AUBURN — It’s not a new bus, but for $1,800, the Twin Cities can’t pass it up.
Marsha Bennett, transit coordinator for the Lewiston-Auburn Transit Committee, said Lewiston-Auburn will send one of its Citylink drivers to New York State sometime next month to take delivery of a 35-foot-long 2003 Orion bus.
All it will cost is the fuel to send the driver down, the fuel to drive back and a purple stripe that will be plastered down the side of the white bus, marking it as part of the Citylink fleet.
“That’s a deal that you really cannot beat,” Bennett said.
The LATC board met Wednesday afternoon and agreed to the deal, Bennett said.
The bus is one of 11 coming to Maine under a deal brokered by the Maine Department of Transportation and the state of New York.
The buses all come from a reduced Westchester County, N.Y., transit system. The buses, technically owned by the Federal Transit Authority, would simply be transferred from FTA’s New York region to Maine.
Bennett said the Citylink driver will carpool down to New York with drivers from other Maine bus systems. According to the deal, five buses will go to Bangor’s BAT Area Connector, three will go to Biddeford-Saco’s bus system, two will go to South Portland and one will come to Lewiston-Auburn’s Citylink system.
The bus will replace one of Citylink’s 2003 Thomas SLF buses. Orion buses have a reputation for durability and are manufactured in New York State and Canada. Bennett said the Citylink system has had trouble with the Thomas buses because parts for them are difficult to get.
“So, we get a more durable bus with replacement parts that are easily available,” Bennett said.