A new passenger bus is on its way to the Puyallup Activity Center after the Puyallup City Council approved a purchase to replace the center’s old one.
The center’s current bus, which is used to transport seniors on local trips and other errands, is about 15 years old.
“Currently, we have a 21-passenger bus that takes our older adults, age 55 and above, out on trips and tours,” said Doug McCormick, senior services supervisor for the Activity Center. “The bus is still in good condition but it’s about time to have it replaced.”
Currently, we have a 21-passenger bus that takes our older adults, age 55 and above, out on trips and tours. The bus is still in good condition but it’s about time to have it replaced.
Doug McCormick, senior services supervisor for the Activity Center
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The current bus was purchased in 2002 and was scheduled to be replaced in 2017 as per the city’s Equipment Rental and Replacement (ER&R) fund. The bus also accommodates two wheelchair passengers.
The new bus will come with similar features.
“It’ll be similar to what we have — an air conditioned vehicle, comfortable seats, fresh and new,” McCormick said. “There should be a radio system to play music along the way, and a wheelchair lift.”
Out of $80,000 in the ER&R fund set aside for the vehicle, the new bus costs $77,788.91 to purchase from Schetky Bus & Van Sales. The bus is part of its Eldorado Aero-Series and is anticipated to be white with a blue interior, said McCormick.
Shelby Grenon, senior services assistance, coordinates trips for the Activity Center. About eight to 10 trips are scheduled every month, she said.
“A lot of people meet their friends on these trips,” Grenon said. “They find a seat and they meet new people. A lot of them just talk on the way there.”
A lot of people meet their friends on these trip. They find a seat and they meet new people. A lot of them just talk on the way there.
Shelby Grenon, senior services assistant for the Activity Center
Those interested in the trips sign up at the Activity Center. From a tour of the Federal Reserve Bank and a visit to the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) to shopping at IKEA and going to a play, McCormick says those trips normally occupy a full bus.
“Elder isolation should be avoided at all costs, so trips are about social interaction and community engagement,“ McCormick said. “It’s a fun excursion for everybody (and) a great way to meet people.”
Aside from local outings, the center also uses the bus for monthly trips to the grocery store for seniors who are in need of transportation.
The new bus won’t arrive for about three months, McCormick said, but that it’ll be well-received by those who frequent Activity Center excursions.
“There will be a very positive reaction and excitement because (the bus) is fresh and new and it’s a program they look forward to,” McCormick said. “We’re blessed that there’s that replacement that comes up after so many years.”
There will be a very positive reaction and excitement because (the bus) is fresh and new and it's a program they look forward to. We’re blessed that there’s that replacement that comes up after so many years.
Having worked for the center for 15 years, McCormick remembered what it was like to get a new bus for the Activity Center.
“When I first started was when we obtained the bus we’re currently using,” McCormick said. “I remember we took it out on its maiden voyage. So we’ll be looking forward to making a big deal out of that again.”
The old bus will be sold according to city policy after the new vehicle arrives.