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Tempe is looking to replace aging Orbit buses

Post Date:10/22/2019 2:00 PM

Old Orbit 792x528New Orbit 740x493

Pictured above: Original Orbit Bus (left), 2017 Orbit Bus (right)

TEMPE, Ariz. (Oct. 22, 2019) – As part of Tempe’s ongoing effort to right-size the Orbit fleet, the city and Valley Metro teamed up to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) to bus manufacturers for replacement of the aging original Orbit buses.

Based on previous resident and rider feedback, the RFP specifies the following:

  • Alternatively-fueled vehicles
  • Minimum passenger capacity (seated and standing) of 30
  • Can accommodate up to three bikes
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • No longer than 32 feet
  • No taller than 11 feet, 6 inches
  • No wider than 8 feet, 5 inches
  • Vehicle subcomponents configured to reduce exterior noise pollution whenever possible

Residents and riders are encouraged to join us at two open houses to give additional feedback on the desired type of bus. Both of the current Orbit buses will be available for walkthroughs during the open houses.  The feedback gathered from residents and riders will be provided to the selection panel reviewing the RFP submissions.

Saturday, Nov. 2 from 9-11 a.m.
Tempe Transportation Center
200 E. Fifth St.

Wednesday, Nov. 13 from 4-6 p.m.
Tempe History Museum parking lot
809 E. Southern Ave.


Tempe’s Orbit bus system includes some of the highest ridership routes in the city. Tempe’s older light-duty buses often reach passenger capacity, having to turn away riders. These older buses are also unable to operate a full day, requiring additional buses to enable mid-day refueling and several buses operate on unleaded gasoline, not clean-burning fuel. They are currently scheduled to be replaced incrementally over the next three years.

The current Orbit bus specifications are listed in the table below.

Comparison Table

For more information, or to comment online Oct. 28 through Nov. 14, please visit




Media Contact: TaiAnna Yee
City of Tempe - Public Information Officer

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