The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) broke ground today (September 16) on a new, modern, CNG Metrobus facility in Southwest Washington that will house and maintain 114 Metrobuses, and if fully developed, will be able to accommodate up to 250 buses.
The new Metrobus facility will be built on land formerly known as DC Village and replaces Metro’s 72-year old Southeastern Bus Garage, which was sold for $69.25 million and vacated in 2008 because of its proximity to the new Nationals Ballpark. The cost of the land at DC Village, at Shepherd Parkway and Blue Plains Drive, was $8.05 million.
The new state-of-the-art bus facility is expected to be completed as early as 2012. The final garage configuration and competitive bidding process will determine the final cost. The facility will be an environmentally friendly LEED Silver Certification building, officials said.
Funds for construction of the new bus facility are coming from the proceeds from the sale of the Southeastern Bus Garage and another $30 million from the Federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. A 2009 report from the American Public Transportation Association indicates that for every $1 million in spending on public transportation capital investments, 23.8 jobs are generated directly and indirectly.
“The $30 million in Recovery Act funding will create jobs here in the Washington, DC, region and lay the groundwork for a strong transit system for years to come,” said Peter M. Rogoff, Administrator of the Federal Transit Administration. “This new facility will ensure that area residents continue to enjoy the transit service they deserve.”
“This project is not only going to mean a more efficient maintenance operation for Metro, it means more predictable and reliable service for our residents,” said DC Mayor Adrian M. Fenty.
“I am happy to see this long overdue project get underway,” said Metro Board Chairman Jim Graham, who is also a DC Councilmember. “This new garage will bring many benefits to bus operations in D.C.”
The first phase of construction of the new 16-acre Metrobus facility will relocate 114 Metrobuses previously assigned to the Southeastern Metrobus Garage. The major construction elements in the first phase will include the demolition of all buildings within the project site; a main building which will house bus maintenance and operations; permanent facilities for fare collection, fueling and washing; bus parking and circulation areas; employee and visitor parking; separate entrances for buses and employee vehicles; security fence around the facility; landscaping; and storm water management measures.
“The Southeastern Bus Garage was built in 1936 and served this region well for 72 years,” said Metro General Manager John Catoe. “Now it is time to move forward, to build a new CNG facility, one that is environmentally friendly and will be our first LEED Silver Certification building. One that we hope will last even longer than the Southeastern Bus Garage. And one that will be a good workplace for our bus operators, mechanics, supervisors and clerks.”
Metro will collaborate with the District of Columbia to supply compressed natural gas from the bus facility to an adjacent property for the District of Columbia to use for fueling its vehicles.