Community Post

Some!3{2}Metro Buses are Cooler than Others

This is an observation and if any one knows why I would love to know:
Yesterday, after a few buses during the hot afternoon hours I noted that few buses used their air. Routes included the #48, #3, #4, #2, community transit, and #43. The #43 was the only one to use air conditioning. I just wonder why since under some other less warm circumstances I have noted the air conditioning when I didn’t think it necessary.

0 thoughts on “Some!3{2}Metro Buses are Cooler than Others

  1. Only the newer buses are equipped with A/C. The above linked article mentions that it’s about 30% of the fleet. Here’s how to spot A/C equipped buses:

    All buses which are “low floor” have A/C. These are New Flyer brand buses, and can be identified in that there are no stairs up from the door to the seating area, and they have no rear window. They are 40′ buses numbered in the 3600 range, and 60′ buses numbered in the 2600s, 2700s, 2800s, and 6800s. This includes all of the hybrid buses.

    Also, some of the 60′ electric trolley buses have A/C now. These are the old Breda brand buses, which were originally bought in 1988, and stripped and rebuilt by Metro in ’04. They seem to have had roof-mounted A/C units installed, however often the windows are left open on these buses anyway. These can be identified by having 3 sets of doors instead of the usual 2. They’re numbered in the 4200s. These are the ONLY high-floor buses which have A/C, and also the only electric trolley buses which have A/C.

    Essentially, any bus purchased or rebuilt since 2003 has air conditioning.

    The bulk of Metro’s fleet, however, are 40′ Gillig Phantom’s and 60′ New Flyer D60’s which were purchased in the late 90’s, and ordered without A/C.

    As for drivers using the air when it’s not strictly all that hot out, it’s probably because the climate control on those buses is a simple “set and forget” thermostat. Most drivers I’ve seen leave it at 72, which means the A/C will be humming along when it’s 75 out, and it might feel a bit chilly when stepping in on those marginally warm days.