U.S. Transit Official Marks Earth Day by Awarding $39 Million For Green Transit Center in Worcester, MA
Contact: Paul Griffo
Facility replaces WRTA’s ‘trolley barn,’ will reclaim a Brownfield industrial site
WORCESTER, MA – Deputy Federal Transit Administrator Therese McMillan today marked Earth Day by awarding $39 million to Worcester, Massachusetts for the construction of the Worcester Regional Transit Authority’s (WRTA) new state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly maintenance and operations center to be built on a former manufactured gas production site.
“Together, the Department of Transportation and the WRTA are transforming this area into a gleaming transit center that will save energy and facilitate clean transportation alternatives for generations to come,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
WRTA will build the new 260,000 square-foot facility using innovations in “green” technology and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) design principles, including the use of building materials with zero maintenance, lighting from natural sources, oil water separators and water recycling. The new building will replace WRTA’s current facility, a 77-year-old “trolley barn” located on Grove Street that was converted to maintain and operate buses in the 1940s when the trolleys were phased out.
“This project is a fitting reminder of what Earth Day is all about,” said Deputy Federal Transit Administrator Therese McMillan. “WRTA is replacing a dilapidated and inefficient facility built more than three-quarters of a century ago with a clean, green, energy efficient center. This investment not only redevelops the site, but it helps to redevelop the community and provides a safer, more comfortable place for WRTA’s hard working staff.”
Set to be built on twelve acres, the transit center will include room for at least 50 vehicles, an operations center, parking for workers, and fueling facilities. The new maintenance facility is also expected to result in lower operating costs due to its close location to the bus hub at Union Station.
Once the trolley barn site is empty, WRTA plans to sell the property and use the proceeds to enhance the passenger facilities at Union Station. The Bus Hub, a new addition to the Union Station transportation campus, is scheduled to break ground late this year.
WRTA’s fleet of 48 buses, including four clean diesel-electric hybrid buses, serves 23 fixed routes in Worcester and 10 of the surrounding communities. The operations and maintenance facility was among 152 projects selected in October 2010 to share $776 million in FTA state-of-good repair funds.