This spring, TriMet’s newest 40-foot diesel buses began rolling off a California assembly line for an initial break-in drive to Portland. During May, the buses began carrying riders in the Portland region. Over the past two years, TriMet has added 125 new vehicles with 90 more new buses slated to be in service by the end of 2014.
Serial numbers on the newest buses start at 3201, and changes include some ergonomic adjustments for bus operators and additional rear door “porch lights” for deboarding safety. In addition, TriMet said all new buses run cleaner, are more fuel efficient and promise passengers a more reliable transit trip. The new equipment will move the TriMet bus fleet’s average age of to an industry standard of eight years by 2016.
Also being carted to Portland atop flatbed heavy rail cars are 18 new light rail vehicles, the first new MAX cars TriMet has acquired since September 2009, when MAX Green Line service between Clackamas and Downtown Portland opened.
The 2009 (Type 4) Siemens vehicles had additional seating, more operator safety features and improved deceleration/stopping abilities over previous models. Since then, TriMet riders and employees suggested a number of improvements, feedback that helped develop specifications for the next-generation (Type 5) MAX trains, also be manufactured by Siemens.
First of the new trains is scheduled to arrive this summer, and each vehicle will go into service after inspections, “burn-in” trips on the system and safety certifications over the next 14 months prior to the September 2015 opening of Orange Line service.