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County Commuter to roll out smaller buses

February 19, 1998

By STEVEN T. DENNIS

Staff Writer

New, smaller County Commuter buses will be traveling roads in the county by July 1.

The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday approved the federally subsidized purchase of three 18-seat buses for $285,000. The county's share is $28,500.

The buses will replace five 30-seat 1986 buses.

The older buses are being sold for about $2,000 each, said Kevin Cerrone, County Commuter supervisor. "There's just no market for them," he said.

The county will have nine 30-seat buses remaining.

County Commissioner James R. Wade said he's glad the bus service is making the move to smaller buses after years of watching nearly empty buses drive around. Wade said he'd like to replace more of the full-size buses.

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Cerrone also requested the purchase of two new paratransit vehicles at $52,000 each to expand curb-to-curb service to disabled residents in next year's budget. The county already has two paratransit vehicles and 100 clients, almost all of whom are confined to wheelchairs, Cerrone said.

The paratransit program is paid for entirely by a federal grant.

Wade also said the county should consider restarting a weekly run to Hancock and other towns on a trial basis with better promotion. The county had eliminated a run to Hancock and to Boonsboro, Sharpsburg and Keedysville after ridership dwindled to as low as one rider per trip, according to Transportation Superintendent Ted Wolford.

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