AC Transit Launches New Transbay Coach


THE ALAMEDA-CONTRA COSTA TRANSIT DISTRICT (AC Transit), Oakland, CA, has launched its new Transbay MCI D45 CRT LE coach from Motor Coach Industries (MCI).

The Transbay MCI features 52 seats with embedded headrests and jetliner-styled LED lighting. Passengers control cabin airflow through overhead air vents and stop request buttons are accessible in the overhead panel. Two doors and staircases—front and mid-cabin—lead to a broader center aisle with integrated overhead grab rails that increase onboard safety. The vehicles feature the Quantum Wheelchair Securement Station from Q’Straint. A three-position bike rack is mounted on the front of the coach.

green bus in front of bay

AC Transit launched its Accessibility Advisory Committee in 1991, which now operates as the General Manager’s Access Committee (GMAC). The GMAC thoroughly examined every aspect of the Transbay MCI prototype, including hip-to-knee room and narrow seats; excessively reclining seats; a narrow aisle with potential risks at the second set of stairs; inadequate space for luggage and roll bags; and the need for handrails along the top and both sides of the rear staircase, especially for individuals with visual impairments or limited arm mobility. The committee’s insights were sent to the manufacturer’s design engineers for changes to amenities and accessibility features.

“The result is a light-filled and low-floor vestibule that is revolutionary in design and breaking barriers for wheelchair accessibility,” said Michael Hursh, AC Transit general manager. “The stylized vestibule prioritizes ease of boarding through an all-new mid-cabin door, wider and brawny ADA ramp, enhanced space for maneuverability, one-touch automated securement, and it is built to accommodate the future design of manual or powered wheelchairs, as well as scooters.”

AC Transit will roll out the new MCI fleet in timed phases. The first 18 coaches will launch into revenue service on Transbay Lines E, F, G, J and L. The fleet will ultimately total 36 coaches.

“The Transbay MCI represents a departure from the norm, and by launching this revolutionary new fleet of buses, our transit district is seamlessly combining safety measures with captivating design elements,” said Joel Young, AC Transit board president. “This bus was years in development and, unfortunately, delayed by COVID-induced supply chain issues. Now that it is here, I am confident the Transbay MCI will transform how we commute across San Francisco Bay and chart a new path for an inclusive experience for all riders.”