New Metro bus to hit streets of St. Louis soon

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- A new kind of Metro bus will be rolling on the streets of St. Louis soon. They’re designed to carry more passengers and yet be cost effective. Metro customers who ride the #70 Grand Line have long complained about overcrowding.  Randy Franklin a Metro customer says, “Sometimes it so crowded you have to wait for the next bus to come.”

The solution: new articulated buses. They are 60 feet long instead of the usual 40 feet.  There are two sections linked by a pivot joint.  It bends in the middle. The articulated buses cost about two percent more to operate but carry almost 25 percent more passengers.  Metro CEO Ray Friem said, “We are always trying to find the best deals for both our capital and our operating dollars.”

Metro is using a federal grant to buy the buses. To save money they are made from old buses but they have new parts. Recycle and reuse, Metro is green.  Jay Raber works for Complete Coach Works, the company that is building the new buses.  He said, “If we didn’t rebuild this bus and put it back in service it would end up in a landfill.”  Friem added, “We went out and got a grant for high capacity buses, that grant would have bought us six new buses. By going the refurbished route were able get to 15 to put into service in the region.”

The first new bus hits the road June 9th. All 15 should be out on city streets by the end of the year. Customers are looking forward to the new transportation.  Randy Franklin said, “That’s a great improvement we do need it.” They are needed on a bus route that has more than 9,000 boardings each day.