LAFAYETTE, Ind. — CityBus plans to use a $485,760 Federal Transit Administration grant to install pedestrian detection systems on its fleet of nearly 70 fixed-route vehicles.
The total amount of the project including local funds is $607,200.
The grant was awarded under a Section 5339 Bus and Bus Facilities Infrastructure Investment program, which is dedicated to providing funding for capital projects that improve, rehabilitate or replace existing transit vehicles and vehicle equipment.
The system that CityBus will install will cost about $8,000 per vehicle, with some money set aside for replacement parts. Once the system is installed, bus operators will be alerted any time a pedestrian enters a blind spot near the vehicle.
CityBus applied for the funds in response to the growing population density in downtown Lafayette and West Lafayette.
“We are keeping an eye on the increasing density of the urban development taking place near campus,” said Bryce Gibson, manager of development. “Our drivers are always vigilant for potential vehicle-pedestrian conflicts. We want to make sure they have all the tools they need to avoid a tragic situation.”
CityBus, the operating name for Greater Lafayette Public Transportation Corporation, operates hundreds of thousands of miles on some of the busiest streets in the Lafayette area. The goal of the project is to add an extra layer of protection for pedestrians.
“Safety is a key tenet at CityBus. It is baked into every aspect of everything we do here,” said Martin Sennett, CityBus general manager. “With the reconfiguration of State Street and the addition of even more bicycle and pedestrian facilities, we knew it would be necessary for CityBus to take additional precautionary measures to ensure the safety of all.
“We are pleased that our local elected leaders and the Federal Transit Administration agree.”
CityBus plans to begin upgrading its vehicles with the new technology this fall.