Contact: Allison Lantero
MACON, Mo. – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) today celebrated the opening of a new transit bus maintenance and administration facility in Macon County, which will significantly improve the efficient operation of transit buses that serve a growing ridership in 87 counties across Missouri. FTA Regional Administrator Mokhtee Ahmad joined state and local officials at the event.
The U.S. Department of Transportation provided 100 percent of funding for design, and construction of the $2.65 million facility through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The funding for the facility was part of a $14.6 million grant awarded to the Missouri Department of Transportation.
“President Obama is committed to modernizing our nation’s transportation infrastructure and bringing more good transportation choices to all Americans,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Here in Missouri, and all across the country, we are investing in the clean, modern transit facilities our communities need to grow and provide access to opportunities for future generations.”
The facility’s owner, OATS, Inc., is a private, nonprofit corporation providing demand-response and fixed-route transportation for senior citizens, people with disabilities, and the rural general public in Missouri. The new 10,000 square-foot facility will provide bus storage and maintenance areas for up to 12 transit vehicles and house the OATS Northeast regional offices. The new facility replaces on outmoded building that lacked office space and had no maintenance, bus wash, or storage capacity. Buses that had been stored in various outdoor locations without any protection from inclement weather will now be protected. These improvements mean less wear and tear on vehicles and more efficient transit service for years to come.
“This new facility will help prolong the life of the OATS bus fleet while also providing a safe, professional environment for transit workers,” said Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff. “And with transit ridership up six percent across Missouri, keeping our transit facilities and vehicles in a state of good repair is more important than ever.”
In 2012, OATS buses logged over 16 million miles across Missouri.