Metro debuts next generation bus today

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. 

34 replies

  1. I was fortunate enough to ride this bus home from school today, and the exquisite features and upgrades were jaw-droppingly wonderful. My friends and i discussed the improved bus the whole ride and hope to be picked up by this every day. Is this the New Flyer Midi, or the Xcelsior, because I was not able to identify the model. Great choice by purchasing these busses.

  2. Nothing New

    Concerning your comment about all side facing seats and wider aisles. It was tried many years ago and was a complete failure. Within a year all the buses that were so equiped had to be modified to normal configuration. Bus Riders Union may have complained about it.

  3. So WHEN is the MTA going to ADD MORE ARTICULATED BUSES on bus lines that CLEARLY NEED IT (e.g. the Silver Line!). EL Monte Station was built at a cost of $60 Million, with the intention of being big enough to accommodate articulated buses, and yet NOT ONE ARTICULATED BUS HAS EVER GONE IN OR OUT OF IT! When is the MTA going to GROW A BRAIN ON GETTING ENOUGH BUSES THAT ARE LONG ENOUGH TO ACCOMODATE ITS RIDERSSHIP!

  4. Looks like a good addition to the Metro bus fleet. I’m not sure whether it’s been discussed yet, but what kind of MPG and decibel improvements do these buses offer? (I assume they are not hybrids, though it would be nice to see them phased in over the next decade or so.)

    Love the tinted windows (especially in the land of 329 sunny days per year) and as for the wheels, I don’t love or hate the current design (or lack thereof), but if Metro wants to travel down the path of hubcabs, just double-down and add some spinners! What? Bad idea? LOL.

  5. This is great, hopped on these busses in San Francisco and they are roomy since they have a high ceiling compared to other busses and very quiet. They work great with the San Francisco commute so I’m sure they’re going to do a great job with Los Angeles.

  6. @Nothing_new, Metro has retrofitted some NABI 60-BRT buses with sliding rear doors on a few 93xx fleets; I’ve seen them on the Orange Line and Metro Rapid 761 buses. The video below shows one of the Metro Orange Line buses with such doors.

  7. Wake me up when your buses:

    1. Drive themselves on Google Driverless technology so that I don’t have to deal with rude and obnoxious bus drivers. Bus drivers can’t even do the simplest thing like deducting cash value for a day pass. No amount of training is going to fix this. Just program the TAP system to do this automatically with daily caps for crying out loud. It’s so stupid that we’re living in 2014 and Metro can’t even figure out how to do this yet. When you get rid of the human factor to operate the fare box, get rid of the human factor to drive the bus. The technology is right around the corner. If cars can drive themselves, so can buses. Metro can save a lot of money on union labor costs and pensions if they get rid of bus drivers and just let the bus drive themselves.

    2. Have wider sliding doors for quicker on and off access instead of yelling “back door” all the time. Is there some stupid law in place that says the bus doors have to suck with narrow openings and that it has to use the air piston? Can’t you widen the doors and have the doors slide open sideways like the one you have on Metro Rail?

    3. Have less seats, all aisle facing with more standing room space for standing passengers who uses the bus for quick, short, hop on and hop-off trips, instead of being log jammed in narrow aisles. For those who uses the bus for short trips, we don’t need to rest our butts down onto the seat. We don’t mind standing for short trips, we just want wider aisle space so we have more breathing room.

  8. These buses have a new look for metro, and not only that they look fresh. Hope they run down Wilshire, Western, Vermont, or 3rd

  9. ISTJ04

    The MTA is not rehabilitating the division yard near Union Station. Across the street from Union Station was a large terminal used for storage of buses (10 or 15 minutes) at the end of several lines terminating in the downtown area. Next to the terminal is the Central Maintenance Facility. This is where major repairs and re-painting of buses takes place. It’s also where new buses receive fare boxes and radios prior to going into service.

    A new division is being built along with a new terminal. Some office space in one of the buildings at CMF will become the new divisions offices. This new division is needed due to over crowding in the current yards.

    While certain lines experience cuts in service other lines receive additional buses. The MTA is limited by the federal government as to how many buses it may own. So with the 500 new bus order , 500 old buses must be taken out of service.

  10. Nice and I’m intrigued by what I’m seeing here……..very impressive but I like New Flyer buses particularly runs good.


  12. Hi Anna,
    I think the answer lies with Metro. I went to their website and they clearly show buses with hub caps. Clearly this is an option Metro must have decided on when purchasing these buses. I’ve seen a few buses in other models that have that are also dark tinted with not hub caps. It just looks blah. Aesthetics matter. Especially when you are trying to convince residents that buses can be cool. Just saying.

  13. It’s too bad that in a few months, the interior is going to look bad. The graffiti, the trash left behind and the bad odors. I was fine riding the old RTS-TMC models with diesel engines. As ISTJ04 said, making this money spent on new buses back is going to effect me in the future. Los Angeles is trying too hard to keep up with cities like New York and Tokyo Japan. Los Angeles was better during the RTD days. Prove me wrong.

  14. YAWWWWWWWWN. What does this bus do differently than before that improves passenger experience?

    • They are “low-floor” buses that would be easier/faster to board. The buses they are replacing are from the 1990’s (and before!), and still have the “steps” on them that slow down the disabled and seniors in their boarding (I know, I am actually DEFENDING the MTA in their purchase of new buses! I just wish there was an EXPANSION OF BUS LINES TO PUT THEM ON!).

    • Hi Carmel,

      The first buses have been assigned to Carson, West Hollywood and South L.A. but you’ll be seeing them all around L.A. County by the end of the year!

      Anna Chen
      Writer, The Source

  15. While it is nice to see that 100% of the MTA bus fleet will FINALLY BE in the 21st Century, it is pointless to waste all this money on buses, when every single time the MTA makes “Service Adjustments”, BUS LINES GET REDUCED OR ELIMINATED! Not to mention also, the MILLIONS, the MTA is WASTING on “rehabilitating” the bus division yard at Union Station, Union Station itself, the North Hollywood train station, and other NON-PEOPLE-MOVING OBJECTS! That money could ALL BE PUT INTO BUS IMPROVEMENTS! It is NOT!

  16. Speaking of stop-request cords, and of cable cars:
    In case anybody here is planning a visit to San Francisco, and will be riding the cable cars, the overhead rope running the length of the car is NOT a stop-request cord; it’s the conductor’s bell, used by the crew members to communicate with each other. As with the door-releases on MetroRail cars, you do not touch it for anything short of an immediate danger to life or limb. To request a stop, you ASK a crew member.

    I now return you to your regularly scheduled thread.

    • Thanks James! I don’t visit SF very often, but good to know next time I want to ride a cable car.

      Anna Chen
      Writer, The Source

  17. Seconding the first comment, I’ll add that straps can be held in a way that doesn’t depend on your grip-strength. (And as a frequent visitor to San Francisco, who stays in a small hotel near the Bay & Taylor turntable, and who rides cable cars for transportation [and has seen plenty of locals doing the same] I’ve spent a fair amount of time on vehicles that put the “hang” in “strap-hang.”)

    (And yes, the straps on a cable care are still leather!)

  18. Why are the stop request buttons not on every pole? Depending on where one is siting, it is challenging to request a stop as one needs to stand up and search for the closest one. It doesn’t feel like a natural improvement on a simple cord pull.

    • Hi John,

      The stop request buttons are special to the new buses – they are low-profile to minimize interference with ADA passengers. They are also located on every other pole. Metro went with this design as it was the recommended industry standard. If you’re concerned, please email so they can log it and pass it along.

      Thank you,

      Anna Chen
      Writer, The Source

  19. Love the blue “priority” seats. Gets the message across. Why aren’t the fold ups blue too? Straps are also better than bars for many people (lower and easier to hold on to).

    • Hi Just a Person,

      For the fold ups, the blue is under the seats on the floor – you might not be able to get a good view from these photos, but it clearly marks the space for wheelchair riders.


      Anna Chen
      Writer, The Source