City spending $6.5 million to revamp, expand public transportation


The city of Montgomery will spend about $6.5 million to expand its transportation system, the mayor said.

Mayor Steven Reed said the city bought five 26-passenger public transit buses that cost $469,000 each, two 20-passenger buses at $122,000 each and three nine-passenger transit vans at $92,500 each.

For $100,000 the city was able to replace supervisor vehicles. Capital maintenance items cost the city $125,000. These items include engines and transmissions, Planning Director Robert Smith said.

The money comes from CARES Act funding and regular transit funding, totaling $6.5 million.

Future projects include a bus wash system and improvements to the West Fairview Avenue Station, Smith said.

The vans will run from downtown to the airport. The system will operate through an app, Reed said. The plan is to also increase the number of bus shelters and bus stops.

“Now the goal is to cover as much of Montgomery as possible and to improve our frequency and to improve the area in which we cover,” Reed said.

Reed said he hopes this new investment will help families without vehicles to get better jobs.

“We believe public transportation is important because it serves as the biggest economic inhibitor of those who are trying to get from one level economically to the next,” Reed said. “It serves as a challenge and an obstacle because many people who want to work just don’t have a dependable vehicle, a dependable car to get them to work.”