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Three new buses replace city’s aging fleet

Glenwood Springs is preparing to roll out three new buses to replace its existing fleet.

The city is awaiting delivery of the vehicles for its Ride Glenwood service.

The buses cost about $115,000 each. City engineer Larry Thompson said the city will receive around $200,000 in federal funds, and make up the remaining $145,000 or so itself.



The new buses will put an end to relying on the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority to provide buses rather than using the city’s old fleet.

Thompson said the current buses are about seven years old and have more than 400,000 miles on each of them. The vehicles normally would be expected to last around five years and 250,000 to 300,000 miles, he said.



“Those buses, RFTA’s really done a good job of maintaining them,” Thompson said. “We’ve squeezed I think about as many miles out of them as we possibly could.”

The city contracts with RFTA to provide its Ride Glenwood service. Thompson said RFTA also has been good about providing substitute buses for no extra charge.

This summer, RFTA used its buses rather than Glenwood’s to service the Ride Glenwood route. Besides the Glenwood buses being old, their air conditioning didn’t work very well, Thompson said.

Now, RFTA has started its busy winter service and needs its vehicles elsewhere, so it has put the old Glenwood buses back in service, pending delivery of the new ones. Thompson said RFTA replaced an engine in one of the old buses.

Thompson said the first of the three buses is scheduled to arrive any day.

Ride Glenwood normally uses two buses at any one time, allowing for maintenance and repairs to be done on the third one. Thompson said the city also probably will keep one of its old vehicles as a spare.

The new buses are basically updated versions of the ones being replaced. Thompson said it would have been nice to look at ones that are environmentally friendlier and have other upgrades, but the Ride Glenwood budget doesn’t allow for that.

“We’re still struggling a little bit with funding the bus service that we want to put out there,” he said.


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