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Rabbit fleet gets a makeover; city’s buses now really are red

POSTED: January 9, 2008 5:07 a.m.
Since 2001, Hall Area Transit Red Rabbit buses have traversed Gainesville roadways sporting two shades of blue. But as of this month, four new predominantly red-painted Red Rabbit buses will operate three bus routes in the city.

"We’ve frequently been asked ‘Why are your buses blue if you’re called the Red Rabbit?’" said Janice Crow, general manager for Hall Area Transit.

Finally, after six years, bus riders can give the puzzling paint scheme question a rest.

Four new buses arrived in October, were painted red, white and blue, and began serving thousands of Hall County riders at more than 130 bus stops located along the major roads of Gainesville.

"The old buses have more than met their useful life," Crow said.

Crow also said that bus service will reveal a new decal with a red rabbit within the next couple of weeks.

"We have morphed it several times ... but the lettering is not quite complete," she said.

The new decal and paint scheme is part of the Red Rabbit’s new image.

The new red-painted buses are not only shorter and of better quality, they are also expected to use less fuel and require less maintenance, Crow said. The four new buses will also have electronic signs.

General admission on the bus costs $1, but is 50 cents for seniors older than 60, persons with disabilities, and students and children younger than 18. If a bus change is needed to reach a destination, the second half of your ride is always free. Riders need only to ask the bus driver for a free bus transfer and can board another bus where routes overlap within 50 minutes of the transfer pass being issued.

Crow added that Hall Area Transit is looking to purchase a fifth bus to use as a back-up bus. The four old blue buses are now parked in the lot of a county facility, and may be used as back-up buses to the new ones.

Crow said Hall Area Transit officials are currenlty discussing how to best use the old buses.



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