By JOHN FLOWERS
MIDDLEBURY — A combined total of four buses at Addison County Transit Resources (ACTR) and Elderly Services Inc. will be replaced by the end of this year, thanks to a cut of $3.9 million in federal stimulus money.
The two local nonprofits were among a list of nine Vermont public transit providers that will share in the federal grant awards, confirmed last week by the state’s congressional delegation.
Locally, the federal money will allow ACTR to replace one aging bus and Elderly Services to replace three. All four buses have 14-20 seats, are more than five years old and have traveled in excess of 150,000 miles, according to ACTR Executive Director James Moulton.
“Many buses have gone beyond their useful life,” Moulton said of some vehicles within the two agencies’ fleets.
“We are not adding to our fleets, we are just replacing older vehicles,” he stressed.
ACTR owns and operates 12 vehicles in its fleet; Elderly Services has 10. Elderly Services uses its vehicles to shuttle its senior clients to and from its services, which include the very popular Project Independence program held at the agency’s headquarters on Exchange Street.
Moulton said the new ACTR bus will be mixed into the agency’s public transportation routes, which include the Middlebury In-Town Shuttle, the Tri-town Shuttle and the Snow Bowl run.
Other Vermont transportation agencies that will together share in the $3.9 million to buy 33 buses and vans include Advance Transit in Wilder, Chittenden County Transportation Authority in Burlington, Connecticut River Transit in Rockingham, Deerfield Valley Transit Association in West Dover, Green Mountain Community Network in Bennington, Marble Valley Regional Transit District in Rutland, Rural Community Transportation in St. Johnsbury and Stagecoach Transportation in Randolph.