Ocean City Today

Resort gets bus boost from state transit administration

By Greg Ellison | Feb 22, 2018
Source: File Photo Ocean City is looking to continue receiving donated buses from the Maryland Transit Administration at the end of summer.

(Feb. 23, 2018) Ocean City is hoping future contributions from the Maryland Transit Administration will aid its efforts to modernize the oldest vehicles in its bus fleet.

Transit Manager Mark Rickards said the state has donated a total of ten 40-foot used buses to the resort over the last two years.

Although they initially were loaners, they were given to Ocean City at summer’s end.

“It would reduce the average age of our fleet,” he said. “The MTA buses average 12-15 years old [but] our oldest buses are almost 20 years old.”

In 2016, Ocean City borrowed 10 buses from the state, and in 2017 cut that request in half after a handful of units were donated at the end of the pervious summer.

“Last year, the MTA donated five 2004 40-foot New Flyers,” he said.

For calendar year 2018, Rickards said the city is requesting to continue the borrowing trend and hopes to have the vehicles donated after summer ends.

“We want to repeat the process with five loaners this year,” he said. “In September, we will put in a request through the MTA Regional Planner … to transfer those titles to Ocean City.”

During off-peak seasons, Ocean City maintains a fleet of 61 buses, including three smaller ADA buses, two 60-foot units, seven 35-foot units, with the remaining fleet consisting of 40-foot coaches.

In addition to adding a handful of loaner vehicles during the summer, Rickards said the city would be expanding its fleet even further by spring.

“We expect delivery of 11 new 40-foot buses for this season,” he said. “This will reduce the need for future loaner buses, while also upgrading the peak seasonal fleet with the retirement of older, less efficient coaches.”

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