New Metro Call-A-Ride Vans Offer a New Look and a Smoother Ride
We are excited to introduce the newest additions to the Metro Transit fleet. We have recently received 13 new Metro Call-A-Ride vans from ARBOC Specialty Vehicles, and you will start seeing the new vans – featuring a brand-new look – on the street this month in the City of St. Louis and in St. Louis County.
The new blue vans offer a number of new benefits to our riders and our operators, and were designed with the customer experience in mind. In fact, several Metro Call-A-Ride passengers had an opportunity to see and test the new van for themselves during the pilot phase earlier this year, and were able to provide their feedback.
“Our customers love to be involved,” said Jeff Butler, General Manager of Paratransit Operations at Metro Transit. “When we had our first test van in town, we set aside three days to invite several of our customers to check the new van out and get their impressions and their suggestions. Our focus is making sure our riders have comfortable, convenient service, and we implemented many of their suggestions.”
These customer-focused amenities include armrests on the seats, a new wheelchair-accessible ramp that makes it easier to enter and exit the vehicles, and an interior color scheme with contrast that makes it easier to identify areas for the visually impaired. But, the most notable difference is in the quality of the ride.
“Our customers not only got a chance to take a look at the test van, but to also take a test drive and see how they work for themselves. And the biggest takeaway for everyone was just how smooth and comfortable the ride is – for our riders and our operators,” Butler said.
The new vans also have a significantly lower cost than previous models, and lower maintenance costs over the lifetime of the vehicle. They have capacity for 13 riders or for two mobility devices and 8 additional riders, with the flexibility to accommodate multiple configurations.
These new vans will replace older Metro Call-A-Ride vans as they are retired from service, with a total of 42 new vans to be delivered and put into service during the first quarter of 2021.