Cobb County Transit finds fixes for bus shortage amid ongoing supply chain issues

Cobb County is having a hard time keeping some of their buses on the road because of supply chain issues. Some passengers said they've had to wait for hours. Now, it looks like the county officials have found a fix to the problem.

"The problem with the supply chain and various parts is industry-wide," said Cobb County spokesman Ross Cavitt.

While supply chain issues are affecting the county's entire bus fleet, it's the smaller, CobbLinc paratransit and FLEX service programs that are being hit the hardest. These are "on-demand" buses that pick up people with disabilities or challenges, who can't get to a bus stop.

Many of the 30 paratransit buses needed to be replaced. Last year, the county ordered 22 new ones to be delivered this past December. The county was told due to supply chain issues, those new buses aren't expected to arrive for another 18 to 24 months.

"In the meantime, the fleet we had was going down, they had repair issues and we couldn't find parts for them," said Cavitt.

The fleet was down to just five buses. Riders started complaining of delays and not being able to get to appointments.

'It was very frustrating for the passengers who rely on the paratransit," said Cavitt.

The county needed to do something. So, they borrowed a few buses from senior services and last week, County Commissioners agreed to lease 14 buses for a year at a cost of more than $600,000.

Some of those buses just arrived. They're now being checked out, fare boxes are being installed, decals will be applied, and they'll be ready to hit the road.

"We think by the end of next week most of them will be running routes," said Cavitt.

The county is also seeing supply chain issues affecting the regular CobbLinc buses, but they have more of the larger buses on standby to take over for the ones that go down. Of course when they do go down, they're out of commission longer because it's harder to get parts to fix them.