Testing Requirements

Full Testing

Full testing is explicitly required when a new bus model has not been tested previously at the Altoona Bus Research and Testing Center.

Partial Testing

In 1992 the Federal Transit Agency introduced the concept of partial testing as a means to reduce the testing burden on manufacturers of previously tested bus models that were subsequently produced with major modifications, while complying with the intent of the Bus Testing Regulation. The partial testing concept allows modified versions of previously tested buses to undergo only those tests in which the data would be expected to be substantially different from the original test data.  

Major changes to a previously tested bus that may require partial testing typically fall into four main categories: 

  1. Changes in components. 
    2. Changes in design or configuration. 
    3. Changes in legal rating of chassis, major structure, or systems.  
    4. Changes in structural materials and/or manufacturing methods. 

The individual tests included in the partial testing will vary depending on the change(s) being made to the previously tested bus and will be based on which tests one might reasonably expect to obtain significantly different test data compared to when that bus model was previously tested. All requests for partial testing are to be submitted to the FTA's Bus Testing Program Manager. Please note that the extent of the changes might result in a requirement for full testing. 



Established in 1989 by the Pennsylvania Transportation Institute with funding provided by the Federal Transit Administration, the Larson Transportation Institute’s Bus Research and Testing Center tests buses for safety, structural integrity, durability, performance, maintainability, noise, emissions, energy economy, and fuel economy. Based primarily in Altoona, Pennsylvania, the Center also has a facility located at the Larson Transportation Institute Test Track in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania.  

Bus Research and Testing Center

2237 Plank Road

Duncansville, PA 16635

Phone: 814-695-3404

Fax: 814-695-4069