FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 04, 2005
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG AND METROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY CHAIRMAN PETER S. KALIKOW ANNOUNCE THE DELIVERY OF NEW BUSES FOR THE MTA BUS COMPANY
MTA Commences Express Service in the Bronx and Replaces Aging Buses
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Chairman Peter S. Kalikow today made good on their promise to provide new buses for the MTA Bus Company. The Bus Company accepted delivery of new express coaches, beginning the modernization of the fleet operated by the City's franchised bus companies. The City successfully acquired the assets of Liberty Lines, paving the way for the MTA Bus Company to commence express service in the Bronx as of today. As a result, ten new buses will be used in the Bronx to immediately replace antiquated vehicles previously operated by Liberty Lines Express Incorporated. 5,000 riders use the routes each day. The Mayor greeted commuters boarding the new buses at 236th Street and Riverdale Avenue in the Bronx.
"Today is an important milestone for Bronx bus riders," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Those who depend on express bus service to get to work and school will be able to ride new, clean and reliable buses. The delivery of these new vehicles provides the first tangible evidence of service improvements that the MTA makes possible."
"I am excited about this first step. Customers in the Bronx will now be able to experience the same quality and commitment the MTA displays to all of its riders," said MTA Chairman Kalikow. "These buses will be ADA-accessible, adding a new dimension of service for our customers with disabilities, and will also be more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly. These buses will replace aging fleets that are prone to breakdowns and expensive repairs and will provide long-awaited relief for our riders."
In November 2004, the MTA was given the authority to allocate funds from its capital plan to purchase 125 new buses. These funds provided a down payment toward replacing buses that are past their useful lives. The fleet currently operated by the City's franchised companies is on average more than 12 years old. To accelerate the delivery of the new buses, the MTA exercised an existing contract option that enabled these vehicles to be in operation by the end of 2005. Ten of these buses have been delivered to the MTA Bus Company and will be placed in service over the next two weeks. The remainder of the bus order is expected to be delivered Spring 2005.
In addition, $132 million in federal funding is available that will enable the MTA Bus Company to purchase approximately 300 more express and local buses. Another $242 million remains in a capital reserve established by the MTA Board for further bus improvements. Use of these funds, as well as the federal monies, is dependant upon approval by the MTA Capital Program Review Board.
Edward Skyler / Jordan Barowitz (212) 788-2958
Tom Kelly (Metropolitan Transportation Authority) (212) 878-7440
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