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New sleek 35-ft CAT buses hit the streets
Posted on July 2, 2018
Buses will enhance customers’ transit experience
Savannah, GA – June 29, 2018 – Officials with the Chatham Area Transit Authority today placed 16 new 35-ft buses into service after weeks of extensive testing and installation of radios, software systems, and backup cameras on the vehicles.
The new buses will replace many of the older buses in the fleet, some with odometer readings of nearly 706,000 miles.
“We are pleased the new buses are in service for our customers and our operators are too,” CEO Curtis Koleber said. We are taking extremely old equipment, past the industry’s standard of useful life, out of our fleet and replacing these nearly antique buses with new state-of-the-art vehicles,” Koleber said.
Featuring wider aisles, ample seating for more than 30 people, standing room for up to 30 more, and a superior air conditioning system, the new buses will enhance the transit experience for customers and provide a smoother ride.
Frequent bus rider Lester Tisby has been riding CAT buses for nearly 30 years.
“I began riding in 1989 and I know the drivers and managers well and have seen lots of changes. It is a good thing that we are finally getting new buses that will make the customer experience better and the service more reliable for people like me,” Tisby said.
Last year’s annual combined ridership for the transit agency’s fixed route buses, CAT Mobility services, and water ferries totaled nearly 4 million passenger trips.
Funding for the new vehicles is the result of a successful grant application to the State of Georgia’s GO! Transit program, administered by the State Road and Tollway Authority (SRTA). Approximately 80 percent of the $10.7 million purchase was SRTA funding and the remaining 20 percent was from the Chatham County Special Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST).
The vehicles were assembled by one of the transit industry’s premier bus manufacturers, Gillig, LLC located in Livermore, CA and began arriving earlier than anticipated after an 18 to 24-month production schedule. Under the current contract, Gillig will begin production on two more trolley vehicles next month.