Monday March 06, 2006
“These buses are perfect for Metro’s popular 761 Line. They can carry more passengers – a 16 percent increase over the 40-foot buses -- and they are fuel friendly and comfortable for our customers,” said Richard Hunt, general manager of Metro’s San Fernando Valley division.
Manufactured by North American Bus Industries, the new buses have lower floors and a sleeker design. They are manufactured with special composite materials and powered by compressed natural gas. The fiberglass and carbon fiber reinforced body weighs the same as a regular steel framed bus, but is stronger and resistant to corrosion and collision damage. The buses also feature power disc brakes to enhance safety. The state-of-the-art components are expected to reduce maintenance costs and improve fuel economy. Each bus costs $370,000.
The new 45-foot buses are actually just a temporary addition to Metro Rapid Line 761. This summer they will be replaced by even larger buses: 60-foot-long articulated coaches that seat 57. The 45-foot coaches will then be moved to other lines to improve the level of service in other parts of the Valley.
The 21.4-mile Metro Rapid Line 761 operates on Van Nuys Boulevard between Foothill and Ventura boulevards, then continues through the Sepulveda Pass to Westwood, connecting to the Wilshire/Whittier Metro Rapid at Wilshire Boulevard.
“Our goal is to continue improving the level of service in the Valley,” Hunt said. “We are putting these new buses into service to give extra capacity and comfort to our riders.”