El Paso, Texas-based Sun Metro received 22 new 2014 New Flyer Xcelsior buses. The 40-foot vehicles will join the transit system’s regular route service over the next several weeks.
The 2014 New Flyer amenities include low floors; an electric air conditioning system; disc brakes, which provide a smoother and more efficient braking system; better fuel economy; orange seat belts for bus operators; 38 passenger seats; LED interior lighting and a more aerodynamic body.
Additionally, like all Sun Metro buses, the new vehicles are fueled by compressed natural gas and have room for two wheelchairs and two exterior bicycle racks.
Another new addition is the rear facing wheelchair-securement option. This is a new option for passengers using mobility devices. The new securement option — a first for the transit system — will allow for faster boarding by passengers using mobility devices without compromising the safety of the passengers. Riders using mobility devices will still have the option to use the standard forward facing wheelchair securement option.
The new buses will replace Sun Metro’s 1991-model buses, which will be retired from service. The majority of the older buses, which have been driven more than one million miles, will be stripped of all electronics and other usable material and auctioned off for scrap. Sun Metro will keep a few 1991-model buses for a contingency fleet and training purposes.
The new buses were purchased using a Federal Transit Administration grant and local funds.