Cobb uses federal grant to get 12 new public transit buses

Cobb County’s public transit system will replace 12 of its aging buses with the help of a federal grant.

Commissioners recently approved the $8.3 million purchase of the buses, which will be added to the county’s CobbLinc fleet. The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) funds will pay 80% of the cost, nearly $6.7 million, for the 40-foot buses. Cobb County will pay the remaining $1.6 million.

Cobb’s Board of Commissioners approved the measure 4-1 during its Nov. 18 meeting. Commissioner Keli Gambrill opposed it without discussion.

CobbLinc is a transit system that includes 9 local fixed routes that operate daily throughout the county, providing about 2 million trips each year.

The transit system is made up of 70 buses. FTA deemed the older buses in the fleet eligible for “federally funded capital replacement,” according to Cobb County Department of Transportation Director Drew Raessler. Those buses are 12 years old and have an average of 625,000 miles on them.

Their replacements will be made by Gillig, a California manufacturer. Each of the new buses will be equipped with new fare boxes, radios and automatic vehicle locator systems and about 40 seats.