The Triangle's transit organization is looking at higher capacity buses to ease daily commutes for the area's growing population.
GoTriangle is trying out a higher capacity bus on its busiest routes this month, such as the I-40 stretch from Chapel Hill to Raleigh.
The larger coach can seat 20 more people than the buses currently in use.
GoTriangle Communications Director Mike Charbonneau said expanding capacity is crucial with the region growing at a rate of around 80 people per day.
"Transit options are not necessarily going to reduce congestion but they're going to give people alternatives to driving in it and they're going to help reduce the number of cars that are added to that over time," he said.
The higher capacity coach costs between $600,000 and $650,000, with a lifespan of 14 to 16 years.
The buses currently in use cost about $470,000 and typically last about a dozen years.
Charbonneau said GoTriangle is using rider surveys in its assessment of the higher capacity coach. The pilot program will last until mid-August.