Columbia to receive federal money for new buses

Wednesday, December 16, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CST

COLUMBIA — Columbia Transit is getting some new rides.

The city will receive $1 million from the federal government to replace aging city buses.

Public Works Department spokeswoman Jill Stedem said the money allows the city to buy three to five new vehicles. The department has not decided what kinds of buses it will purchase or which existing buses it will replace.

A new bus costs about $400,000, and a new Para-Transit van costs about $60,000.

Of the 29 buses and eight Para-Transit vans in service, Stedem said 15 need to be replaced based on age, but they are still usable.

The department has already ordered five new buses with stimulus money. Stedem said she thinks those will be put into the fleet in the spring.

Stedem said the waiting period for a new bus to be built is about 18 months.

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