KCATA regifts older, used buses to smaller cities across the country

KANSAS CITY, Mo -- Thousands of people across the metro have hitched a ride on these old KCATA buses before.

Now that they've reached their use of life, they're heading to a different location.

The buses have journeyed the streets of Kansas City for roughly 10 to 15 years. Now, it's time to hit the road to a new home.

Next stop? Lubbock, Texas.

"It makes us feel great. When you think about the history of public transportation and the impact it's had, it makes us feel good that we're meeting our mission," said Jameson Auten, KCATA senior vice president of operations and innovations.

Lubbock will be the fifth city buying buses from the KCATA. Norman, Oklahoma was the first.

"It's a huge help. We honestly would not be able to run our operation without anything like that. It's nice when small communities like Norman can get used buses from a larger city," said Kris Glenn, University of Oklahoma director of parking and transportation.

These buses are basically a gift. A new bus runs about $500,000, and KCATA sells its used buses for just $10.

"Buses are incredibly expensive. Our transit budget here does not allow us to buy new buses very often," Glenn said.

KCATA started this program last year after its maintenance director came up with the idea.

"He realized that these buses have more mileage left in them in other communities. He recognized that there was a need," Auten said.

It's a simple idea that's impacted thousands of people in a short amount of time.

KCATA says these buses are still in good shape. But they have new buses coming in all the time.

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