TriMet provides bus, light rail and commuter rail transit services in the Portland, Oregon, metro area. We connect people with their community, while easing traffic congestion and reducing air pollution—making the Portland area a better place to live. More
Building a Better Bus
Our next-generation buses are designed to improve comfort, reliability, efficiency and safety.Click on a number for details
Less tailpipe emissions
The cleaner-burning diesel engine has Selective Catalytic Reduction technology, which scrubs nitrogen oxides and particulates from the exhaust.
A NASCAR-inspired electronic cooling system boosts MPG by 5–10%, by using an electrified subsystem instead of a conventional hydraulic or mechanical fan.
Automatic snow chains
At the push of a button, the operator can deploy chains for better reliability in snow/ice conditions.
Inside, riders will notice vinyl seats (which are much easier to keep clean), larger windows, brighter LED lighting and a lighter color scheme.
Better boarding ramp
A longer, more gradual boarding ramp makes it easier for people using mobility devices to board the bus.
Turning lights on the mirrors
For improved safety, we added LED turn-signal lights on the mirrors to alert pedestrians when the bus is intending to turn.
Easy-to-read overhead signs
On the front, the sign that displays the bus line name and destination is illuminated with bright silver LED lights, so it is easier to read.
Contoured front end
The new buses come with a more modern, streamlined front-end design with a sloping windshield.
Out with the old...
As riders can attest, many of our buses are overdue for replacement. In fact, some in our fleet are more than 18 years old. We've delayed buying new buses over the last few years due to the recession, but we can't wait any more. Not only are these aging buses uncomfortable for riders and operators, they have become too unreliable and expensive for us to maintain.
We replaced 55 buses in 2012 and 70 in 2013. We plan to buy 60 more each year after that. By 2017, we will have replaced all of the remaining high-floor buses in the fleet (those with steps at the door), and reduced the average age of our bus fleet to eight years (the industry standard).
Four new hybrid-electric buses, with technology similar to a Chevy Volt, went into service in January 2013 on Line 72. Compared to diesel buses, they're expected to be 20–50 percent more fuel efficient, with 95 percent less emissions. They have quiet electric motors, with components that last longer and require less maintenance. Back in 2002, TriMet was among the first transit agencies in the U.S. to test the first generation of hybrid buses. Unfortunately, these buses were not cost-effective (they required expensive parts that had to be custom made), so we retired them in 2012. See photos of the new hybrids
What's new inside
We made some changes to help improve the onboard experience, for both riders and operators. In addition to standard air conditioning and automatic stop announcements, our new buses feature:
- easy-to-clean vinyl seats and interior surfaces
- brighter LED lighting
- larger windows
- handrails and a gently sloping floor at the rear exit
- a next-generation GPS dispatch/tracking system
- a lighter interior color scheme
- improved windshield visibility for operators
What's new outside
For the convenience of riders and operators, we've upgraded the exterior features, too. Like all of our newer buses, the 3000 series has low floors for easy boarding and external stop announcements that identify the bus line and destination. In addition, you'll notice:
- a modern, sloping front end
- bright, easy-to-read LED overhead signs
- electric ignition for quieter starts
- a longer, more gradual boarding ramp
- automatic drop-down snow chains
- windows that can be opened by riders
- brighter, energy-efficient LED headlights
- turning lights on the mirrors for safety
Cleaner and more efficient
NASCAR-inspired electronic cooling system boosts MPG. It won't make your bus go faster, but the innovative cooling system we pioneered improves fuel economy by 5-10 percent. Already in use on many of our buses, it uses an electrified subsystem instead of a hydraulic or mechanical fan, so it draws less power off the engine.
Ultra-low-emission engine keeps pollutants out of the air. The 3000-series buses have a Cummins Diesel Engine package designed to reduce tailpipe emissions dramatically. This includes Selective Catalytic Reduction technology, which scrubs nitrogen oxides and particulates (pollutants that cause smog and health problems) from the exhaust.
Have you ridden on the new buses? Let us know what you think.
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