Allison has expanded market share with major bus operators.
TOKYO, August 7, 2023 – Allison Transmission Japan, a subsidiary of Allison Transmission, has announced that all J-Bus medium-sized city buses, which underwent a model change last December, are now equipped with an Allison Torqmatic™
Series 6-speed fully automatic transmission as standard equipment.
The Allison T280™ has been installed on more than 70% of large city buses in the Japanese market. Due to their powerful traveling performance and the reliability of their maintenance systems, medium-sized city buses equipped with the Allison T280
are beginning to spread among bus operators nationwide.
Keisei Transit Bus, one of the largest bus operators under the Keisei Group of Japan, transports hotel staff and guests to nearby urban resort areas. Out of their total fleet of 142 vehicles, 109 of them are equipped with an automatic transmission. This
number includes large buses, and the percentage of Allison-equipped vehicles is increasing every year. Currently, they own and operate 14 medium-sized city buses equipped with the Allison T280, which they began installing about three years ago. Its
installation is advantageous as the same button-type shift selector used on large city buses is used on the medium-sized buses, allowing bus drivers to operate both vehicles smoothly without experiencing any discomfort when switching buses. Drivers
and mechanics highly appreciate the durability and ease of maintenance of the Allison T280.
“The average age of our drivers is mid-40s and they get used to driving large automatic city buses. Additionally, young drivers prefer driving automatics over manuals, so there is a growing demand for automatic medium-sized city buses as well,”
said Ryuji Takahama, Chief of Operations for Keisei Transit Bus. “When driving in quiet residential areas, drivers must be careful to minimize noises caused by the high RPM engine. However, due to the continuous pressure on the accelerator,
automated manual transmission (AMT)-equipped vehicles have a problem with disruptive engine noises during acceleration and when shifting up a gear depending on road conditions. On the other hand, drivers feel peace of mind when driving vehicles equipped
with Allison Automatics, as they can accelerate while shifting gears smoothly due to its Continuous Power Technology™, allowing for noise-free operation. We also feel that having automatic buses gives us an advantage in driver recruitment amid
a driver shortage.”
Even on small displacement engines, the Allison Torqmatic Series is rated highly for smooth and powerful launches, especially in residential areas with hills. Both punctuality and safe operations are critical for city buses, so it is vital that drivers
can operate the vehicle stress-free and pay close attention while driving. For bus operators supporting transportation infrastructure, it is also necessary to build and maintain good relationships with residents along the routes they operate.
Reducing maintenance costs per unit is an important management issue, especially for bus operators with a large fleet.
“In addition to the lack of clutch seizure that occurs with manual transmissions, we feel that vehicles equipped with Allison Automatics are easy to maintain, requiring only periodic fluid changes,” said Takayuki Yokoyama, Factory Manager
of the Shiohama Branch of Keisei Transit Bus. “Our buses, which accumulate an average of 45,000 kilometers per year, are usually replaced once every 12 years, but we have had no major problems with our large buses to date and feel that we have
been able to extend the longevity of the buses.”
Medium-sized city buses are suitable for various road conditions in Japan, and the market is expected to further expand in the future. Allison is applying the knowledge it has gained in the domestic market for large city buses to the research and development
of superior products and the enhancement of its after-sales services. With 25 Allison Authorized Dealers across the country, Allison Japan strives to respond quickly to unforeseen situations, providing regular inspections and overhauls. Allison will
continue to work with bus operators nationwide to support the smooth operation of local buses, which are an important means of transportation for citizens.