Merrill-Go-Round welcomes new additions to bus fleet
The Merrill-Go-Round recently welcomed new additions to its bus fleet, with the arrival of three 2020 Gille buses.
According to MTS (Merrill Transit System) Director Brad Brummond, the buses entered service in late-August.
Measuring 29-feet long with a 210 horsepower clean-diesel power plant, the new arrivals are replacing the prior fleet of Gille buses which have been in-service since 2004. The two remaining 2004’s will be replaced by early May.
“The Federal Transportation Administration recommends all busses measuring 29-feet and under be replaced after a 10-year service life, so we definitely got our share of use from them,” Brummond explains.
“They not only run on clean-diesel engines which release less emissions and are more environmentally friendly, but they also offer a unique seating feature which will allow us to better accommodate our community members, regardless of their physical needs.”
As Brummond further explains, the new buses feature six folding seats on the driver side interior and six permanent seats on the other side. The folding seats allow that area to be used by up to two two mobility devices, such as wheelchairs or scooters. The permanent seats then allow for other passengers to sit across the aisle.
“With our older buses, we didn’t have that capability. If we had folks on-board with a mobility device, there wasn’t room for anyone else to sit on the lower deck. So this is something we are pretty excited about.
The cost of the new busses is covered by federal grants according to Brummond while service and maintenance costs have been included in the departmental budget.