ANN ARBOR, MI — The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (TheRide) is looking for public feedback on eight new replacement buses.

The company aims to replace 40 buses in its fleet of 100 in the next five years using state and federal grants. Nova Bus in 2019 was awarded a contract to supply five replacement buses per year. Designs were revealed at a February board meeting, showing the exterior will incorporate the traditional red, white and blue branding in the TheRide’s logo and buses will include additional amenities, such as USB charging ports for each seat, larger windows and doors and padded seats.

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“As we replace older buses, we have an opportunity to phase in new features that we hope will be attractive to riders, staff and the community. We’ve switched manufacturers and adopted a new paint job,” said Matt Carpenter, chief executive officer at TheRide. “We encourage everyone to take a virtual test drive and please tell us what you think. Feedback will help us to make small improvements every year.”

Buses will also include floor markings to designate seats for anyone with disabilities and an area for families with strollers, and a different axle for a “smoother, more comfortable ride,” according to a news release.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, TheRide is limiting feedback to a virtual tour. Anyone can leave input through Monday, Nov. 2 in an online survey.

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