WRTA shows off new wheels

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Mahoning County’s mass-transit service has some new vehicles on the road now that cater to its changing clientele.

The Western Reserve Transit Authority was showing off one of five new buses it recently purchased.

Thanks to federal funding, the agency only had to put up $98,000, the cost of just one new vehicle, to obtain all five.

WRTA Executive Director Jim Ferraro said they have seen a trend away from the larger buses that made up the bulk of their fleet in the past.

“We actually have 33 pieces of small equipment. Some small buses, some wheelchair lift-equipped vans, and we’re only at 38 full-size buses. It used to be 70,” said Ferraro.

Ferraro said a growing number of the agency’s riders are elderly, and some are disabled, requiring buses that can accommodate large wheel chairs. He said he also is seeing more Dial-a-Ride business from customers looking to get a lift from their homes to specific places as opposed to following regular bus routes.

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