The first CNG buses will be put in service in areas of Los Angeles County served by Division 5 in South Los Angeles, Division 7 in West Hollywood and Division 18 in Carson. One of the new buses was also running on Wednesday only along the 33 line that serves Venice Boulevard.
One particular focus of Metro staff was making the buses as ADA-compliant and safe as possible and some of the new features of the new buses include the Q’Pod wheelchair securement system, which better accommodates passengers in wheelchairs. Each bus is also equipped with a new video monitoring system that can be downloaded wireless to law enforcement, if necessary.
“It is safer. It’s more comfortable. It’s more attractive” said Metro CEO Art Leahy during the ceremony. “It’s better for wheelchair patrons. It’s a beautiful bus.” The Metro Board in January 2013 approved a $308-million contract for 550 next generation buses, which will be delivered over the next 18 months.