TEMPE, Ariz. -- Tempe's Orbit buses are trying out a new look next week.
Starting July 22, the city will introduce New Flyer's MiDi bus models. The vehicles are 6 feet longer than the Orbit's current bus and can fit about 30 more passengers.
The new bus will have 27 seats and accommodate 26 standing passengers. However, it will not support a bike rack in the front, but will be required to have one in the future.
The bus now has only 17 seats and room for six standing passengers.
“This is a great opportunity for Tempe to test a bus with higher passenger capacity on Orbit routes with virtually no cost to the city,” said Greg Jordan, a spokesman for Tempe's transit department. “The testing program requires the bus to operate in-service on the five Orbit routes for up to four months.”
A press release from the city of Tempe says after determining if the testing program is successful and the new bus is accepted by the community and City Council, they could consider utilizing the new model by 2017.