LANSING - It was a big day for Capital Area Transportation Authority.
"We unveiled new buses coming to the Lansing, East Lansing regional area," said CATA CEO Bradley Funkhouser.
With the addition of 23 brand new buses.
But these aren't the ordinary CATA buses.
"It's not only customer focused, but it will help us with the environment," Funkhouser said. "It will help us with delivering better service and safety. So, we were thrilled about having these buses on the street."
These American made buses are uniquely designed to answer customer and driver requests adding and modifying the features.
"Customers asked for new features like USB ports and Wifi capabilities," said Funkhouser. "Our drivers asked for improved safety capabilities and you'll see in this bus it's almost a fishbowl like environment where the sight lines are very easily made with customers coming on the bus and exiting."
These are the first new additions the company has seen in years thanks to the state and federal governments helping fund the new buses.
"So, right now, a 60 foot bus cost about $737,000," Funkhouser said. "We haven't made a large bus purchase in a number of years, but these are much less than the other ones so these were the low bid, but the features are certainly what we concentrated on."
Not only are the new feature high tech nut each bus is now more environmentally friendly.
"We partnered with Board of Water and Light as part of this purchase, moving from the hybrids back to diesel," Funkhouser said. "So, we were an investor in the solar farm and we have since also gone 100% renewable electricity and power with the Board of Water and Light. So, it was kind of a package deal, but we were able to get more buses by doing the clean diesel."
CATA is excited to announce the launch of its new nova buses and deliver several points from the companies new plan.
You might see these buses driving around as drivers are trained the next few weeks and riders will officially be able to board by the end of this month.
"These are very well made buses," Funkhouser said. "I'm very excited to have these on the street. They may look simple on the outside, but on the inside these are high tech, great looking buses and i think the public should be thrilled about them."