green bus in test garage

Bus Research and Testing Center

The Larson Transportation Institute's Bus Research and Testing Center, located in Altoona, Pennsylvania, was established in 1989 with funding provided by the Federal Transit Administration. The facility houses four bus maintenance and test bays and is fully equipped to perform heavy vehicle maintenance and repair.

The Altoona facility also houses the administrative and accounting operations of the Bus Research and Testing Program. The staff at the Center is responsible for program operations associated with testing new model buses as required by federal law.

Currently, the Center tests buses for safety, structural integrity, durability, performance, maintainability, noise, and fuel economy. In accordance with the 1991 Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act, the Center tests brake performance, bus emissions, and buses using alternative fuels. Permanent facilities for testing and repairing vehicles that use hydrogren, gasoline, diesel fuel, compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, methanol/ethanol, propane, and battery-powered electricity have been in place since 1997.

In 2011, the Center was accredited for ISO/IEC-17025 by the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA).



The Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute is Penn State’s transportation research center. Since its founding in 1968, the Larson Institute has maintained a threefold mission of research, education, and service. The Institute brings together top faculty, world-class facilities and enterprising students from across the University in partnership with public and private stakeholders to address critical transportation-related problems.

Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute

201 Transportation Research Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4710

Phone: 814-865-1891