ASHEVILLE, NC – The City of Asheville, N.C. has replaced nine buses in its transit fleet with newer vehicles, including two hybrid buses and seven diesels. The new vehicles began partial service on Dec. 5, and the City expects them to be offering normal service by Dec. 15.
The City purchased four of the new buses with a mix of federal earmark funds and State and City funds. Former Rep. Heath Shuler in 2008 and 2009, and section 5309 of the Federal Transit Administration, helped the City secure the federal funds, and they allow for an 80% funding match.
To pay the remaining cost of the vehicles, 10% of the needed funds came from the State of North Carolina’s Department of Transportation and the rest from the City of Asheville. The City paid for the other five buses with money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which covered 100% of the cost. With this replacement, 14 out of 21 buses in the City’s fleet are new.
The newest buses come equipped with automated passenger count technology that reports ridership data to the Asheville Regional Transit. The buses also feature bike racks, as they have in the past.