Lafayette, Ind.-based CityBus received an FTA competitive grant award of $485,760 for safety related projects. The agency will use the funding to install pedestrian detection systems on its fleet of nearly seventy fixed-route vehicles. The total amount of the project including local funds comes to $607,200.
The funding comes from a Section 5339 Bus and Bus Facilities Infrastructure Investment program, which is dedicated to providing funding for capital projects that improve, rehabilitate or replace existing transit vehicles and vehicle equipment.
The system that CityBus will install will cost about $8,000 per vehicle, with some money set aside for replacement parts. Bus operators are alerted any time a pedestrian enters a blind spot near the vehicle. CityBus applied for the funds in response to the growing population density in downtown Lafayette and West Lafayette.
“We are keeping an eye on the increasing density of the urban development taking place near campus,” said Bryce Gibson, manager of development. “Our drivers are always vigilant for potential vehicle-pedestrian conflicts. We want to make sure they have all the tools they need to avoid a tragic situation.”
The agency operates hundreds of thousands of miles on some of the busiest streets in the Greater Lafayette area. The goal of this project is to add an extra layer of protection for pedestrians, according to agency officials. CityBus plans to begin upgrading its vehicles with the new technology this fall.