TriMet pulls FX2 rapid buses off the street in ‘abundance of caution’

TriMet’s bright green FX2-Division line buses, which hit the streets on Sept. 18 as part of a much-anticipated $175 million rapid-transit project, are off the roads less than two months later.

A notice on TriMet’s website says standard 40-foot buses replaced the new 60-foot articulated buses on Nov. 2 “out of an abundance of caution due to a fleet-wide mechanical issue.”

TriMet did not respond to an email and phone call seeking comment Saturday, and multiple calls, a text message and pager message to TriMet’s press office on Sunday weren’t immediately returned.

It’s not clear why TriMet yanked the buses, but the safety notice on the agency’s website linked the problem to manufacturer Nova Bus.

Canada-based Nova Bus issued a recall notice Aug. 10 for defects in steering equipment on some buses. The recall document said the defect put drivers at risk of losing control. It estimated repairs would take three hours per bus. KGW reported on Sept. 3 that the route deploys 30 buses.

The rapid bus line runs from Portland’s downtown transit mall to the Cleveland Transit Center in Gresham. It was designed to cut travel time and accommodate more passengers.

It is unclear when the 60-foot buses will return to the route.

– Austin De Dios;

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