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County to Hold Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony for New Bus

by ARLnow.com — October 9, 2012 at 12:30 pm 3,783 98 Comments

The Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new motor coach later this month.

The disability-accessible, 41 seat bus was purchased by the county for use with DPR’s 55+ travel program, which conducts more than a dozen day trips per month for senior citizens who reside in Arlington. (October and November destinations include a tour of Philadelphia, a trip to the Graves Mountain Apple Harvest Festival in Syria, Va., and an outing to Hokkaido Seafood Buffet in Falls Church.)

The senior travel program has seen an uptick in demand over the past few years, the Sun Gazette reported this summer.

The bus has been in operation since August, but the parks department has planned a ribbon-cutting ceremony for 9:30 a.m. on Oct. 25, at the Thomas Jefferson Community Center (3501 2nd Street S.). The new bus replaced a retrofitted school bus that had been plagued with problems, according a county press release.

Department of Parks and Recreation has upgraded their transportation fleet with the addition of a Glaval coach bus. While the bus has been in operation since August, the County will celebrate its arrival with a short ceremony on October 25 at 9:30am at Thomas Jefferson Community Center, 3501 2nd Street South, Arlington. This new opportunity allows the County to enhance the quality of its programs, attract new clientele and produce a high level of satisfaction for participants.

The ADA-equipped bus features seating for 41 passengers plus one secured wheelchair seat or 37 passenger seats with two wheelchair secured seats. Other amenities include a wheelchair lift, aisle track lighting, DVD/CD with 6 viewing screens, comfortable seating with lap seatbelts, air conditioning with individual overhead controls, PA system, individual reading lights and under carriage luggage compartment.

“We are pleased to provide our program participants with this new transportation option,” said Department of Parks and Recreation Acting Director, Shannon Flanagan-Watson. “The ability to provide reliable and accessible transportation in support of our programs is key; this vehicle will help us greatly with this effort.”

After experiencing numerous problems and complaints related to the previous retro-fitted school bus it was decided to upgrade to a coach style bus. The new bus allows for more comfort, reliability, and accessibility for those with disabilities, as well as an expansion of trip destinations. The Glaval Coach bus, which will be managed by the Department of Parks and Recreation, was purchased by Arlington County and supplemented by the Arlington Senior Recreation and Community Engagement Fund, a part of the Arlington Community Foundation.

  • hoooos

    holy crap the local government has too much money

    • bman

      agreed. spend spend spend.

      maybe next a bus for teenagers who can’t drive yet, for these trips.

  • nom de guerre

    This bus comes with a fully stocked bar and 10 taps featuring locally produced, seasonal craft brews.

  • novasteve

    OLD PEOPLE SMELL BUS.

    • Dezlboy

      Uncalled for.

      • sunflower

        thank you..

  • Carl Fredricksen

    Shoot, you could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with that.

    • novasteve

      Keep your preversions to yourself or you’ll have to answer to the Coca Cola Corporation.

  • Joe Bologna

    I would like to be the first to drive it.

  • DCBuff

    I understand the DPR promoting local, in ArlCo, activities for seniors. But the private or non-profit sectors (e.g., Living Social, AARP) should be the one providing out-of-town activities.

    • ByteMe

      the seniors should only go to the artisphere and to the acquatic center

  • JimPB

    Is this bus natural gas powered for low emissions (and possibly lower fuel costs)???

    • JJDRP

      I think it is. I rode on one of these when I went to the county fair. It still had the new smell and the plastic was still on the 4 or so small entertainment LCD screens.

  • drax

    So the opposite of a party bus.

    • sunflower

      for sure

    • WeiWeiQiang

      potty bus

  • SomeGuy

    Buses are inferior transport vehicles. DPR should fund a trolley line to all of these destinations.

    • drax

      Because the board has voted to abolish all buses in favor of trollies countywide, right?

      • SomeGuy

        It’s been argued repeatedly here that buses are inferior to trolleys. I was making a suggestion. And your assertion is false.

        • confused

          its been argued that street cars can get 5% or more additonal riders (all else being equal) and are better at inducing development.

          I’m not sure how that translates into “street cars are a better choice than buses everywhere”

          • Hollywood

            A POSSIBLE 5% increase in rider capacity for 1000000% the cost, yeah makes sense….

        • drax

          Yes, my assertion is false – like yours. You got the point!

          It has not been argued that buses are inferior to trolleys. It has been argued that buses are inferior to trolleys on certain, very specific corridors.

          • SomeGuy

            Wrong again, drax. JohnB and dk make that general argument starting here:
            http://www.arlnow.com/2012/07/23/county-board-challengers-urge-no-vote-on-streetcar/#comment-196800

          • drax

            I was talking about the county board. I don’t care about them. But if that’s who you meant, fine.

          • SomeGuy

            “It’s been argued repeatedly here…” indicated “here” on this web site. Not at county board meetings or in county board statements.

          • drax

            I hadn’t seen that argued here though. Nobody thinks all buses should be replaced with trolleys everywhere. That’s not what they were saying.

          • JohnB

            You’re clearly misrepresenting my argument.

  • son of sunflower

    it also automatically converts into a trolley when navigating the pike

    • sunflower

      watch it kid–i’m signing you up for walk grandma to the store day!

  • novasteve

    I’m curious how older retired people can even afford to live in arlington given the cost of living? What happens when inflation inevitably goes way up?

    • CW

      Through the guilt of their children who are lawyers, lobbyists, etc.

      • novasteve

        Given their children’s children won’t be as well off as they are, the children won’t be able to retire in Arlington due to the outrageous cost of living here.

        • Rmoney

          Market forces at work. The kids can ask their parents for the money.

    • drax

      Reverse mortgage

    • Justin Russo

      Unlike those of us who are younger, many oldsters have pensions to supplement their SS.

      • sunflower

        they damn well better have something else. max social security annual benefit ~ $30,000.

    • Ballston

      Many of them are landlords who rent out their former family homes to young people. Or they bought their houses 50 years ago when land was cheap.

    • Smitty

      By working hard, saving money and investing wisely.

      My mom is in her mid-70′s and still holds down the house I grew up in in 22207 by herself. She raised three kids as a stay-home mom, sent us all to college, and outlived two husbands.

      She’s also a frequent user of this new bus and the Arlington senior programs in general. They’re in Vegas right now partying it up, while you’re here whining on the internet. The bus took them to BWI and it will bring them back.

  • bobco85

    I can see the next headline: Outrage at County’s New Senior Bus Policy

    Hundreds of adults are expected to protest at the unveiling of the new DPR senior bus due to a controversial new policy. Seniors traveling within a 1.5 mile radius of their home will no longer be able to use the bus and instead be forced to walk, bike, or be driven to their destination. The DPR is hoping to quell the unrest by holding a Walk Grandma and Grandpa to the Store Day where adults will walk with their senior parents. (/joke)

    Looks like it will be a very nice bus for the seniors to have (no snark here).

  • WTF

    It’s nice to see that the county is facing a 25 – 50 budget gap this year but continues to spend money as if it has it.

    • novasteve

      I’m sure they’re banking on getting speed cameras in arlington.

      • novastephanie

        Go the speed limit and you’ll have nothing to worry about.

  • WTF

    25 – 50 million dollar budget gap

  • Jim

    why is Arlington county a travel agency? waste of resources.

    • novasteve

      People get used to relying on the government in liberal areas, so they’ll need this for their entire lives. That’s the problem with liberalism. It makes people dependent upon the government.

      • drax

        I’m sure you never ride a county or Metro bus.

      • Bobby Bob Rob Hobson

        No place in the US is untethered to government programs, so the always-blame-the-liberals rants are pointless — especially coming from a person who can not make it in the private sector and is paid by the so-called liberal government. Romney would call you a taker, not a maker. FoxNews watchers would just call you a loser.

        • that’s what she said

          Not only are none untethered, but “red” states are more takers than “blue” states, when you follow the money flows in and out of the federal trough.

      • Willard Romney

        47% of the country are worthless moochers.

      • speonjosh

        We really should go back to private sector provided fire service. Companies can compete to keep the cost down. Pay extra each month and they’ll actually hook up their hoses to nearby fire hydrants instead of just bringing a really big bucket. (As long as the fire company has a paid relationship with the hydrant provider.)

  • Ashton Heights

    We have the richest seniors in all of the US (and world), sitting on top of millions of dollars of prime real estate that would be much better served by young people that need to commute into the city. And my tax dollars go to this?

    Bah humbug!

    • WeiWeiQiang

      Seniors sitting on top of millions of dollars of prime real estate therefore pay taxes on that real estate, making their share of tax revenues perhaps in excess of your own. I’m suspecting that their tax dollars also pay[id] for that bus, in addition to the schools and other amenities they don’t use. I’m ok with paying for my share of that bus.

      • Hollywood

        I pay Arlington taxes, where’s my bus???

  • sunflower

    guess none of y’alls ever going to get old….

    • Dezlboy

      +1

    • Hollywood

      What does that have to do with it? It’s still a waste.

  • Arlington Cat

    “The bus has been in operation since August, but the parks department has planned a ribbon-cutting ceremony for 9:30 a.m. on Oct. 25, at the Thomas Jefferson Community Center (3501 2nd Street S.). The new bus replaced a retrofitted school bus that had been plagued with problems, according a county press release.”

    Remember when they introduced the retrofitted last bus? If you weren’t here at the time, you can watch the unveiling at an old warehouse near what is now Potomac Yards on Youtube.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPpBGsFddao

  • Dezlboy

    This is a great service to our senior citizens. BTW: the trips and other senior activities are not free. Most of the out of town trips are $50 or more. Local trips about $15 – $20. So, while the bus may be tax supported (?), the activities are not.

    Info on the county’s senior citizen programs can be found here:
    http://www.arlingtonva.us/portals/topics/documents/file87127.pdf

  • Wilbur

    Oh come on people. It’s absolutely clear the bus is needed. There is a market failure in Arlington where no bus services are servicing our community! Lacking any possibility of the private sector competing for ArlCo business – we have to have our own bus!

    Remind me…. did our taxes go up this year??

    • Patrick

      Yes our tax rate went up this year.

  • Wilbur

    BTW… This pretty much settles it. I am voting republican in Arlco from now on.

    • novasteve

      Voting republican here is an exercise in futility.

      • bobbytiger

        You are, of course, correct. But we keep trying.

    • drax

      Out of curiosity, I checked the nearest Republican-controlled county I thought of first (Loudoun). They also have senior centers that provide, among many other things, transportation.

      • Josh S

        Well, this is because once upon a time even Republicans had compassion. Give it time, though – Loudon will slash that program eventually. (Probably replace it with a private sector firm that just happens to have connections with the Republican politicians who are so concerned about how government stands in the way of equal opportunity for all.)

        • drax

          Nah, see, the elderly vote Republican, so they will miraculously be exempt from the cuts that all other entitled lazy moochers must face.

    • Josh S

      Because republicans care more about the 50 cents (or so) from their taxes that went toward this bus than they do the happiness and well-being of some elderly neighbors?

      • Hollywood

        It’s their money, they earned it, why do you, or anyone else, have any right to it at all???

        • Josh S

          You do realize that this “theft” argument is about as tired as an anti-tax argument could possibly be?

          (But I’ll throw you a tiny bone, just as sort of an “oh by the way” – no one said anything about “rights.”)

        • WeiWeiQiang

          It’s the elderly persons’ tax money as well. Are you saying that the elderly never paid taxes in Arlington [or pay taxes on the gajillion dollar estates they own]? The market [and some of steve's nemeses on the ACB] decided whether the bus was needed. Don’t like that? Put it in a referendum. Convince the ACB to defund it. Elect some other politicians. Don’t ride the bus. Pay taxes to another jurisidiction.

      • Exactly

        +1000

        • Exactly

          That +1000 is to Josh S’s comment

          • Hollywood

            Exactly – why don’t you just cough up 50 cents for my happiness and well being? It’s only 50 cents and I am entitled to it. Fork it over!

          • Josh S

            (Or “entitled.”)

          • Mike

            How does one determine whether to write “+1000″ or “+1″ or some other number? Is there a standard for this? It sounds like point inflation to me.

          • WeiWeiQiang

            Please refer to the ArlNow BlueBook, brah.

          • Mike

            +3742

          • Josh S

            Now you’re getting the hang of it! (Minus the missing comma, of course, but that’s a minor point.)

          • WeiWeiQiang

            huh?

          • drax

            +3,742

  • j

    Hokkaido Seafood Buffet in Falls Church? Yuck.

  • JimPB

    Concerned about your ARLCO tax bill? Then hope seniors living in ARLCO stay in place. They pay taxes and use little of the most expensive county service: public school education.

    If the seniors were replaced by those with children, there would staggering costs for school sites and construction and for school operations. The tax bill would correspond.

    • Hollywood

      Get the government out of schooling and then we wouldn’t need to tax people for education.

      • drax

        Then we’d have to tax people to build huge prisons to house all the kids who grow up to be criminals because their families couldn’t afford private tuition.

        You can’t win, Hollywood. We have to have government, and taxes, to have civilization. Sorry, but that’s life. Deal with it.

    • DCBuff

      Jim–that argument is a canard and you know it. Conversely, seniors use up more healthcare resources than any other age demographic. I do hope seniors stay in place, so that ArlCo has a diverse community of citizens of all ages, not because of whatever tax benefit they may or may not bring.

      • jackson

        Quack!

      • drax

        Health care isn’t a big burden on county resources though. That’s what we’re discussing now.

      • Subliminal

        What healthcare services does the county provide to seniors ??

    • Hollywood
  • Mao

    In my country we make the old people work. We should make the old people walk around with parking ticket booklets and make their quota before they can go on a joyride.

    • Willard Romney

      I plan on making them sweep the gutters.

  • Mc

    Here’s an irony: many of the seniors who can use this bus pay far more in property taxes than the folks complaining about the bus. These folks won’t typically have kids in school either, which is the largest tax expense by far. So why begrudge someone for getting a return on their tax dollars?

    • Source?

      “…many of the seniors who can use this bus pay far more in property taxes than the folks complaining about the bus.”

      Source, please.

  • Jason S.

    Honestly, this county never ceases to amaze me. Can’t manage their schools, the roads are like a third world country, hobos all over the place…yet they focus on the most inane things. One reason to hope for a completely meltdown of the federal budget is just to see Arlington suffer, that would warm my heart.

    • drax

      Our schools are very good, our roads are not like a third world country and there are not hobos all over the place though.

      Only a complete sicko would hope for such massive suffering. Did you not learn anything in 2009?

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