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Pensacola Bay Transit buses
PENSACOLA -- ESCAMBIA COUNTY -- $360,000 dollars are on the table for new Pensacola Bay Transit buses. The money comes from a Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Grant. Escambia County Commissioners are expected to decide whether to accept the money at their board meeting, but for patients relying on those buses for doctor visits, it's a no-brainer.
"You almost feel like you need to cut your treatment short so your ride doesn't leave you" said Lisa Jackson, Bus Rider.
Lisa Jackson is one of many dialysis patients who have had problems with Pensacola Bay Transportation.
Waiting long hours for a bus to arrive and poor maintenance are her main concerns.
"They get you to point A to point B but some of the conditions of the buses are not very favorable" said Jackson.
Pensacola Bay Transportation is owned by the county, and run by ECAT.
It has 28 buses in its fleet eleven of them need to be replaced.
The buses have between 288,308 to 458,199 miles on them, well beyond the recommended limit of 200,000 set by FDOT.
Photos sent to Channel 3 News show some of the wear and tear patients endured including holes in the roof and torn seats.
"If it's stated that it should be replaced at a certain point, and if you take it over that, double that and triple that, then you're looking at safety issues" said Jackson.
Channel 3 News reporter, Kavontae Smalls spoke to Escambia County Commissioners Gene Valentino and Lumon May about the issue by phone. Both commissioners are upset Pensacola Bay Transportation's problems had not been addressed sooner.
The FDOT grant would allow the county to buy new buses, and fund new GPS systems, security cameras, bus shelters and scheduling software.
"It helps with us being independent people, still having our independence with them working with us I think it makes all the difference in the world" said Jackson.
As grant money becomes available, the county plans to have all of its older buses replaced.