Project: COAST Preventative Maintenance, State of Good Repair
State: New Hampshire
ARRA Award Amount: $3.25 Million
Program: Urbanized Area Formula
FTA's ARRA grant to the Cooperative Alliance for Seacoast Transportation (COAST), the regional transit agency in the Portsmouth, NH area, is being put to good use. Eighty percent of the ARRA funding COAST received is now under contract for buses, preventative maintenance, bus shelters and maintenance equipment. Among the items procured with ARRA funds, COAST purchased vehicle lifts and a new Energy Star-rated A/C unit for its building. COAST has focused on facility upgrades that will drive down the organization's operating costs for its main facility in Dover, NH. The new A/C unit replaced a very inefficient system that was original to the building. A second upgrade included the conversion of all interior lighting to high-efficiency lighting with motion sensors to automatically turn on and off lights in low-traffic spaces of the building. In 1.5 years, COAST will have saved enough of its monthly utility bills to have made up for the cost of the lighting conversion.
Given the prevailing economic conditions in New Hampshire, the inability of the State to continue to maintain its level of support for public transit, and the upward financial pressures placed on COAST by the ever increasing costs of fleet maintenance, the preventive maintenance funds made available through the ARRA funds were critical to COAST being able to maintain its three-person maintenance team over the past year. Based on the new methodology for calculating job retention and creation, COAST has sustained at least four FTE positions through the expenditure of its ARRA funds.