Wichita Transit officials today rolled out 10 new buses that begin serving riders today, May 2. During a morning news conference, Mayor Carl Brewer joined other City Council Members, Transit Director Steve Spade and business partners to promote the new buses, which are part of ongoing efforts to upgrade an aging fleet, expand service and engage residents on other Transit improvements. The rollout was held in front of Wichita City Hall.
The fleet upgrade began with four new buses in 2013. Ten more are scheduled to come into service in 2015, totaling 24 over three years. Eleven more buses need to be replaced.
The 10 new buses have low-floor access. They are equipped with free wireless internet connections, security cameras, and automated passenger counters. They are more fuel efficient and meet the latest air quality standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Transit officials have been working with stakeholders to improve air quality, protect the health of residents, and offer improved transportation options for the Wichita area. A recently published health impact assessment (HIA), conducted by the Topeka-based Kansas Health Institute, revealed the health and social benefits of an expanded, enhanced and more effective public transportation system.
“By providing a more reliable, convenient and cleaner Transit service, we are contributing to the overhaul health of the community,” Council Member Janet Miller said. “Park your personal vehicles and ride Transit instead.”
Spade said the new buses are “part of long-term plan to modernize the fleet and improve service.”