by Jonathan Weaver
Residents don’t need to get their eyes checked – some of Town and Country Transit’s new buses are blue.
A trio of new 2017 cutaways will soon make regular fixed-route trips through middle Armstrong County, and they aren’t the usual white buses local residents see daily.
Transit General Manager Patti Lynn Baker said the color difference is meant to signify the difference between fixed-route and shared-ride transportation.
“They kind-of stick out a little bit – which is exactly what we wanted them to do,” Baker said. “Fixed-route buses and shared-ride buses can look very much the same, but if you’re waiting for a vehicle, sometimes the last thing you’ll notice is a bike rack on the front. Sometimes, people don’t pay attention to either the bike rack or the head sign because (they think) ‘it’s a Town and Country bus – it’s going to take me where I need to go.’
“Sometimes, it’s the wrong kind of bus.”
Baker said customers have called thinking they missed their bus, only to find the bus is bound for another stop.
Unlike some current fixed-route buses, up to four wheelchair-bound passengers will be able to ride the new blue buses.
Each bus has less than 850 miles registered on the odometer.
Ford City Borough representative Beth Bowser toured one of the vehicles with Dispatcher Tiffany Korimski in the transit garage Wednesday.
“I think it’s going to be a great asset,” Bowser said.
A new blue bus will be at the transit “Transportation 101” seminar – an effort through Town and Country Transit and CommuteInfo to educate community leaders about different transportation options- this morning from 9AM-Noon at Community Action Agency in West Kittanning.
Korimski hoped the new buses are “on-the-road” by the end of the month.
In other transit news, a trio of former shared-ride vehicles were sold earlier this month – allowing Town and Country Transit to deposit more than $10,000 in an asset disposal fund (designated for capital purchases). Another $500 will also be deposited after the last bidder arrives for an engine.