Metro buses in the New Flyer bus facility.
To the left, new buses from St. Cloud. To the right, older buses brought in for service maintenance.
New seats getting ready to be installed.
The rain test area. After buses complete repairs, they may need to undergo a rain test to make sure the repairs hold and no leaks occur.
New Flyer opened a new bus service facility in Ontario earlier this year, creating more than 50 new local jobs. The facility helps to support delivery and maintenance service of the 550 buses ordered by Metro.
The buses are built in the manufacturing plant in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Once they are approximately 80 percent to 90 percent complete, they make the 2,200-mile trek from St. Cloud to Ontario. The drive acts as a “breaking in” and helps New Flyer perform final testing and performance evaluation before the buses are sent into service. At the Ontario facility, buses undergo final build–i.e. the installation of seats, support rails and decals as well as testing and safety acceptance. They are then handed over to the operating agency.
The facility has already finished and delivered 66 buses, many of them Metro buses that are already in service on the streets of L.A.
The New Flyer bus at today’s media event. Photos by Steve Hymon/Metro.
In front of Metro headquarters in downtown L.A.
A demonstration of the new restraint system.
Metro Board Chair Diane DuBois.
Metro Board Member Jackie Dupont-Walker inspecting the new bus.
Another view of the bus in front of Metro headquarters.
The buses have “blue chip priority seat fabric.”
Another view inside the new bus.
A look at the priority seating area near the front of the bus.
The rear of the bus.
Metro CEO Art Leahy.
Metro debuted the first of 550 New Flyer buses this morning. The New Flyer buses will be replacing the remaining high floor buses, thus making Metro a 100 percent low-floor fleet. Additionally, the buses will eventually replace all coaches built between 1999 and 2001, which will result in a much younger fleet that can continue to provide reliable service for Metro bus riders.
The Metro Board in January 2013 approved a $308-million contract for 550 new buses, which will be delivered over the next 18 months. One particular focus of Metro staff was making the buses as ADA-compliant and safe as possible and some of the new features of the new buses include the Q’Pod wheelchair securement system, which better accommodates passengers in wheelchairs. Each bus is also equipped with a new video monitoring system that can be downloaded wireless to law enforcement, if necessary.
The first buses will be put in service in areas of Los Angeles County served by Division 5 in South Los Angeles, Division 7 in West Hollywood and Division 18 in Carson. One of the new buses is also running today only along the 33 line that serves Venice Boulevard.
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.
Here are a few other items of interest tackled at today’s meeting of the full Metro Board of Directors:
•The Board approved a $302-million contract with New Flyer of America for the purchase of 550 new 40-foot buses powered by compressed natural gas. Staff report (pdf)
•The Board approved a contract modification up to $610,000 with Cubic Transportation Systems for the purchase and installation of four ticket vending machines for the El Monte Transit Center. Staff report (pdf)
•The Board approved a series of contract modifications totaling about $13.5 million with outside firms, including URS Corporation, for continued work on the I-710 South Corridor Project’s environmental studies. Staff report (pdf)
•The Board approved giving Metro the authority to enter into an exclusive negotiating agreement with three developers seeking to build a mixed-use project that would partially occupy Metro-owned land adjacent to the Red Line’s Vermont/Sunset Station. Staff report (pdf)
New Bus Purchase staff report by
Metro buses rack up a lot of miles and need to be replaced at regular intervals. The above Metro staff report proposes the purchase of 550 40-foot buses powered by compressed natural gas from New Flyer, which is based in Winnipeg and has manufacturing facilities in Minnesota.
It’s a big contract, valued at $302 million — about $549,000 per bus. The buses will be replacing vehicles that have been in service for at least 12 years and have more than 500,000 miles on them.