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TARC rolls out 12 new Wi-Fi buses

LOUISVILLE -- TARC put a dozen new buses with free Wi-Fi on the road this week and more fleet upgrades are in the future. An $8.7 million federal grant awarded to TARC this week will bring an additional 25 new buses.

“These improvements reflect our focus on providing a more comfortable trip for passengers along with other benefits.  The new buses feature the latest fuel conserving and emissions-limiting technology for cost savings and cleaner air,” said TARC Executive Director J. Barry Barker.

The new “clean diesel” buses allow TARC to retire vehicles that have been on the road since 1999 and have each traveled more than 500,000 miles.  TARC has a fleet of 225 buses.

“TARC’s latest fleet upgrade puts buses on the street that are cleaner, more efficient, and provide a better overall consumer experience,” said Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3). “I’m proud to support federal investments in technologies that help make our community healthier and promote smarter infrastructure.”

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said the grant “will continue our effort to bring the latest clean, green public transportation technology to Louisville. The clean diesel buses with WI-FI represent the type of progress and forward-thinking focus we are embracing to improve our city.” 

A $5 million FTA State of Good Repair grant provided the bulk of funding for the 12 new buses, which are the first with Wi-Fi since TARC introduced 21 eTran - for enhanced transit – commuter coaches a year ago. 

The eTran buses, funded through the Ohio River Bridges Project, travel on cross-river and express routes.  The buses introduced this week, with the same updated exterior design as the eTran coaches, travel on local routes throughout Louisville Metro.

The  25 buses resulting from the latest grant are expected to begin arriving in about 18 months.  The grant was part of a national competition for a total of about $100 million in funds from the Federal Transit Administration’s Ladders of Opportunity Initiative.

“The grant reflects the service and partnerships TARC has in the community to help provide access to jobs, educational and other opportunities,” Barker said. “The new buses mean TARC can maintain and improve services because we’ll have a more reliable fleet that is less costly to operate.”