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The living-dead buses in the Bronx


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Buses await sale for scrap metal after they have been stripped of usable parts

at the MTA Bus Recycling Center at Eastchester Bus Depot on Hutchinson Ave.

in the Bronx.


Some day, that bus you're riding will end up in a windy, sprawling asphalt lot along a marsh in the Bronx, the place where NYC Transit buses come to die.


Under a new program, buses that have traveled, on average, more than 400,000 bumpy miles on city streets are sent to the MTA's Eastchester Bus Depot, a 27-acre site in an industrial pocket near the New England Thruway.


The rigs' final hours are far from peaceful.


"Basically, they bring them here and we tear them apart," mechanic Sham Seonarain, 34, said with a bit of glee in his voice Thursday.


The buses either limp into the depot or are towed in, where teams of mechanics ravage each one in power-tool blitzes lasting 30 hours apiece.


The deconstruction experts salvage up to 80 different parts to be reused - everything from rear-view mirrors to windows to 1,500-pound transmissions.


Before the program was launched in August, a bus completing its last passenger run would be parked at one of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's 29 depots.


There, some parts might be removed by the depot's mechanics before the bus was sold as scrap.


Joseph Smith, vice president in charge of buses, said the program has saved more than $600,000 in just a few months.


"It's about saving money and using resources wisely, and from an environmental standpoint, it's a great thing to do," Smith said.


The MTA is in dire need of such expense-cutting initiatives.


Facing a growing deficit in the economic recession, the authority is planning fare hikes next year, while attempting to stave off service cuts. By law, the largely state-funded system must have a balanced budget.


So far, 18 tractor-trailer loads of parts have been trucked to other MTA depots, Michael Murphy, assistant general manager at the Eastchester Depot, said.


Approximately 8,000 gallons of fuel and 400 pounds of Freon for the active bus fleet have been removed at Eastchester, Murphy said.


Business is booming. The salvage operation already expanded to include handling MTA Police Department cars, and Smith just posted online 25 bus transmissions for sale.


Mechanics, who spent years putting pieces of a puzzle together so a bus as a whole works efficiently, enjoy working from the other end of the equation.


"This is actually relaxing," Murphy said. "You're tearing things apart. You're not as worried. This is fun."


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It's a pretty good idea IMHO. If you're gonna scrap the thing why not reuse what is reusable?


Yea I mean, we are in a recession aren't we?

We can be liberal in politics, but when it comes to bus parts, we can be a little conservative. Couldn't we?

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Isnt that by co-op-city?


I found it on google maps, it says like a few blocks of the (5)<5> train at dyre, i think near the Bx30/16 and bee line, buts werid that the street view doesnt look like a yard =|

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Guest Charles

You know which buses had a too early retirement? The TMC RTS CNG's of Triboro and Command. I loved their sounds, and they weren't in any horrible, physical disaster-prone situations. Too bad (MTA) retired them so early.

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