Four of six articulating vessels currently operational
Despite some operational hiccups, resort transportation officials are still on track to increase the department’s six articulating buses to eight by 2023, with a total of 10 to round out the fleet the following year.
Transit Manager Rob Shearman said in an email this week that the larger, 60-foot buses are a major advantage for the department. The “artics,” as officials call them, carry about 100 people at one time, seated and standing, as opposed to the regular 40-foot buses that cap ridership at 65.
Drivers said earlier this summer that crowds have been a major issue and the arctic buses help address the strains. However only four of the six in the fleet are in working order right now.
“Of the two that are out of service, one is down with an electrical issue that we hope to have sorted out this week,” Shearman said. “The other is off the road due to a faulty door control module, which the manufacturer has been out to troubleshoot once already and is due to return next week to take another stab at it.”
Two more articulating buses are in the build process, and Shearman expects to have them received and ready to run by the end of the calendar year. The city received grants for the buses, which typically cost about $200,000 more than a regular sized bus.
Shearman said officials have applied for funds for another two articulating buses, and anticipate approval, which would up the fleet number to 10 in time for Springfest 2024.