The city of Tempe is partnering with bus manufacturer New Flyer to test a new mid-size bus product called New Flyer MiDi. Because of Tempe’s successful Orbit program, Tempe was selected as a testing site for the MiDi bus.
New Flyer partnered with bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis to bring this vehicle to the North American market, and production vehicles will be built at New Flyer’s St. Cloud, MN plant. The MiDi bus fulfills a gap in the US marketplace between small buses, such as those currently used on Orbit, and heavy duty buses, such as those used on major streets like Rural Road and Baseline Road.
An analysis and public involvement process will be conducted to determine the feasibility of utilizing a midsize, medium duty bus model on Orbit routes.
A public meeting was held Sept. 28, 2013. Comment online until December 31, 2013.
The basic bus specifications of the MiDi bus vs. current Orbit bus:
Current Orbit Bus
MiDi Interior of MiDi
The MiDi will likely be on the five Orbit routes until late November. If the testing program is successful and the bus type is accepted by the Tempe community and City Council, the City would consider purchasing this type of vehicle beginning in 2017.