Albeit delayed by the pandemic, the City of Marion is getting four new buses to replace the oldest in their fleet.
With the change-out usually occurring every four years, the department expected to receive new buses in 2021, but COVID-19 had caused a two-year delay. The situation was challenging for Marion Transit. Mechanic Cory Rolph prolonged the maintenance of the oldest buses.
“Those 2016 buses may now be brought forth to other systems who may want them, then, if declined, will be advertised for sale in the paper, and we’ll take bids,” explained Transportation Director Jeff Edwards.
The four new 2024 Ford E450s offer several new safety and accessibility features. Those include improved nonslip features for entry and exit, repositioned hand rails and a ceiling rail added to the left side, improved retracting seatbelts, better features for drivers, digital signage reposition, and improved Spanish signage.
The City pays 10% of the cost of the new buses while the federal government pays 80% and the state pays the remaining 10%. The City is able to meet their 10% obligation from revenues received from Transportation’s bus wrap advertising program, eliminating the need to use taxpayer dollars to offer this service at no cost to the community.
The new buses should be ready for the road by early October after license plating and adding City of Marion identification.