Article by David Jackson/Boone Area Chamber of Commerce
AppalCART is finalizing delivery on an aggressive bus replacement program that will see a more than a third of the current fleet swapped while also adding a bus to its inventory..
Serving as Watauga County’s transit authority, AppalCART is set to receive a total of 10 new buses. Nine of the vehicles will replace existing buses that have been in service for 12 years or longer. The new bus is slated to serve the Red 2 Route beginning in the Fall of 2018 as Appalachian State University’s Leon Levine Hall of Health Sciences opens near the campus of Watauga Medical Center.
According to AppalCART Director Craig Hughes, the new buses are more fuel efficient and produce lower emissions than current buses in the fleet.The replacement project has been achieved thanks to a partnership between the Town of Boone, Watauga County, NCDOT, Appalachian State University and AppalCART.
From July 1 to December 31 of 2017, AppalCART logged 990,880 trips across its vehicle fleet. The organization has set a goal of surpassing 2,000,000 trips by the end of its fiscal year. AppalCART provides the backbone for the transportation needs of area commuters and college students as they move throughout Watauga County. They also provide a number of options for medical trips for county residents in addition to paratransit services.
A ribbon cutting ceremony was held January 31, 2018 at the AppalCART Facility (305 NC Hwy 105 Bypass).