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Video: Big Buses To Hit The Road In June

Jason Rosenbaum/St. Louis Public Radio

Ray Friem of Metro has a simple message to riders of its Grand Line: “The big buses have arrived.” 

Metro showed off its refurbished, 60-foot, articulated buses on Friday. The buses represent the transit service’s response to overcrowding on the #70 Grand Line. Metro’s busiest route is often so crowded that riders have to stand – or can't even get on.

(Click here to read St. Louis Public Radio’s story on the Grand line – and how Metro grapples with capacity issues.)

The buses, which cost about $434,000 each, were previously used in Toronto. Friem said each vehicle went through a comprehensive overhaul, including new wires and refurbished engine. They’re expected to accommodate around 25 percent more passengers than the current 40-foot buses.

Metro riders won't see the buses on the street right away. First, Metro will have to train drivers and mechanics and install some technology. Five of the articulated buses are expected to go into service on June 9. Around 15 will be on the road by the end of the year, which will be enough to serve the entire Grand Line.

Here’s a video tour of one of the longer buses, with Friem providing some additional details:

Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.