U.S. Rep. Tom Reed visited the Coach & Equipment bus manufacturing plant here Monday where he met with company officials and officials from Regional Transit Service (RTS).
As he took a tour of the factory and chatted with workers about their jobs he told them a recent bill passed by Congress will help secure their jobs.
“I just wanted to say thank you for what you do,” he told some of the workers, explaining their work helps keep the local community healthy by keeping families in the area.
He said the good news he wanted to share is that Coach & Equipment is on course to build the most buses ever in 2015 — 1,000, and the funding that was included in the recent transportation bill restores funds for mass transit bus purchases.
RTS CEO Bill Carpenter says the firm’s current order with Coach & Equipment is for 53 new buses. Eight of them will serve Seneca County and seven will serve Ontario County. All 200 of the small buses in the RTS fleet of 450 have been built by Coach & Equipment.
“The passage of the federal transportation bill this week is great news for RTS and the State of New York,” said Carpenter last week. “The five year, fully-funded bill provides a level of stability we haven’t seen in many years.”
According to a statement released by RTS recently, had the funding for the 5340 High Density States Program been eliminated, RTS would have lost $17 million in federal funds over the next six years. Had that happened, RTS would have faced the prospect of drastic service reductions and a smaller fleet, and the constant requests for more service would have been turned away.
RTS is one of the companies that has proposed a public transportation service in Yates County, but talks stalled when Yates County officials began the shared services study with Schuyler County.
Coach & Equipment has been building coaches and then mid-size buses at a Penn Yan facility since the 1890s. The manufacturing facility has been located in the Horizon Business Park since 2000, when the company moved into a new 85,000 square foot building which doubled its capacity.