Tennessee Department of Transportation Awards Grant for Accessible Vans
Clarksville, TN – The Clarksville Transit System (CTS) is growing its fleet, recently adding four new paratransit vans and three heavy-duty buses.
CTS was awarded a competitive grant from the Tennessee Department of Transportation to fund the new accessible paratransit vans earlier in September.
“These vans will be used for the CTS paratransit service, otherwise known as “The Lift” service,” said Paul Nelson, interim CTS director.
“These new vans will allow CTS to replace four of our older ones, cutting down on the required maintenance, and therefore saving time and money and allowing us to operate more efficiently,” Nelson stated.
The Lift paratransit service is an alternative, origin to destination, public transportation service for qualified disabled and elderly passengers.
It is designed to be complementary to the fixed-route bus service in terms of service times and areas.
Passengers on this service use it to access employment, entertainment, and most importantly, medical services. CTS paratransit vans also transport clients to dialysis centers in Clarksville.
“CTS’s service area is over 100 square miles,” Nelson said. “With a service area this large, our vehicles endure many miles. Our paratransit vans travel over 50,000 miles per year. This grant allows for the replacement of our aging vehicles, and will enable CTS to keep providing service at a high quality.”
Nelson said the vans should be in use by the summer of 2020.
In addition to being awarded the grant, CTS added three heavy-duty buses to its fleet.
“These three new Heavy-Duty 30-foot Gillig, low-floor buses will allow us to retire three old buses which have accumulated nearly 2.1 million miles,” Nelson said.
The cost of each new bus is $456,000, for a total of $1,368,000, with 80 percent funded by Federal Transit Administration grants, 10 percent by TDOT grants and the remaining 10 percent from local funding.
Improved features on these new buses include:
- Low floor accessibility instead of stairs and mechanical lifts.
- Safer, improved seat design and layout.
- Digital front and rear destination signs.
- Nine high definition security cameras.
- Latest safety features.
- Numerous upgrades to the Operator’s area.
Procurement, inspection, production and delivery of buses takes nearly 16 months in total. The buses will be in use by early October.
“CTS is the sole provider of public transportation for the Clarksville urbanized area, and in being so, provides a vast amount of service to the area,” Nelson said. “These upgrades to our fleet allow us to continue serving the City with top-quality public transportation service.”