LeRoy City Lines adds a pair of new buses

Published 9:11 am Friday, June 15, 2018

LeROY — LeRoy City Lines has taken another step forward with the purchase of two new buses that will replace two of the three buses in its fleet.

The buses arrived in LeRoy earlier this week.

The reason behind the upgrades to the two newer buses — a 2016 and 2014 vehicle — was made for one overarching reason: Customer satisfaction.

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“It’s okay to have a seat with wheels under it that are bumpy and rattly,” said LeRoy Economic Development Authority Board member Axel Gumbel. “But it just wasn’t anything Craig [Jacobson, EDA president] and I felt comfortable continuing without more reliable equipment.”

Gumbel is referring to sudden and pricy repair costs on a pair of the vehicles over the past three months which he said had been skyrocketing. One of the more severe repairs had been the air conditioning on one of the vehicles.

For Gumbel and Jacobson, the question turned from continuing with repairs or, “do we stick that money into more reliable equipment.”

The pair took the plan to the EDA in LeRoy who approved it, sending the request on to the LeRoy City Council who, after a few meetings, unanimously approved the plan, freeing up $260,000 in unencumbered reserve funds to make the purchase.

The two vehicles, which LeRoy City Lines had been eyeing from the beginning of the process, were both low mileage and come with all leather seating and plug-ins and USB jacks at each seat.

Riders get an early ride on one of two new buses purchased for LeRoy City Lines.
Photo provided

Both are Freightliners. The 2016 model fits 40 passengers, the other, a 2014 model, fits 38 passengers.

In the end, the purchase came down to one simple idea.

“For our paying customers, we want to provide excellent customer service,” Gumbel said.

Since its inception on Dec. 1, 2016, LeRoy City Lines has continued to grow, evolving from a bus transport that took over commuting people to Rochester when a Rochester-based service ceased services, to the three-bus fleet it currently has. The total commuter count currently sits at 14,000 riders since the inception of the service and averages 15-20 people that ride the two back-and-forth routes every day.

That number has been consistently double-digits since a Chester stop was added.

“Psychologically, that was a win for us,” Gumbel said.

The line has also been bolstered by the charter side of the business that runs along the commuting side. In that regard, Gumbel said the line has exceeded expectations from when the line started.

“We went into it not knowing what to expect,” Gumbel said. “Knowing we had a core group of 12-15 riders that hung in there when Rochester stopped service. We saw them as the seeds of the new service.”

“It has exceeded expectations,” Gumbel continued. “The thought has always been that the charter would supplement the commuter side. If the commuter side ever faltered, we had confidence that the charter would fill in that gap. We’re sitting solid on both sides.”

LeRoy City Lines continues keeping LeRoy a strong and thriving small town.

“It’s all about staying relevant in a time when small towns struggle to stay relevant,” Gumbel said.

For more information visit www.LeRoyCityLines.com, newly launched in April.