Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr. announced the addition of 19 new buses for the county’s Special Transportation System while unveiling the new arrivals at the Essex County Division of Senior Services in Verona Wednesday.
Coinciding with May’s designation as Older Americans Month, buses will be added to the fleet run under the county’s Division of Senior Services, which provides free transportation to the county’s senior citizens and disabled residents. Ten buses arrived this month with an additional nine to be delivered in June.
With the new buses, four of which were awarded to the county through a grant from the Federal Transit Administration, the county’s fleet will now number 46.
Several of the buses were used to replace 30 vehicles in the fleet, which were in disrepair when DiVincenzo took office, according to Jaklyn DeVore, director of Essex County Division of Senior Services.
“His priority is to get the fleet up to date,” DeVore stressed.
The new buses seat anywhere from 10 to 29 passengers, travel throughout Essex County and come equipped with the latest technology including cameras both inside and outside the vehicle and ramps to make vehicles easily accessible to handicapped passengers.
The buses run approximately 100,000 trips a year providing medical, social and recreational transportation, according to DeVore.
Last year DeVore said the buses provided transportation to the county’s Cherry Blossom Festival for seniors living in a retirement home.
“Many had not had the opportunity to get out,” DeVore noted. She added her department provided a trip to the park during “one of the most beautiful times of year.”