AUBURN — Maintenance issues and problems getting parts have sidelined seven of Citylink’s 10 purple buses, according to Lewiston-Auburn Transit Committee officials.

Transit Coordinator Marsha Bennett said the buses were taken out of service for issues ranging from delays in getting parts to regular maintenance.

“There are a lot of factors,” Bennett said. “There’s probably a little bit of everything that goes into this. We have the unreliability of our Bluebird buses, we have the human factor involved, the person driving or the person doing maintenance or the person doing data entry on a computer.”

Service to Citylink’s bus routes around Lewiston-Auburn has not suffered, she said. Western Maine Transportation Services, the contractor hired to manage and maintain the Citylink fleet, is running buses from Mountain Explorer service on the Lewiston-Auburn routes.

Bennett said the Citylink issues are not connected to a state review of Western Maine Transportation inspection protocols. A state audit performed in April and May found 17 violations of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, including nine violations for failing to keep appropriate maintenance records and eight for problems with anti-lock brake systems and speedometers.

The violations occurred with Western Maine’s fleet of 25 handicapped-accessible and on-demand buses, not with the Citylink fleet. Bennett said the Lewiston-Auburn Transit Committee plans to do its own audit of Western Maine’s maintenance.

“We just want to verify the findings and have our own review,” Bennett said. “We don’t want to let this slide. We want to make sure we’re on the same page with Western Maine, to see if there is anything we can do to improve their service.”

Sandra Buchanan, general manager for Western Maine Transportation Services, said she stands behind her organization’s safety records. The problems are being corrected, she said.

“We are not talking about steering or braking issues,” she said. “Most of these were problems with windshield wipers or headlights, things that maintenance staff figured the buses would not be using that day. We need to make sure everyone understands this is a different situation than with your own car. We have a responsibility to make sure every single thing on that vehicle is working.”

Bennett said the biggest maintenance problems for Citylink are with three of LATC’s four Blue Bird buses, purchased in 2006. One of the Blue Bird buses is in Scarborough waiting for a new engine and two are sidelined in Auburn, waiting for a fuel tank strap and turn signal parts.

This is the fourth time LATC has had to replace an engine in one of the Blue Bird buses. Problems with a front suspension bolt in 2008 forced the LATC to pull three of the four Blue Bird buses from service for several days while awaiting replacement parts.

“Those Blue Birds are still plaguing us,” Bennett said. “It takes forever for us to get parts for them.”

Two 2002 SLF buses were sidelined waiting for replacement parts, one for a new turn signal and another for problems with power.

One of the authority’s newest buses, a Gillig purchased in 2011, is awaiting repairs for power issues.

“We have three Gilligs and two of them work great,” Bennett said. “The other, we’ve had issues on it before and we thought we had it fixed. But it’s back.”

A 2008 Eldorado bus is also sidelined for regular maintenance.

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