05/24/05 — Gateway to get larger buses by early next year

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Gateway to get larger buses by early next year

By Matt Shaw
Published in News on May 24, 2005 1:50 PM

The Goldsboro-Wayne Transportation Authority will replace its fleet of buses by early 2006 with larger models with better handicap access.

The Gateway Board of Directors voted Monday afternoon to approve the agency's 2005-06 budget, which totaled over $3.1 million. The fiscal year begins July 1.

The budget includes money for Gateway to replace the buses that have been used since city service began.

Currently, 30-foot buses serve three of the city routes and a van handles the fourth, Executive Director Stephen Wright said after Monday's meeting. But there are often more riders than capacity, requiring Gateway to have vans trail the buses and carry the overflow.

The budget allows the agency to buy four 35-foot models, which should be able to handle all the ridership for now, he said. The new buses will also have lower floors than the current ones, making it easier for the elderly and others to board.

The new buses will be equipped with wheelchair lifts that will be much quicker to load riders, Wright said.

Gateway will order the buses by August. Delivery time will be four-six months, so people can expect to see them on the road by early next year.

The agency will also be buying seven lift vans.

The $3.1 million budget includes revenues from the city, county, state and federal governments, in addition to fares.