Austin, Texas’ Capital Metro will retire the last burnt orange and white UT Shuttle bus on Tuesday. The UT Shuttles are being replaced with new blue Capital Metro-branded buses to serve The University of Texas at Austin campus.
The fleet of burnt orange and white buses has served the UT campus since 1998 and has become a hallmark of Capital Metro’s longstanding partnership with the university.
Some of the new vehicles have been in use for UT Shuttle service since the summer. They feature many upgrades over the older vehicles, including: cushioned seats; separate air conditioning systems for the bus operator and riders; HD cameras with front, back and exterior side views for added safety; Braille placards to direct visually impaired riders to priority seating; larger, secured wheelchair riding areas; bright, energy-efficient LED headlights; and additional turn signals and brake lights to make the bus more visible to other motorists.
In addition to marking the end of the fleet’s normal life cycle, the move is part of Capital Metro’s rebranding process, which uses the color blue to indicate Local service (of which UT Shuttles are a part). In the past, whenever a Local bus required maintenance or repair, Capital Metro substituted the first available bus to replace it temporarily, occasionally including the orange and white shuttle buses. This sometimes caused confusion among non-UT riders when a UT Shuttle bus pulled up to their stop.
Now that all Local service will use vehicles of the same color, buses will be interchangeable with a simple switch of the digital destination sign. UT Shuttle routes will be differentiated by the display of the interlocking UT logo on the illuminated destination sign at the front of the vehicle.