The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff today joined members of the Michigan Congressional Delegation and local officials in Grand Rapids at a groundbreaking for the renovation and expansion of the Wealthy Street SW transit operations center. The project is partially funded by American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
“President Obama knows that creating jobs and rebuilding our transportation infrastructure go hand-in-hand, and we’re doing both in Grand Rapids,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
The Federal Transit Administration provided $10.6 million in Recovery Act funds and an additional $8.7 million in Federal Transit Administration funds for the $32.4 million project.
“Thanks to Recovery Act funds, this state-of-the-art, green facility is being built two years ahead of schedule and will serve Grand Rapid citizens for years to come,” said Administrator Rogoff. “Construction of the operations center will give a jump-start to the local economy and create 50 new jobs.”
The renovation and expansion of the Wealthy Street SW operations center by the Interurban Transit Partnership, also known as “The Rapid,” is expected to accommodate the transit agency's growth needs for decades, providing for storage of more than 160 buses, additional maintenance bays, additional office and administrative space, increased space for drivers and dispatchers and secure parking for employees. The Rapid has outgrown its existing facility, which was built in the early 1970s and was designed to accommodate a maximum fleet of 100 buses. Having doubled its service since 2000 to 9.3 million rides a year, The Rapid currently has a fleet of 122 fixed-route buses.
The project, which will dramatically improve mobility and transportation opportunities for residents of Greater Grand Rapids and foster economic growth, is being designed with sustainable management practices and is anticipated to be LEED certified at the Silver level.
Through the Recovery Act, which President Obama signed into law on Feb. 17, 2009, the U.S. Department of Transportation is making a total $48.1 billion available for highway and bridge, rail, transit, small shipyards and airport construction and repairs nationwide. Of that, $31.1 billion already has been obligated to fund more than 10,900 projects in 53 U.S. states and territories, including more than $7.6 billion for transit improvements.