TriMet’s getting ready to roll out dozens of new buses. The Gillig 3900-series buses feature a number of upgrades to benefit riders and employees. They will also debut a new look for TriMet. The buses have a base of classic blue with a splash of bold, orange striping on either side. The new buses will grow TriMet’s fleet size to 712 and bring the average fleet age to about five years. Funding for the 64 new buses was included in our Fiscal Year 2019 budget.
We’re freshening up the look with a paint scheme that reflects TriMet’s nearly 50-year history in the community, while drawing on some current trends in the transit industry. Solid colors are popular, and we chose blue as the base because it’s considered soothing. As for the orange? It’s a throwback to the color of TriMet’s original bus fleet.
The new buses also incorporate features to improve the rider experience. Those include:
- Additional exterior lighting near the doors for improved visibility in low light.
- Upgraded speakers for crisper operator and stop announcements.
- Sound-reducing material to help muffle mechanical noise.
- Enhanced skid plates on wheelchair ramps for added traction.
Another notable addition to the new buses is the safety panel around the operator’s seat. The panel includes an adjustable window that the driver can open or close based on their preferred level of security. TriMet tested the panels and took feedback from operators for more than a year before moving forward with plans to install the panels on all new buses. Six buses already have them, and nearly 500 buses in our fleet will be retrofitted with the enhanced security system over the next five years.
Some of the new buses will replace older vehicles that served community for decades. TriMet has started retiring the 48 buses that made up the 2200 and 2300 series. They were added to the fleet in 1999 and feature TriMet’s classic Maroon logo and striped paint design. On average, they’ve charted nearly 900,000 miles a piece. Their longevity is a testament to our dedicated maintenance staff, which works tirelessly to keep our vehicles operating at optimal safety and performance levels.
Trimet needs more buses for the new and expanded service they’re planning into the future. In the fall of 2018, TriMet launched the largest single expansion in bus service in our history. Now, TriMet is preparing for another round of service improvements, coming in March. Included is an extension of Line 24-Fremont across the Fremont Bridge to Northwest and Southwest Portland and a new bus line to serve Clackamas County. With funding from the Keep Oregon Moving law, TriMet will continue to build on recent enhancements to deliver more and better service for years to come. Visit trimet.org/plan to see what’s in store.