Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr. announced the addition of 19 new buses to the county’s Special Transportation System while unveiling the new arrivals at the Essex County Division of Senior Services in Verona Wednesday.
The delivery of more than half the buses, run under the county’s Division of Senior Services, which provides free transportation to the county’s senior citizens and disabled residents, coincided with May’s designation as Older Americans Month. The balance will arrive in June.
According to Jaklyn DeVore, Director of Essex County Division of Senior Services, some of the fleet’s 30 buses were in disrepair when DiVincenzo took office, and DiVincenzo took action.
“His priority is to get the fleet up to date,” DeVore stressed. With the new buses, four of which were awarded to the county through a grant from the Federal Transit Administration, the county’s fleet will now number 46.
The new buses seat anywhere from 10 to 29 passengers, travel throughout Essex County and come equipped with the latest technology including cameras both inside and outside the vehicle and ramps to make vehicles easily accessible to handicapped passengers. The buses run approximately 100,000 trips a year providing medical, social and recreational transportation, according to DeVore. Last year DeVore said the buses provided transportation to the County’s Cherry Blossom Festival for seniors living in a retirement home.
“Many had not had the opportunity to get out,” DeVore noted. She added her department provided a trip to the park during “one of the most beautiful times of year.”