Bay Town Trolley Debuts New Bus Friday - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Bay Town Trolley Debuts New Bus Friday

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A bus is being added to the Bay Town Trolley fleet starting Friday as the first of five upgraded vehicles hits the roadway.

"Our fleet is getting older and so it needs to be rejuvenated," said Gene Keen the Chief Administration Manager for the company. "So, we are working toward doing that and this is part of that effort."

The new buses are igniting that effort phasing out older vehicles from the challenges of the fixed route system by replacing old wood panel seating and bell systems.

"The riders are going to see upgrades in seating," said Keen. "The seating will be real nice for them as well as the air conditioning will be extra robust for our area and the humidity in our area.

"So, we hope they will have a more comfortable ride."

Bay Town Trolley is a public transportation system, Keen says one of the best things about the new wheels? They are all federally funded.

"They are funded through federal grants," said Keen. "So, as money is made available we order them and go out and try to keep the fleet in good operating condition."

And not only should passengers be anticipating the new ride, Keen says the company's drivers are already learning the ropes.

"The drivers have looked at them and they are excited," he said. "As a matter of fact, the first driver that will drive one tomorrow was in just a little bit ago going over it and making sure she was familiar with it.

"So, they are excited about it."

The new buses by International Truck and Engine Company are a much needed upgrade for what Keen says is a vital part of moving people in Bay County.

"We think it's extremely important," said Keen. "We gave over 778,000 rides last year, so that helps get people to work and places to shop and help gives the tourists ride to places to have fun."

The first of the new bus fleet will hit the road Friday on the Lynn Haven to Panama City route. The remaining four will be rolled out over the next few weeks.