TriMet hopes new FX buses will return next month after mechanical problem

Published: Nov. 18, 2022 at 4:27 PM PST
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GRESHAM, Ore. (KPTV) - There was plenty of fanfare when TriMet’s new FX route launched in September.

The route brought along 31 new articular buses at a cost of nearly $1 million each.

But now, the buses are off the road. Denise Deloney said that’s causing it to take longer on her trip on the route.

“It takes me about 20 minutes to get here from my home,” Deloney said. “It just took me 30 minutes to get from my house up to here and it was more crowded on the bus. Those other buses were less crowded.”

With the changes, she’s now wondering what type of bus she can expect.

“If you’re going to switch it and upgrade it, keep the upgrade,” Deloney said. “Don’t keep going down and dumb it down.”

TriMet had to take the new buses off the route after a fastener or bolt within the frame was found to be missing or loose. That could ultimately lead to steering issues, though it hasn’t happened.

The new buses are no longer running while manufacturer Nova Bus confirms their suggested fix will work.

It’s frustrating other regular riders on the route, like David Woodard.

“If you’re going to spend all that money and not utilize it, it seems like a big waste,” he said.

TriMet hopes the buses can return to service in December after testing. For now, they are replaced with standard buses that still have signal priority.

Woodard said he really enjoyed the new buses when they were introduced.

“You could actually have three people get on,” Woodard said. “There were three separate doors. It seemed like it was a lot more efficient and definitely a lot more comfortable.”

TriMet said you might see some delays on the route with it taking longer to load bikes and people onto the standard buses.