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Seniors travel in style with new wheels

Oak Harbor Senior Center bus driver Tom Luehr cracks a smile while onboard the center’s brand new bus.  - Jenny Manning/Whidbey News-Times
Oak Harbor Senior Center bus driver Tom Luehr cracks a smile while onboard the center’s brand new bus.
— image credit: Jenny Manning/Whidbey News-Times

There’s a new bus in town and driver Tom Luehr is behind the wheel.

Big, bright blue letters on the side identify the smooth new ride as the Oak Harbor Senior Center shuttle, which made its debut March 26 for an inaugural “Mystery Trip” that took a group of lucky lotto-selected seniors on an off-island day trip.

Oak Harbor City Council members got the chance to see the new bus outside City Hall before their meeting last Tuesday.

Luehr retired from the military in 1977 and started a second career as a school bus driver. He was also the Senior Center’s first bus driver, Mike McIntyre, senior services administrator, said. That was 10 years ago.

Although the new rig is bigger and seats more people, it’s more efficient than the old one, Luehr said of the General Motors bus, manufactured by Champion Bus Inc., which cost $125,000.

Past riders’ fees, which amounts to $6 plus the cost of the trip, covered the full cost of the bus, McIntyre said, adding that the Senior Center will use future riders’ fees to purchase the next bus in 10 to 15 years.

For more information about the Senior Center or to sign up for an outing, visit the Senior Center at 51 SE Jerome St., Oak Harbor, or call the travel desk at 279-4587.

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