SMART-er still: New buses join public fleet

Photo courtesy of the city of Taylor. Bus riders at the William D. Ford Senior Activities Center joined SMART and city officials for the dedication of two new buses that joined the public transportation fleet. Among the attendees at Monday’s ceremony were Mayor Rick Sollars; City Clerk Cindy Bowers; City Councilors Angela Croft, Alex Garza and Tim Woolley; Senior Center events coordinator Lori Runkle; and Director of Golf, Parks and Recreation Jeff Dobek.

Photo courtesy of the city of Taylor. Bus riders at the William D. Ford Senior Activities Center joined SMART and city officials for the dedication of two new buses that joined the public transportation fleet. Among the attendees at Monday’s ceremony were Mayor Rick Sollars; City Clerk Cindy Bowers; City Councilors Angela Croft, Alex Garza and Tim Woolley; Senior Center events coordinator Lori Runkle; and Director of Golf, Parks and Recreation Jeff Dobek.

By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers

TAYLOR – Public transportation became a smoother ride Monday with the dedication of two new buses to the Southeast Michigan Area Rapid Transit fleet that provides rides for seniors and the disabled.

City officials noted that Taylor was among the original partners when SMART was launched in 1996, and has provided rides to residents 50 years of age and older and those with disabilities through federal and state funding.

Last week saw the introduction of nearly 70 new Champion Challenger buses built on GMC chassis. The 23-foot vehicles can hold 13 passengers and two wheelchairs, and have cutting-edge safety and accessibility features.

During a ceremony Monday at the William D. Ford Senior Activities Center, 6750 Troy, Mayor Rick Sollars said the addition to the local fleet will continue the city’s mission of providing quality-of-life upgrades.

“The senior center plays a huge role in so many lives,” Sollars said. “These buses are a key to the services that we provide.”

SMART bus service in Taylor last year included more than 7,600 rides for seniors, part of more than 100,000 annual rides given in Wayne County to medical appointments, banking, shopping and recreational outings.

The SMART Community Partnership Programs provides funding and resources for local transportation programs. For information about transportation opportunities call 313-291-7740.

(James Mitchell can be reached at jmitchell@bewickpublications.com.)

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