OUTER BANKS, N.C. (WNCN) — The Dare County Transportation System announced it has bought new vehicles to help pick up residents with disabilities and take them to medical appointments.

Dare County announced last week it bought transit vans “equipped with wheelchair lifts and are capable of commuting up to eight passengers without wheelchairs or up to two wheelchair riders at a time.” It said it bought three more of these vans to add to its already-fleet of nine.

The new vans are said to be “a few inches lower on the inside than the models they recently replaced, the new vehicles are also slightly shorter and significantly more fuel efficient.”

“One notable difference in our new vans is the ‘start/stop’ feature that automatically shuts the engine off when the van is idle for extended periods of time,” Dare County Transportation Program Supervisor Radcliff Hester said. “This will help us to save on fuel costs, which helps the county’s budget operate more efficiently.”

The NC coast vans are operated by the North Carolina Department of Transportation, as well as funding provided by Dare County, the county said.

“We provide in-county trips for medical, personal, recreation, employment, nutrition and many other types of appointments,” Hester said. But noted many use it for its handicap capabilities.

The vans still require at least a 48-hour scheduling notice and are $3 for one-way and $6 for round-trip. Funds are different for out-of-county trips.