WRTA is now using some cleaner, greener technology thanks to federal funding.
Three new 24-seater buses were just put into the rotation a couple of weeks ago, although they were approved in 2010 by former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland. Originally, WRTA was one of several transit systems to be approved for funding for three years afterward, which would have allowed it to get at least nine new buses.
But Ohio Gov. John Kasich eliminated the program shortly after taking office, so the transportation authority only ended up getting three.
"We're still looking at different grants. We're hoping over the next year to year and a half ambitiously to bring on about 16 to 18 full-size coaches and they'll be clean burning diesel also," said WRTA executive director Jim Ferraro.
Two of the buses already are running the Boardman and Canfield loops. Ferraro said he plans to try the third in Austintown, but there are also some lesser traveled routes out toward Struthers that could benefit from the use of a smaller bus.
"It's environmentally friendly but also they're brand new. Our other buses are obviously 12 years old, they're a little tired, a little more difficult to finely tune and continue to run without some mechanical problems. And just the inside of a new bus makes you feel better," Ferraro said.