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CitiBus getting vehicle upgrades

CitiBus getting vehicle upgrades
Posted on 11/06/2020

CitiBus vehicles will get a trio of upgrades that will make buses safer for riders and the motoring public following City Council approval on Nov. 10. The upgrades, totaling $266,083.94, include collision avoidance, wheelchair securement and surveillance system.

John Powell, CitiBus manager said the improvements will make the buses better. The collision avoidance and surveillance upgrades are funded with assistance through the federal transit capital improvement program that requires a 20 percent match from the City. The wheelchair securement system is funded through the CARES Act.

“When all these improvements get installed, we will have one of the better fleets in the country,” he said. “These additions will really make the buses safer.”

The COVID-19 pandemic made the need for a better wheelchair securement system apparent. Now, when a person in a wheelchair boards the bus, the driver has to assist them to get secured and that means the driver is often leaning over or very close to that person.

With the new system, the wheelchair-bound person will board the bus and move into place and be secured by the press of a button, avoiding the need for assistance from the driver.

“It is safer from a health perspective,” Powell said.

The current surveillance system is about eight years old so needs replacing, Powell said. The new system will be able to record sound throughout the bus and has high definition cameras inside and out of the bus. Also, the system will download video at the end of each day. Currently, if video is needed, the hard drive has to be removed from the bus and placed in a cradle to download.

The collision avoidance system will help drivers from when they leave on their routes to the time they return, Powell said. All but one accident Powell can recall during his tenure have been minor.