There has been a new edition to the Transportation family– twins, in fact. However, before you head over to Waldo County Public Transportation to find out who to congratulate, know that the twins we’re talking about drink gasoline from a nozzle and not milk from a bottle. Yes, they’re twin buses– they are, however, about as new as a newborn.
They were expected to arrive at 1 p.m. However, it was only a little after noon that WCAP staff recall looking out their office windows to see something large and fiery red in color blocking their view. Moments later, the girls from the Transportation department were gathered on the back porch (pictured to the left) looking out excitedly at what one could chance to say is the largest package WCAP has ever had delivered to its doors. “Oh, wow– I like the front,” staff member Elaine Saucier, commented as she watched the buses turn around. “First customer,” and “first passenger” everyone exclaimed excitedly as staff member Heidi Russo stepped onto the new buses to show the drivers where the buses were to be parked.
A little while later, a couple of staff members were able to take a walk over to the new buses with Ed Murphy, WCAP’s Transportation Director, and Dean Hustus (pictured at the top), one of the program’s bus drivers, who wasted no time checking out all of the controls and features of the new buses he and some of the other drivers would be driving.
Ed explained how WCAP ended up lucky enough to have these two brand new buses. He explained that Maine came across some American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) funding that resulted in a couple of new vehicles being given to Transportation providers throughout the state. “They’re probably the first real buses we’ve had in the history of the program,” Ed shared. “We’ve had a lot of what they call bus-on-body cutaways but this is an international regular bus chasse with an El Dorado body.”
The buses are 2011 models and are brand new. They hold 20 passengers and up to two wheelchairs. The interior is fairly spacious, with plush patterened purple seats similar to those of a charter bus. When Dean was asked if he was excited to drive the new buses he replied, “Well, yes!” With a pleasant smile. “I’m going to have to get used to the length of it.,” he added, to which Ed added “And height!” Needless to say, these buses are big in size and effect– they will be making a difference for the Transportation department and its clients in a huge way.