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Dunn County Transit announces new Doorstop bus

Submitted by Dolly Catlin, Transit Commission Manager

DUNN COUNTY, WI – Dunn County Transit announced on March 22, 2018 the availability of a new Doorstop bus providing services to the disabled and elderly from “doorstop to doorstop”. 

“The bus includes the special option chosen specifically to increase wheelchair capacity. We added an extra two positions, so we can now carry four wheelchairs at one time rather than the standard two,” said Dolly Catlin, Transit Commission Manager at Dunn County Transit (DCT). “We have seen a 28% increase in ridership in our paratransit service in 2017, and wanted a vehicle to meet this growth in demand.”

Positive Customer Impact

Customers and driver benefits from a new Doorstop bus include increased interior maneuverability from, increased overall length, more foldable seats, a rear side-lift, full length tie-down tracking and wider double doors.

Bus Replacement Availability

This new bus purchase is motivated by Dunn County Transit’s commitment to replace an aging fleet. Transit Asset Management is an ongoing concern across the state of Wisconsin and the country as a whole.  DCT has been running a seven bus fleet composed of 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014 models, with mileage readings ranging from 141,600 to 182,400 for five of the seven vehicles.  Wisconsin Department of Transportation useful life standards for all rolling stock is determined by years of service and /or accumulation of miles; medium transit buses standards are 5 years or 150,000 miles. 

The DCT program is run through funding provided by the US Department of Transportation, the Federal Transit Administration and the Wisconsin Department of Transit. Local share is provided by the government of Dunn County, the City of Menomonie and UW Stout Student Senate Association. The FTA provides an 80/20 reimbursement for capital purchases (federal portion is 80%). This reimbursement covers only the base vehicle costs and all options are the responsibility of the local transit agency.  

“We hope to continue replacing our aging buses, as the cost of maintenance has been very high over the last several years on the whole fleet,” stated Gary Seipel, Dunn County Transit Commission Chairman, and Dunn County Board Supervisor. 

Transit Benefits

Like people anywhere, rural and small town residents rely on transportation to access jobs, schools, medical facilities, retail shopping, recreation, social events and other services. (Litman, 2017)  Transit benefits include positive economic impact, increased safety by reduced traffic fatalities, enhanced access to  community resources and contribution to improved public health and individual well-being. Rural transit ridership across the U.S. has increased nearly 8% since 2010 whereas rural population has decreased almost a half a million residents.  

DCT plans to support this growing trend in increased public transportation ridership.