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City stuck with six old, costly buses

VICKSBURG — The city of Vicksburg hasn’t decided what to do with six former transit system buses that are too expensive to run or repair.

Barry Warnock, director of the city’s Vehicle Maintenance Department, tells the Vicksburg Post that only two of the diesel-powered buses will run.

“The other four have major problems with the engines and transmissions,” he said. “I’d like to see them surplus all of them. Diesels are too expensive to maintain.”

The buses are the first six bought for NRoute in 2006 with a $488,000 federal grant.

NRoute executive director Evelyn Bumpers said once the buses reached their useful life, which under federal law, is five years and 100,000 miles, the city took ownership.

She said the buses were replaced in fiscal 2010. The money for the newer buses was provided by the Mississippi Department of Transportation, which holds those liens.

Currently, she said, NRoute has six vehicles, four buses and two vans, running routes in the city.

Since the buses were returned to the city, they have remained at a parking garage.

The closest the city has come to resolving the issue with the buses was a proposal by Mayor Paul Winfield to declare the buses surplus and turn them over to the Vicksburg Convention Center to use as shuttles to move people from the city’s hotels to the center during conventions.

“We’ve talked about it, but nothing’s been finalized,” said Convention Center Executive Director Troy Thorn. “We’re still talking about it. I’d like to see us get them, because they would help us attract more conventions.”

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