Next generation bus on display this morning at Union Station

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A look inside a new Metro bus. Photo by Luis Inzunza/Metro.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti Thursday toured one of the next-generation buses that will be soon part of the agency’s fleet while also expressing thanks to agency staff for their efforts to improve transit access for mobility-impaired passengers.

Mayor Garcetti met with General Manager of Transit Capital Programs Richard Hunt and Andrew Janicki of Metro’s Civil Rights Division to demonstrate features that make the New Flyer bus a step forward over current models.

Metro has installed industry-leading improvements that go beyond requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The boarding ramp has an angle of 7 to 1, instead of the ADA required 6 to 1, meaning the new ramps won’t be as steep as the current ones.

Each bus also has two Q-pods where wheel chairs can be secured in either forward or rear-facing positions. There are newly designated seats for seniors or others with mobility impairments, including a place to stow a walker.

The New Flyer has a more efficient air conditioning system, larger windows and video monitoring system that can be downloaded wireless to law enforcement, if necessary.

The buses are manufactured by New Flyer of St. Cloud, Minn. The Metro Board in January approved a $302-million contract to purchase 550 buses from New Flyer along with contract options that could boost the total to 900 buses (staff report here). The new buses are part of a program to replace buses that were purchased between 1998 and 2001 and that have 500,000-plus miles on them.

The first of the new buses are scheduled to appear in the Metro fleet in early 2014.

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Mayor Garcetti, right, and Metro’s Richard Hunt on one of the new buses. Photo by Luis Inzunza/Metro.

22 replies

    • Coming up soon, but in the meantime they’re up on our Instagram: instagram.com/metrolosangeles

      Anna Chen
      Writer, The Source

  1. The only problem that I have seen on buses and trains as far as seating for seniors; more often than not. Young people take these sits and when seniors and disabled people board, we have no where to sit.

    • Hi Rick,

      The new designs on the priority seats will make it more obvious they are reserved for seniors and disabled, hopefully encouraging people to give up those seats when necessary.

      Thanks,

      Anna Chen
      Writer, The Source

  2. I see Mr Hunt isnt wearing his UCLA tie. I know Mr Hunt for a while. He is one of the best people Metro has working for them

  3. New Flyer presently has an assembly facility in Saint Cloud (and Crookston), Minnesota, but they are very much a Canadian company based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Sorry xenophobes!

  4. Richard Hunt always looks sharp.

    Why has the MTA abandoned 45 foot buses and gone back to 40 foot since the load factor on 45 foot buses is larger?

    • Hi Mike,

      The new order is for 40-foot buses because they have become more cost efficient to purchase, allowing Metro to purchase more buses so as to run better service.

      Anna Chen
      Writer, The Source

  5. Unless the MTA has changed their load factor guidelines they will need more buses on the street to carry the same amount of passengers. Although the purchase price for each 40 foot bus is less expensive the labor costs over 12 years(life of a bus) will exceed the savings.

  6. Passengers see a open seat and in most cases refuse to vacate them unless a wheel chair patron boards. The most effective way to clear the seat is the bus operator must demand it although the operator maybe placing themselves in jeopardy of physical threat or harm.

  7. Metro needs to incorporate a recorded message, played repeatedly that the front seats are for seniors and the disabled. Drivers could also be more active and engaged in their buses and when they see seniors standing and young people sitting in the front, tell the youngsters to move.

  8. Can we have triple bike racks on the new buses, like the ones on the orange line? We need the capacity — it’s no fun having to wait for the next bus because the rack is full. Plus, the open-backed triple racks secure long road bikes much better than the doubles.

  9. Triple bike racks stick out in front of the bus more than is legally allowed in this state. The Orange Line got an exemption due to it’s route going on streets in mixed traffic for only a short distance.

    You can bring a bike onto a Metro bus if it is a fold-up.

    The Orange Line triple racks are frequently full. Larger racks are only a short term solution to an increasing bicycle mode share.

  10. These look really nice, I’ve ridden the ones in Torrance. Honestly, I really like the latest model metro were buying too though. DId that stop?. They feel like theyve got a lot of tork! Once had the pleasure of catching one in SFV and it had new car smell, that was nice since Ive never had a license : ) Good job metro and making the system shine; its presentation is what will attract non essential riders.

    • Hey Dave,

      I haven’t heard anything at this time, but when there’s news we’ll be sure to put it out!

      Anna Chen
      Writer, The Source

  11. The 45-footers were discontinued by the Hungarian maker NABI after the order for Metro was completed. NABI has since been purchased by Canadian New Flyer, the maker of these 40-footers.

    Dennis: There is no law preventing these 40-footers from having triple-bike racks. Omnitrans in San Bernardino County has had these on their Excelsiors since theirs hit the road over a year ago. The law. becomes an issue only for 60-foot buses (the articulated ones).

  12. While it is nice to see new buses arriving (to hopefully replace all those 5000 numbered buses still being used from the 90’s!), it is kind of pointless to have them, since the MTA constantly reduces service on, or eliminates entirely, countless bus lines twice yearly! NOT ONE NEW BUS LINE has been added in the last year, and there has been NO SERVICE INCREASES on ANY bus lines in the San Gabriel Valley! So, I wonder where exactly these “new” buses will be deployed?

  13. I have seen hanging racks for bikes on the back of busses in the SF area. They were on highway busses, but they held between 5 and 6 bikes. Maybe that would be a solution for the Orange line. Since the Orange line requires TAP, rear door boarding would be an option for bike hangers.

  14. Bike racks were test on the back of buses previously. The problem was that bike were being stolen at unknown locations because there was no way of monitoring them. It’s up to the bike rider to monitor their bike to make sure they are not removed from the front of the bus by a thief.