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February 16, 2006

City of Monroe and ULM Unveil Monroe Transit Buses with New Design

At a press conference on Wednesday, Feb. 15 at the Monroe Civic Center, Monroe Transit System officials, in partnership with the City of Monroe and the University of Louisiana at Monroe, unveiled new ULM-themed additions to its fleet.

The ongoing change to the transit fleet is a continuation of the public show of support and cooperation begun in July 2005, when the Monroe Transit System originally displayed the first four buses with the new paint design.

The old white buses with blue and red stripes are being replaced by newer maroon, gold and blue versions.

The paint theme, applied with high-grade vinyl, furthers the blue wave and maroon and gold motif meant to symbolize the Ouachita River together with ULM, thus demonstrating Monroe┬╣s public support and willingness to declare itself a college town.

"What we're trying to do is revitalize our community," said Mayor Jamie Mayo. "We want to change the environment so that our community can see something that really catches their eye in a positive way; to continue to let people inside and outside the community realize that we are a college town.

We support the University of Louisiana at Monroe 100 percent. This is a win-win situation for the city of Monroe and ULM."

ULM President James E. Cofer, Sr. thanked Mayor Mayo and the City of Monroe for doing so much to honor and promote the university.

"This is especially important because it's ULM's 75th anniversary," said President Cofer. "I see these buses frequently, as do my students and my family. Everyone is really pleased. We're very, very happy and honored to be a part of the Monroe Transit System's new color scheme."

Monroe Transit accepted a donation of six buses from Rochester-Genesse Regional Transit in September 2005. Besides the consistent design, four of the new public transit additions will also bear full advertising wraps to give them a more modern look. Over 1 million passengers used this method for Monroe travel in 2005, so being able to advertise on the visible surface area, including windows, of the 30-foot bus allows for a large advantage in the arena of outdoor advertising.

In January 2006, Monroe Transit purchased a new minibus that also displays the maroon, blue and gold paint scheme, in addition to a wheelchair lift and LED destination sign. It is intended for use on the North Monroe route, since its 22 seats are most suited for that route's passenger volume.

This new design continues the public support of its university and also promotes the city's celebration of Monroe Transit System's 100th Anniversary. In 1906, Monroe's Municipal Street Railway division was the second publicly owned streetcar system in the United States and originated before both the San Francisco and New Orleans public systems. The Monroe Transit System has since been in constant operation for almost 100 years, making it the oldest publicly owned transit system in the United States.

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