EVERETT - Community Transit has spent $7.1 million to add 17 low-floor, articulated buses to its fleet. They are the first of their kind in the country.
The new buses are being phased into service, with 13 so far on the streets. The others will be added as soon as they pass inspections and get fare boxes and CT logos.
Low-floor buses are easier to board for children, the elderly and the disabled. Articulated buses are extra long - the new CT buses measure nearly 61 feet - with a flexible joint in the middle.
CT's largest nonarticulated buses are 40-feet long.
A Minnesota company, New Flyer of America, manufactured the buses, which cost $417,000 each.
They each seat 60 passengers, with two fold-up wheelchair stations.
The purchase is part of CT's $10.5 million spending plan that includes 16 new DART vans for disabled transit and 97 new vanpool vans.
The buses will be used on commuter and regular routes, including new routes serving the Ash Way Park and Ride lot off Southwest 164th Street and Interstate 5, which is scheduled to open in September.