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Metro Ride is on the hunt for buses

COVID delayed the arrival of new buses leaving them with a shortage
Published: Jul. 15, 2021 at 7:08 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - The Wausau City of Finance Committee approved a $16,000 funding request from Metro Ride to purchase four used buses.

Community members and students rely on their transportation to get around the Wausau area and even to school. Metro Ride hopes to repair these old buses enough for a few more months of use before their shipment of newly manufactured buses arrive in December.

“We initially thought they would be manufactured in June which would have been perfect to have brand new buses when the school year starts,” said Greg Seubert, Metro Ride Transit Director.

They can no longer service some of the older buses due to failing the annual safety inspection. They did not last as long as anticipated, according to Seubert.

With less buses there is a concern for not having enough transportation once the school year begins. Metro Ride is currently at the bare minimum amount of buses to cover their routes.

Now that they have been approved for funding, they await the acceptance of the Federal Transit Administration to transfer buses from another system to theirs. If they are not granted permission, they will have to submit bids on other buses.

The hunt for buses has been challenging so far and the process has taken months. They have pursued a bus as far away as Iowa.

There simply isn’t a lot of used buses that fit their budget and there are a lot of steps they have to take to attain them. Once they have the them, they plan to maintenance them before getting them up and running for regular use.

They will have to pass a very strict safety inspection before driving them.

“We try to be as frugal as possible with tax payer dollars,” said Seubert. He assures that Metro Ride will continue to provide service, even with used buses.

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