Ill.’s Greater Peoria Mass Transit District (GPMTD) entered into a contract with Central States Bus Sales Inc. for the purchase and delivery of 26 new paratransit (CityLift) vehicles.

The new vehicles are Ford E450 body-on-chassis with a Champion Challenger body. They will have the capacity to accommodate up to 14 passengers and numerous wheelchairs. The contract GPMTD entered into with Central States Bus Sales Inc. for the 26 vehicles, includes an option to purchase an additional 14 paratransit vehicles over the next five years.

“We are confident that the new paratransit vehicles from Central States Bus Sales Inc. will improve CityLift service from an operational standpoint, and it will also better the passenger experience. These vehicles have a specially designed roof to increase passenger safety and the latest enhancements in seatbelt and wheelchair securements,” said Andrew Dwyer, CityLink director, mobility.

GPMTD was awarded a paratransit vehicles grant in June 2016 from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) through the Buses and Bus Facilities Grant Program — 5339. The amount awarded from the FTA was $1,421,467, which will pay 85% of the total cost for GPMTD to replace the current fleet of aging paratransit vehicles. Local funding will pay the remaining 15%.

GPMTD expects to begin receiving the new paratransit vehicles in July 2017.

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