TriMet ready to roll out 64 new buses in 2019

Feb. 18, 2019
The new buses will include new rider comfort features, driver security features and a new paint scheme.

TriMet is prepping to roll 64 new buses out to its fleet in 2019, which will feature rider improvements, as well as a new paint scheme. 

The Gillig 3900-series buses were included in the Fiscal Year 2019 budget and will have upgraded speakers, additional exterior lighting near the doors, sound-reducing material to lessen mechanical noise and wheelchair ramps with enhanced skid plates for added traction. 

TriMet also points to another notable addition to the new buses: 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 says it 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 TriMet's fleet will be retrofitted with the enhanced security system during the next five years.

The new Gillig buses will bring TriMet's fleet total to 712 vehicles and put the average fleet age at about five years. TriMet began retiring its 24 2200 and 2300 series buses that were added to the fleet in 1999. TriMet says the 2200 and 2300 series buses have charted nearly 900,000 miles on average per bus.

"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 said.  

The new buses will also have a new look, which consists of a base of TriMet's classic blue with a splash of bold, orange striping on either side. 

TriMet says the new buses will help serve new and expanded offerings. In the fall of 2018, TriMet launched the largest single expansion in bus service in its history and is now preparing for another round of service improvements set to launch in March. 

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Editor in Chief

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the magazine’s editorial direction and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.