The City of Cornwall has begun the process of purchasing three 40-foot low floor buses to replace three others which are aging out of the fleet.
The new buses will be purchased from Nova Bus through Cornwall’s agreements with the Metrolink Transit Procurement Imitative. The purchase will cost the city $1.54 million, half of which will be paid for using the new Federal Transit Infrastructure Fund and the other half will be financed over eight years.
Coun. Bernadette Clement wondered why the city was buying three full-sized buses instead of saving money by purchasing smaller ones.
“We talked about smaller buses back in the day when people were criticizing transit about seeing big buses go buy empty,” said Clement. “Do we have to buy larger buses?”
Transit manager Len Tapp explained not only are they replacing three large busses, the smaller buses posed accessibility problems.
“One of the reasons we’ve gone back to the 40-foot buses is because they are fully accessible. We found the room available on the smaller buses made it very difficult for people boarding in wheelchairs or with strollers or walkers,” explained Tapp.
The other points to consider include there is little price difference between the buses, and many of the shorter models continue to have the same engine, burning approximately the same fuel as the longer buses.
The needs of riders have simply changed since they bought the smaller buses, said Tap. When people were complaining about half-empty buses, annual ridership numbers were at about 540,000 now they’ve increased to 800,000.
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