Kokomo officials are putting the pieces in place for expansion of the city’s bus routes this summer, moving Wednesday to increase the number of bus shelters in the city.
City officials haven’t yet unveiled where the new routes will be, and probably won’t until May, when two new buses are expected to arrive, almost doubling the city’s fleet.
Last year, Larry Ives, head of Kokomo’s metropolitan planning organization, said the city will probably leave the current east/west routes in place.
“Our biggest problem right now is the Red Line heading south, down to Pine Valley Apartments,” Ives said last July. “It’s a very tight time schedule, and it gets full.”
City officials had talked about adding another route heading to the southeast part of town as a possibility, as is lengthening the Red Line route so that it covers the Indian Heights neighborhood, which was annexed into the city in January.
On the north side of Kokomo, another route might be added to encompass all of the trailer courts on Apperson Way North and Washington Street, Ives said last year.
The new buses, which would be 5 feet longer than the current buses and seat between 12 and 16 additional riders, are expected to cost $450,000 each.
Federal funds will pay 83 percent of the cost, Ives said.
The city also has a $150,000 federal grant to purchase additional bus shelters, which will be the same as the shelters already in place. The city will pay 20 percent of the cost of the new shelters.
Wednesday, the Kokomo Board of Public Works & Safety voted to put the new shelters out for bids.