Shiny, new HealthLine buses will soon be appearing on the Euclid Corridor, after Greater Cleveland RTA purchased 16 buses this past year.
“It’s always exciting when you get to add new vehicles to your fleet,” Dan Dietrich, Director of Fleet Management, said. “These come with all the latest bells and whistles you would expect and I think it is really going to enhance our rider experience.”
Measuring 60 feet in length, the buses can accommodate 122 passengers. Contoured plastic seats make for a more comfortable ride while also allowing for better sanitation.
The buses run on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), which emits 90% less nitrogen oxide compared to traditional diesel buses. They can travel up to 400 miles on a full tank, reducing smog and air pollution along the way.
A new graphical wrap, with shades of blue along with crisp text, will make the new buses pop as they cruise up and down Euclid Avenue. This bright, new design replaces the silver color scheme from the original buses.
Dietrich says he is most excited about the technology that these buses are equipped with.
“The new technology is really going to be what the riders appreciate the most,” he said. “We’ve added two LCD screens in each bus that display real-time passenger information such as stop requests, route information, and safety updates. It’s going to make the riders much more informed.”
Other tech highlights include signal prioritization for buses, so they spend less time stopped at traffic lights, and 360-degree security cameras.
Drivers, too, will see tech improvements. Six ultrasonic sensors will guide operators for a safe platform approach. A digital dashboard will display gauges and communicate mechanical diagnostics.
Crews have been hard at work preparing the new buses for service.
“It’s not like buying a new car where you can just take it off the lot and start driving it,” Dietrich said. “We’ve got to go through an intense inspection process with each bus to make sure the details and technology are all correct. Then we need to spend time training each driver. It’s a lengthy process; however with a purchase like this you’ve got spend that extra time going over each detail.”
The new HealthLine buses are expected to go into service January 1st.
“New year, new bus,” Dietrich quipped.