SunLine Transit Agency’s New Fleet Is On The Road
As Valley residents began their day on Tuesday, June 3rd, they may have noticed, as they traveled to various destinations, two caravans of newly designed, environmentally friendly, alternative-fueled buses “quietly” drive by. The new buses began from each end of the Valley, making their way along Highway 111, converging upon the northwest parking lot of Westfield Palm Desert for an unveiling ceremony.
SunLine Transit Agency’s General Manager, C. Mikel Oglesby welcomed SunLine’s Board of Directors, dignitaries, as well as excited riders, to the unveiling ceremony presenting an up close and personal look at what’s next in environmentally friendly public transportation.
“Our goal is to change the image of transit in the eyes of those who are reluctant to ride. We want our passengers to include people from all walks of life, including businessmen and women, and blue collar workers.” said Oglesby.
Chairman of the Board, Michael Wilson, addressed the crowd, “We are all painfully aware of the increasing fuel costs. As people are looking for a transportation alternative, we offer that alternative.” The Chairman offered a free ride to all passengers exclusively on SunLine’s new buses for the remainder of the day.
The 40-foot vehicles feature SunLine’s signature water-drop design, symbolizing SunLine’s leadership in the green transportation movement. With its low-floor design and straight-in wheelchair access, avoiding the need for time-consuming electronic lifts, the new 40-foot SunBus offers more convenience for passengers with disabilities, as well as elderly riders. On-board surveillance cameras represent another upgrade. The technology allows for continuous monitoring by SunLine security personnel and serves to discourage and deter unruly passenger behavior.
Most of the non-riding public, however, will focus on the sparkling new exterior as the buses travel daily across the Valley. With their distinctive titanium-colored roofs, shimmering water-drop graphics and bright yellow swoosh, these buses are a generation removed from their white and pastel-colored predecessors. It’s a cool new look that SunLine officials hope will spur people to re-think the way in which they have traditionally viewed bus transportation.
The new fleet of 20 buses represents the first wave of the technologically advanced, low-emission, compressed natural gas (CNG) powered buses. They join the Agency’s new-look SunDial paratransit vehicles to give the fleet its first major makeover in 14 years. More new buses will arrive later this year.
About SunLine Transit Agency
SunLine Transit Agency is a joint powers authority formed in 1977 to operate the Coachella Valley’s public transportation system. Its vehicles travel more than 21 million passenger miles per year, covering 556 bus stops located throughout a 1,120 mile-
service area. SunLine offers fixed route bus service, curb-to-curb paratransit for the mobility impaired, as well as the City of Palm Desert’s Shopper Hopper courtesy shuttle.