At a meeting of the Legislature’s Public Works, Transportation & Energy Committee, Suffolk Legislator Tom Cilmi extolled the virtues of a new initiative spearheaded jointly by the County’s Department of Economic Development & Planning and the Department of Public Works to rightsize the County’s fleet of buses, replacing the larger buses with smaller buses on routes with light demand. The smaller buses are similar in size to the County’s paratransit buses and accommodate 24 passengers, while the larger buses accommodate 60 passengers. Cilmi says it’s a move that’s long overdue and praised both departments for their work on this initiative.
“This is a concept that I brought to the table as an aide twenty years ago,” said Cilmi. “There is absolutely no need to be running larger buses with four, five or six people on them. The smaller buses are much less costly to purchase and to operate, as fuel and maintenance costs would be substantially reduced. Additionally, because they are smaller and lighter, they are able to stop more quickly than the large buses, making them safer. I am absolutely thrilled. This is government working smarter.”
“Ensuring we are running an efficient government is of paramount importance,” said County Executive Steve Bellone. “Accessing federal funds to support the right-sizing of our bus fleet makes perfect sense. These 24 passenger buses will be more neighborhood friendly, slimmer and quieter than our standard bus fleet. The Department of Economic Development and Planning has performed extensive research into right-sizing our bus fleet so that we operate at maximum efficiency.”
Cilmi said a resolution to purchase forty of the smaller buses was passed by the Committee and will be voted on at the June 1st meeting of the full Legislature. If successful the program may be expanded.