BERLIN — The town Senior Center acquired a new, 12-passenger accessible shuttle bus for its residents.
The center uses the bus for things like doctor’s appointments, haircuts, prescription pickup and other necessary errands.
“We are really excited about this new bus,” said Town Manager Arosha Jayawickrema. “It offers convenience for our senior citizens who rely on somebody else for transportation.”
The vehicle is handicapped accessible and can safely transport two wheelchair-bound passengers at a time. It is equipped with a sneeze guard and a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter, which uses UV light to clean and sanitize.
Unlike the older model, which was retired, the new bus has a Bluetooth receiver, allowing drivers to answer calls from the Senior Center hands-free. It is also more fuel-efficient and provides a “smoother, softer” ride in comparison to the previous bus, said Senior Center Director Tina Doyle.
“We definitely needed a new bus because the old one rattled and was too bouncy,” said Doyle. “We want to provide our residents with the safest and the most comfortable transportation possible.”
The new bus has an approximate value of $67,000, said Doyle. The state Department of Transportation 5310 Grant Program funded 80 percent of the cost while the town paid for the remaining 20.