Using federal grants and stimulus funds private and public operators across the country are benefiting from capital assistance by the U.S. government. Motor Coach Industries (MCI) delivered three MCI D4505 coaches to Nashville, Tenn.-based Anchor Trailways and has orders for more than 23 D-Series coaches from Minneapolis' Jefferson Lines; Clearfield, Penn.-based Fullington Trailways; and Delta Bus Lines of Greenville, Miss. At the same time, MCI has delivered six D-Series commuter coach models to Metro RTA of Akron, Ohio, and has orders for five commuter coaches for Utah Transit Authority as well as one for Massachusetts' Cape Cod RTA.
Operators are making their purchases with funds available through various Federal Transit Administration programs including FTA 5311(f). Stimulus funds were added to FTA 5311(f) under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The 5311(f) program allows operators to obtain capital funding for equipment purchased to serve underserved rural areas, especially those not served by rail or smaller airlines.
Minnesota's Jefferson Lines will use the new D-Series coaches to operate existing service as well as some expanded service. Delta Bus Lines will expand service throughout Mississippi with five new commuter coaches. Anchor Trailways and Fullington Trailways plan to use their new coaches on scheduled service routes.
MCI said deliveries to these operators will begin at the end of summer and continue through fall.