Cobb inks $8.3M deal for a dozen new buses

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Nov. 26—Cobb County will purchase 12 new natural gas-powered buses at the cost of around $8.3 million for CobbLinc, the county's bus transit service.

Given final approval by county commissioners last week, the deal will replace aging, vehicles in CobbLinc's 70-bus fleet. Each bus being replaced is, on average, 12 years old and has 625,000 miles on it.

When delivered, the buses will be ready for service with new fare boxes, radios, and vehicle locator systems.

"Replacement of these vehicles will enhance the reliability of daily operations, service delivery, customer service, safety, and management of CobbLinc, as well as reduce ongoing maintenance costs associated with the older buses," Transportation Director Drew Raessler wrote in the agenda item.

The vast majority of the purchase — 80% — will be covered by grants from the Federal Transit Administration totaling $6.6 million. The remaining $1.7 million will be covered by the county.

Raessler told the Board of Commissioners the roughly 40-seat buses will likely be used on two of the county's more popular routes, Route 10 and Route 30. The former provides service from Midtown Atlanta to the Marietta transfer center, while the latter travels from Marietta through south Cobb to the H.E. Holmes MARTA station in west Atlanta.

The vote on the contract passed 4-1, with Commissioner Keli Gambrill opposed. Gambrill did not state the reason for her vote.

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