November 25, 2009

D.C. Metro donating buses to transport homeless

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) is donating two 15-year-old Metrobuses that were retired to the District of Columbia’s Department of Human Services (DCDHS) to be used to transport people who are homeless to shelters just in time for the winter season.

 

Two 1994 buses that have driven 1,457,143 cumulative miles were removed from Metro’s fleet and replaced with new buses earlier this year. The old vehicles, numbers 9489 and 9492, have a 31-seat capacity, bicycle racks and wheelchair lifts. The buses will be able to accommodate and provide accessible transportation in greater capacity for people in the city who are homeless.

 

Typically, Metro recycles or sells its retired buses for scrap metal. Instead, the donated buses were decommissioned with the removal of their radio communication systems and fareboxes. The buses will maintain the old blue and red striped paint scheme of the early 1990s, however the Metro logos were removed so that regular Metrobus customers will not mistake these old buses for ones currently in service.

 

The buses will be used to transport people who are homeless from designated pick-up stops specified by the District of Columbia’s 2009-2010 Winter Plan, which was developed in collaboration with the District of Columbia’s Interagency Council on Homelessness and DCDHS. The buses will also be a part of the DCDHS “Hypothermia Watch Partner Program,” which is an outreach program bringing awareness to the needs of people who are homeless during hypothermia season, November 1 through March 31, according to DCDHS.

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