94 Metro buses pulled from service after fire – again

WASHINGTON – Metro has removed 94 buses from service after one caught fire in Maryland on Tuesday morning.

There were no passengers aboard the Orion VI bus traveling on Route 50, and no injuries reported in the incident. At the time, a mechanic was driving the vehicle, according to a news release.

Last Thursday, another Orion VI bus caught fire while on I-66 in Fairfax. There were no passengers on the bus and no injuries.

After Thursday’s fire, Metro reduced the number of Orion VI buses in circulation and an outside fire expert was brought in to investigate what caused the fire.

The 94 buses pulled from service on Tuesday – all Orion VI buses – use deisel fuel and have been in use since 2000.

In 2010, Metro pulled 99 of the buses from service after a fire on a bus on Sept. 9. According to a news release, a fire occurred on a bus that was traveling on 495 near Springfield. After that incident, Metro officials made “temporary repairs” to the buses’ hydraulic pumps which were determined to have contributed to the fire.

“Safety is our highest priority, and this is a prudent step until we fully understand the cause,” said Metro General Manager and CEO Richard Sarles in a statement. “We will do everything possible to minimize customer impact while these buses are out of service.”

Metro operates 1,492 buses total.

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