Replacing Aging Transit Fleet a NOACA Priority
Of the five counties overseen by the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency, the mass transit systems in Cuyahoga and Lake county need a combined $68 million to replace aging vehicles. It's part of the $1.6 billion in projects NOACA considers a priority for the region's transportation needs.
NOACA will help Greater Cleveland RTA find more than $56 million in federal dollars to pay for 112 buses over the next four years. But according to an RTA spokesperson, that still leaves more than 30 buses that already need to be replaced.
In Lake county, the transit system will need more than $11 million to replace aging park-and-ride buses and paratransit vehicles. So far, Laketran has identified about $3 million in federal funds to pay for those buses, according to its general manager, Raymond Jurkowski.
“We need eight vehicles that carry people from our Park and Ride lots down into the city of Cleveland every day,” says Jurkowski. “They’re going to reach the end of their useful life over this period of time. And so far there’s only been enough money identified to replace one of those eight.”
Jurkowski adds that the funding so far pays for a fraction of the paratransit buses that need to be replaced.
“We’re gonna need twelve of those type of vehicles every year and there’s only enough funding for three of those vehicles every year for the next four years. So that leaves a gap of nine per year.”
Jurkowski says in the past, Laketran has not had to cut service because it has been able to work with NOACA to find federal money to cover the cost of aging vehicles.