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A $1.55 million Federal Transit Administration stimulus grant, distributed through the Wyoming Department of Transportation, will fund improvements to the University of Wyoming's TransPark services.
The allocated funds will be used to purchase six new low-floor diesel buses, which will replace older buses that the university currently rents, and a hybrid SUV for UW's evening Night Owl service. The university also plans to purchase fare collection equipment for the buses, upgrade its dispatch software/hardware and improve security at the bus garage.
"We are very excited to receive this stimulus funding from the FTA and WYDOT, because without it, we would not have the means to make such improvements in our services," says Paul Kunkel, manager of UW's Transit and Parking Department. "I am looking forward to beginning the purchase process and replacing the older buses as soon as possible."
The six new buses will improve the reliability and efficiency of the overall fleet and route system, Kunkel says. The buses will feature a low-floor design, which can improve loading times and aid entry into the bus, and feature a "clean diesel" design that will eliminate most nitrogen oxide emissions.
The buses will be put out for bid this spring and should arrive in eight months to a year, depending on manufacturer lead times.