Bus Passengers Can Expect Smoother Ride in the Near Future

Passengers can expect a smoother bus ride after CARTA receive grant money.

TDOT applied for the grant on behalf of 10 agencies in coordination with the Tennessee Public Transportation Association.

The purpose of the grant is to help the agencies replace their public buses that have exceeded their shelf life.

CARTA was awarded 7 million dollars by the federal government; TDOT matched that by 25 percent and another 10 percent was matched by local agencies.

“Without their partnership it would have been a lot more money for us to come up with.”, said CARTA Executive Director Lisa Maragnano.

During a sit down interview, Maragnano explained why it is necessary for a major upgrade in transportation.

“Our fleet of vehicles, we have 20 vehicles that are 2009 or older. The oldest ones we have are 2002. Between those 20 vehicles we have 15 million miles.”

With matches from TDOT, the total award reaches up to 11 million dollars according to CARTA.

Marignano says if not for this grant, it would cost them more money in the long run.

“Saves money on parts, saves money on labor as far as that goes. We don’t have to keep rebuilding engines and doing that type of thing.”

The new buses will also have an environmental plus side.

“They will be much more efficient then the vehicles we have now and much more environmental than the vehicles we have now that are diesel.”

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