COLUMBIA — Five new buses for public transportation are on their way to Columbia, pending a final vote of the City Council on April 20.
The city has secured $1.74 million in federal stimulus money to pay for the 40-foot low-floor buses manufactured by Gillig.
Gillig supplied the two newest buses in Columbia’s fleet. The additional buses will be equipped with the same amenities bus riders have become accustomed to, including bike racks on the front of the buses, security cameras and fare boxes, city Transportation Manager Ken Koopmans said.
Koopmans said Columbia has long been in line to receive the federal grant.
“We have a population of more than 50,000 and less than 200,000,” Koopmans said. “It’s based on a formula.”
Because many cities are receiving similar grants, Koopmans predicts Gillig will be backed up with bus orders. He expects Columbians will have to wait at least 12 to 14 months before the new buses arrive.
“We’re already in their production schedule,” Koopmans said. “The fact that we are a repeat customer helped.”