If you ride Spokane Transit buses, you’ve probably noticed some new buses in the fleet. STA is running new “accordion” buses with capacity for more than 100 people on the busiest routes, according to the Spokesman-Review.

You can see the buses on North Division Street, the Eastern Washington University and Liberty Lake routes. Seven more new articulated buses will be added next year. They are equipped with smart technology, from counters that alert dispatch every time someone gets on and off the bus and at what stop, to free Wi-Fi for passengers, to the computer system that connects all buses on one real-time scheduling map.

When the buses get full, an on-board computer will automatically alert dispatch that a second bus is needed. Last year, the Division route had more than a million rides, and Sprague saw 960,000 rides.

The buses also have a sleeker look, with rounded fairing on the bus roof and windows flush with the body. The new buses join a fleet of more than 130 buses, most of which are 40 feet long, and all drivers are trained on the various vehicles.

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