Phoenix bus riders can look forward to 120 new buses on local service routes that have quieter engines, smoother rides, better air conditioning and run more energy-efficiently with compressed natural gas.
The $61 million purchase of the heavy-duty, 40-foot buses was announced Thursday by Phoenix’s public transit department, along with its tag line “Green and clean for 2014.”
Thirty-six of the buses are already in service, with the first bus beginning service last November. The remaining will replace older buses gradually by around May, said Jesus Sapien, Phoenix’s deputy public transit director.
“We haven’t purchased buses in seven years, so riders will see a lot of new on-board technology,” Sapien said. “It will be a better passenger experience for all. We’re just happy to see them hit the street.”
The CNG buses also have reflective decals on the outside of the bus to make it easier for other drivers to see.
The new buses, which also have a new paint scheme, are replacing older buses that run on a mix of liquefied natural gas and diesel. The buses are eligible for retirement because they are either 12 years old or have 500,000 miles, or both, said Megan Neal, a Phoenix Transit spokeswoman.