Bus Photo of the Month: March 2016

Neoplan AN460A 5319

Neoplan AN460A 5319

Location: 9th Street, NW at Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC
Operator of Vehicle:  Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
Date of Photo: April 11, 2012

WMATA ordered 21 Neoplan AN460A buses to replace its aging MAN articulated fleet in 2003.  As of this writing, only three buses remain on the active roster, and these buses are not likely to be in revenue service.  With the impending retirement of these buses, WMATA’s articulated bus fleet will be entirely low floor, and the only remaining high floor buses will be the Orion Vs (that are also due for retirement soon).

WMATA’s previous experience with Neoplans was not great, and no orders were procured from that company for many years.  It is fair to say that the Neoplan artics performed better than the 9500 Series buses that WMATA had until the early 1990s.  However, the Neoplan artics operated on the heavy use Northern Division lines for their entire careers and only four buses of this type received a mid-life rehab.  As a passenger, I am not sorry to see these buses go to the big bus garage in the sky.  However, as a transit fan, I will remember the fast pickup these buses had when they first arrived and that they looked better with the “MetroLocal” scheme than most of the other buses in WMATA’s fleet in my opinion.

To see more photos of WMATA’s Neoplan AN460A buses, please click here.

Check back tomorrow to see the rail photo of the month for March 2016!