The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) awarded a $5.3 million contract to dealer Apple Ford for the purchase of 147 new mobility vehicles.
The MTA has updated some of its fleet this year with Ford Taurus Police Interceptor cars since most of the state’s mobility customers are not wheelchair-bound, and therefore, do not require the larger mobility vehicles.
Each new car is equipped with a two-way radio, Ranger computer, backup camera and safety apparatus. Through the state contract, the MTA was able to purchase and receive these vehicles in four months, compared to 18 to 24 months for the larger vehicles. Purchasing the smaller vehicles allowed the MTA to get three cars for the price of one larger vehicle — a roughly $9.7 million savings to taxpayers.
“These new vehicles are all-wheel drive with good suspension and bigger tires offering a much more comfortable ride to our mobility customers,” said MTA Administrator/CEO Paul Comfort. “We chose the Ford Taurus because the majority of our passengers don’t require the big wheelchair vehicles to get them where they need to go. These new cars offer a more comfortable ride, lower maintenance costs, better fuel economy and better functionality for our drivers.”
MTA Director of Mobility Carl W. Parr Jr., said, “The reduced fuel consumption is expected to yield a savings of $1.5 million a year with another $1 million-a-year savings in maintenance costs. The new vehicles will be distributed to the MTA’s three mobility vendors — First Transit, MV Transportation and TransDev — with all vehicles in service within the next three to four months.”