ANN ARBOR, MI – The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (TheRide) is evaluating the first of eight new replacement buses to their fleet and is interested in obtaining feedback from riders and the general public. One quarter of TheRide’s fleet meet requirements to be replaced and funded using Federal and State grants. In a competitive procurement issued in 2019, Nova Bus was awarded a contract to supply the agency with a total of 5 replacement buses per year, for 5 years as buses reach their useful life.
The Nova buses, manufactured in the United States, look different than the current buses in TheRide’s fleet. The exterior design incorporates the traditional branding that reflects the red, white and blue illustrated in TheRide logo. The buses include additional amenities that will improve the riding experience, such as USB charging ports, larger windows, and doors and, more comfortable, antimicrobial seats.
“As we replace older buses, we have an opportunity to phase in new features that we hope will be attractive to riders, staff, and the community. We’ve switched manufacturers and adopted a new paint job,” Matt Carpenter, CEO at TheRide said. “We encourage everyone to take a virtual test drive and please tell us what you think. Feedback will help us to make small improvements every year.”
Key features that riders will notice include:
- USB charging ports on seats
- New paint and body design of bus
- Larger windows
- Larger front door for easier entry
- Softer, more comfortable seating
- More floor markings designating seats reserved for people with disabilities and indicating a special area for families with strollers
- A different axle to provide a smoother, more comfortable ride
While we would prefer to have customers and the general public take a test drive, we are limiting feedback opportunities due to the recent spike in local COVID-19 cases and the “stay home” order issued by the Washtenaw Public Health Department.
The public is invited to conduct a virtual tour of the bus and provide comments at: https://www.theride.org/about/projects/replacement-buses. TheRide is accepting feedback from the public through Monday, November 2.
The latest information on TheRide’s routes, schedules and detours are available at TheRide.org or by calling (734) 996-0400.