Update On The Request For New HAT Buses

December 8, 2022

There may be some new buses on the City of Hornell streets in the coming years as Hornell Area Transit recently submitted their 5311 Application requesting capital funding assistance for 6 new buses. The Common Council approved the resolution to complete the application at their November meeting.

“The 5311 application is open to public transportation providers in rural areas. If approved, this would provide 90% of the funding to add new buses to our fleet utilizing federal and state funds. Continued investment in the bus fleet is integral for the safety and reliability of service Hornell Area Transit prides itself on delivering,” stated Deputy Mayor Jessica Cleveland.

“The application has required criteria for a bus to be eligible for replacement which includes its age, as well as mileage of at least 150,000 miles. It doesn’t take long for that to accrue with the volume of miles traveled by our buses and we had six buses eligible,” noted Transit Supervisor Kimberly Courtney. “We were mindful to look forward as the time between the application submission and when the bus actually arrives could be a couple of years,” continued Courtney.

The buses are anticipated to be purchased across multiple budget years to minimize the budgetary impact for the remaining 10% local share. The purchase would retire buses from 2013 and 2016, and complete the transition away from diesel to all gas-powered buses. “We have found the gas-powered buses to be more reliable, as well as more affordable to operate with the current cost and availability of diesel,” stated Fleet Coordinator Geoffrey Thomas.

Fourth ward alderman and HAT Commission member Michael Morey states, “The Hornell Area Transit system supports local residents in many valuable ways. HAT provides residents with transportation to work, medical appointments, shopping, and educational opportunities. It’s an important link to connect citizens to the Steuben County office buildings, students in the colleges at Alfred with services in Hornell, and seniors or disabled to meet their everyday needs. Grants like these are essential to help absorb the high capital costs of busses, without a direct large tax increase to local residents. Hornell residents from all walks of life benefit, and the City is grateful for consideration under this grant.”