A big red bow sits atop a new 27-foot bus at Metro's Southeast Transit Center. Those buses are now carrying passengers on 13 Metro routes.
Metro's Raquel Roberts says the smaller buses are part of a plan to custom-tailor transit options for particular neighborhoods.
"The analogy I would use is, a minivan is great for a family of six, but a single person probably wouldn't want to drive one. So this is a way we can provide service to neighborhoods that have a smaller demand for ridership."
The new 12-seat buses have the same features as the larger buses, and that includes a bike rack. There's also easy access for riders with disabilities.
Michael Andrade is Metro's Director of Paratransit Services.
"We also have two wheelchair-accessible spots here on the bus. This is also a kneeling bus, just like the big bus."
Metro has purchased 40 of the new smaller buses at a cost of $160,000 each.
Riders will see the new buses on routes such as #6 Jensen, #9 North Main /Gulfton, and #18 Kirby, where ridership demand isn't as heavy as other routes.