The City of Wayne's Transit system recently added a 2021 Ford 14 passenger bus to its fleet.
The bus has 12 seats with a lift ramp for two wheelchair accessible places in back of the vehicle.
The City Transit was able to use the federal CARES Funds to purchase this new vehicle. These funds provided 100 percent of the cost, without any cost sharing from the city. The new vehicle replaces an older 2004, nine-passenger van.
Currently, the City Transit's fleet includes the following: a 2008 Chevy, seven-passenger van: a 2012 Dodge Wheel chair Handicapped Van: a 2018 Dodge seven-passenger Van and the 2021 Ford bus. At the present time, the new bus is mainly used to provide transport for after-school youth. Parents are encouraged to contact the City Transit to provide after/before school transport. The school does not set up these rides, as they are arranged at the request of private citizens of Wayne.
"The bus does allow us to provide transport for larger wheelchairs that will not fit in our current 2012 wheel chair accessible van. We do have a limit of transport according to seating availability of the vehicle being used," said Diane Bertrand, Wayne City Transit Manager.
Currently the City Transit runs between the hours of 7:45 a.m. and 4 p.m. Normally there is only one van driver on staff throughout the day, Bertand (or other trained staff who is on the schedule for that day) is able to assist when able and needed throughout the day.
All drivers are required to take 16 hours of training upon hiring, plus four hours of continuing education and training each year. Drivers are also subject to be available for Random Drug testing as their name is drawn from the Federal Transportation pool.
"We are an on-demand service with pickup times available by calling (402) 375-1460. Transport is dependent on whether or not that time slot is already taken," Bertrand said.
Van drivers at the present time include Dan Carroll, Frank Sheda, and part-time drivers Roger Hochstein, Phil Does and Denny Spangler. Halie Chinn serves as part-time dispatcher and also assists with Senior Center Assistant duties.
There remains a Federal mandate that both drivers and riders are required to wear a face mask during transport that is currently in place until Jan. 18, 2022.