Thursday, March 20, 2014

Sun Metro Brings 22 New Buses to Its Fleet

Before the upcoming Brio RTS begins to steal Sun Metro headlines, El Paso’s mass transit system has just added 22 buses to its regular fleet. The new buses will replace other units currently being retired.
Sun Metro’s newest buses have a more aerodynamic appearance. (Sun Metro)
The new units are 2014 New Flyer Xcelsior models, 40-foot buses which will be powered by compressed natural gas. The Xcelsiors offer better fuel economy, low floors, LED interior lighting, and a more aerodynamic design.

A new feature may help passengers using mobility devices, such as wheelchairs, board and exit the bus units more quickly. The “rear-facing wheelchair-securement” option will not compromise passenger safety, according to a Sun Metro press release. The current “forward facing” option will still be available.

The units that will be retired, which date from 1991, have driven over one million miles. Most units will be stripped of usable material that can be sold for scrap, though some units will be retained for training purposes.

The new buses are paid in part by Federal Transit Administration grants. They will be rolled out over the next few months.