ShareThis Page

Westmoreland Transit to replace rusty buses this fall

Rich Cholodofsky
| Friday, April 20, 2018, 1:00 p.m.
A Westmoreland County Transit bus pulls out onto Lincoln Highway in Greensburg on Wednesday, April 27, 2016.
Evan R. Sanders | Tribune-Review
A Westmoreland County Transit bus pulls out onto Lincoln Highway in Greensburg on Wednesday, April 27, 2016.

Shiny, new buses should replace part of the Westmoreland County Transit Authority's old, rusty fleet by this fall.

Five large 40-seat commuter buses and 11 smaller 28-passenger vehicles are expected to be delivered in October, said Alan Blahovec, the authority's executive director.

“The older buses are nearly beyond their useful life,” he said. “They have well over 500,000 miles on them.”

The older buses still in service are mechanically sound but have become rust covered and will soon need to be taken off the road, Blahovec said.

Since last summer, the authority has spent about $3.5 million from federal and state grants to buy new buses.

The authority's fixed route local and commuter bus service currently operates with a fleet of 41 vehicles.

In January, the authority put into service six commuter buses fueled by natural gas. The 16 new buses also will run on natural gas.

The authority plans to eventually convert its entire fleet from diesel to natural gas-fueled vehicles.

“It's great to know we have funding in place for CNG vehicles,” authority board Chairman Frank Tosto said.

The authority this year opened a natural gas filling depot at its Hempfield maintenance facility. PennDOT paid for that project.

Meanwhile, Blahovec said the authority is considering options for six older buses taken out of service this year.

Three of those 14-year-old buses are still functional and could be donated to a transit authority in Lackawanna County that is need of vehicles.

“They have no value to us. We could put them out for bid, but we wouldn't get much for them,” Blahovec said.

Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-830-6293 or

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.

click me