Westmoreland County Transit Authority to complete modernization of bus fleet
By Rich Cholodofsky
Published: Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013, 6:05 p.m.
The Westmoreland County Transit Authority is poised to complete a modernization of its bus fleet, an effort that started in 2009.
The authority has received a $3.4 million state grant that will be used to purchase six buses for its 43-vehicle fleet.
Authority Executive Director Larry Morris said the new buses would replace some vehicles as well as expand the fleet to accommodate a growing customer base.
“At some point we'll get to the point where we'll saturate the market, but we're not there yet,” Morris said. “I know if I had five more buses I could fill them.”
Passenger numbers have steadily increased for the last several years.
Last year the authority had its ridership jump by more than 9 percent, largely because of its popular commuter routes to Pittsburgh.
Overall, it had more than 579,400 passengers in the last 12 months. The Pittsburgh routes carried about 30,000 commuters last month.
“All of our routes are going up. Could we add buses and fill them up? Probably so,” Morris said.
The new buses, which are expected to be purchased within the next several months, will replace 15-year-old vehicles.
Morris said the authority plans to join a consortium of other transit agencies in Beaver, Butler and York counties to buy buses at reduced prices.
In addition, the agreement will allow the Westmoreland authority to purchase up to six additional buses in 2015. Those vehicles could be powered by natural gas.
“There are now no natural gas buses appropriate for our market,” Morris said.
The authority is exploring converting a portion of its fleet to natural gas and retrofitting the newly opened maintenance facility along Business Route 66 in Hempfield.
In May, the authority commissioned a $40,000 study to look at potential costs to convert the garage for natural gas use. It will examine potential revenue that could be generated by selling gas to entities such as the county, PennDOT or even the public.
Morris said that a preliminary draft of the feasibility study has been completed and a final version is expected to be released soon.
Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Quiet teacher shone as character actor
- Unity airport steps up parking enforcement
- System will allow video visits for inmates in Westmoreland
- West Newton fire company says debts paid
- Derry Borough to buy dump truck
- Jeannette councilman charged after argument with city clerk
- Fayette commissioners move to limit comments
- Westmoreland County considers software upgrade
- Former Ligonier lawyer who stole from trust fund paroled
- Jeannette dirt bike rider collides with car
- Scottdale approves slight hike in park usage fees