AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - A state agency that was created to rebuild vehicles for the military is now looking to branch out, and rebuild buses for towns, cities and other groups that operate transit services.
The Maine Military Authority showed off its first transit bus project in Augusta today. The Authority took an old, worn out bus from Portland's Regional Transportation program and did a frame-up restoration. They say the rebuilt bus is actually better than new, and includes some modifications that will make it stronger and last monger. The Authority says rehabbing the bus costs a third of what a new bus would cost, and will last just as long. The agency is hoping to get more buses to rebuild.
The Governor got a tour of the bus today. The Authority says he gave them the idea two years ago when he suggested they rebuild school buses. Since then, the Authority says that they've refurbished fifteen school buses, have eight more to do, and have saved the state and local school districts about $750, 000 dollars. The Maine Military Authority is based at the former Loring Air Force Base in Limestone, and employs 210 people. They say most of the work done there is still focused on rebuilding military vehicles, primarily trucks and Humvees.