CASE STUDY: Refurbished Transit Buses for UC Davis


In 2017, the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) faced a significant challenge. The university needed to expand its campus transportation fleet but was constrained by a limited budget. The solution? Purchasing refurbished transit buses that met their criteria for safety, accessibility, affordability, and reliable customer support.

The Challenge

UC Davis required additional buses to cater to its growing student, faculty, and staff population. The key challenges were:

  • Ensuring the safety of passengers.
  • Providing ADA-compliant transportation.
  • Staying within a limited budget.
  • Requiring comprehensive customer support for maintenance and repairs.

The Solution

The university turned to a specialist in refurbishing and retrofitting buses, who provided an innovative solution that addressed all their needs. They purchased four used transit buses, which were then extensively retrofitted.

Key Features of the Retrofitting Process

Enhanced Safety Features

  1. Collision avoidance system.
  2. Backup cameras.
  3. GPS tracking system.

ADA Compliance:

  • Modifications to ensure accessibility for all users, including those with disabilities


  • Purchasing used buses resulted in significant cost savings compared to buying new vehicles.

Comprehensive Customer Support:

  • Ongoing maintenance and repair services to ensure the buses remained in top condition.

The Outcome

The refurbished buses exceeded UC Davis's expectations in several ways:

Improved Fleet Efficiency and Safety:

  1. The advanced safety features provided enhanced protection for passengers and drivers.
  2. GPS tracking improved route management and operational efficiency.

Increased Accessibility:

  • The ADA-compliant features ensured that all members of the UC Davis community could utilize the transportation services.

Budget Optimization:

  • The cost savings from purchasing refurbished buses allowed the university to allocate funds to other essential services.

Reliable Performance:

  • The buses have been consistently performing well, offering dependable transportation across the campus.

Fleet Expansion:

  • The affordability of the refurbished buses enabled UC Davis to expand its fleet more than would have been possible with new buses.


The University of California, Davis's decision to purchase refurbished transit buses from a specialist in bus refurbishment and retrofitting proved to be a resounding success. It demonstrates how educational institutions can meet their transportation needs in a cost-effective, safe, and inclusive manner. This case study serves as a model for other universities facing similar challenges, highlighting the viability of refurbished buses as a practical solution for expanding and upgrading transportation fleets.