City of San Luis Obispo/ Courtesy Photo

The city of San Luis Obispo will unveil three more modern buses March 9. This is the first step in a series of improvements to the city’s transit system, according to a press release from the city of San Luis Obispo.

The new buses will feature the latest emission-reduction technology, improved aerodynamics and better fuel economy, making them more environmentally friendly. The new buses will replace three buses from 2001, which are scheduled to retire this year.

“I think this is the right step in a more environmentally friendly transit system for sure,” communication studies sophomore Henry Bodman said. “Public transit is better than having people driving to school, so that accessibility is important.”

Onboard additions will include modern features such as an onboard video infotainment system, public Wi-Fi, flexible seating arrangements, wider rear doors, hand sanitizers, LED and fiber optic lighting and sun-roof-like emergency escape hatches, according to the press release.

“This upgraded fleet underlines our commitment to provide a high-quality transit system for our 1.1 million annual riders,” Transit Manager Gamaliel Anguiano said in the press release. “And, we of course, want to encourage everyone in our community to give them a try as well.”

The San Luis Obispo city council approved the vehicles for purchase in 2015, when the city participated in a purchase consortium with Central Contra Costa Transit Authority of the Bay Area. They were also purchased in part with a $1.1 million federal Congestion Mitigation & Air Quality grant that was facilitated by the Federal Transit Administration, San Luis Obispo Council of Governments and San Luis Obispo Regional Transit Authority, according to the press release.

Beyond these upgrades, Cal Poly communication studies sophomore Alex Bailey thinks there is more that could be done to improve the transit system.

“First of all, the app itself isn’t very accurate,” Bailey said. “So fixing the app and times is important. Also adding more buses would help, because having so many people on one Wi-Fi connected will be a lot.”

Even with these suggestions, Bailey thinks these upgraded buses show signs of progress.

The unveiling will take place from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. March 9 and will be on display during the Farmers’ Market.

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