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JeffTran officials expect to receive a grant for facility improvements and to replace two buses.

The grant is an 80-20 match through the Federal Transit Administration; the city would be responsible for 20 percent of the $343,000 cost of the projects.

Mark Mehmert, transit division director, said part of the grant would be used to buy two low-floor replacement buses, which Mehmert said are used in the fixed routes that go around the city.

JeffTran operates six fixed routes around Jefferson City from 6:40 a.m.-6 pm. Monday-Friday.

The fleet is getting toward the end of its life, Mehmert said, and the department needs to focus on developing a cycle to get it updated.

He also hopes the two buses will "potentially move us into the realm of looking at electric buses."

Mehmert said it's premature to go fully electric for the fixed-route buses that run for nearly 12 hours a day.

"Right now, electric buses would be hard pressed to meet our needs," he said. The buses, which would have to stay out all day, would have to recharge during the day with current technology, he said. Electric buses are "not quite ready for prime time in our estimation," Mehmert said.

However, these buses can serve as a "stopgap" measure to potentially get to electric buses, he added.

"These buses will have an expected life span of five to seven years and are gasoline-powered" Mehmert said. "These new buses may serve as a bridge to electric buses, depending on how bus battery technology advances in the near future."

The buses would cost a total $288,000, with the city responsible for $57,600.

Funding would also go toward a scrubber to better clean the bus barn floor for a total $20,000; the city would be responsible for $4,000.

The final project would be to repair the bus barn roof, which is leaking, for a total $35,000; the city would be responsible for $7,000.

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