Contact: Allison Lantero
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) today celebrated the opening of a renovated bus maintenance facility that has served Springfield for a century and has now been brought into a state of good repair for a new generation of transit riders. FTA Regional Administrator Mokhtee Ahmad joined local officials at the ribbon cutting.
“As more and more Springfield residents use public transit, we need to make sure the facility they’re using is in a state of good repair and able to service new buses and keep them running at a lower cost,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “President Obama has called on us to invest in a modern, efficient transit system that meets the needs of today’s riders and the work in Springfield is a great example for the rest of the nation.”
FTA provided $7.7 million in State of Good Repair funds and $1.4 million in Recovery Act funds toward the $11.8 million facility, which is operated by City Utilities, the transit authority for Springfield.
“The barn that once housed mule-drawn streetcars serving Springfield in the early 20th century has been transformed into a 21st-century facility that gets buses up and running for the passengers who depend on them,” said FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff. “We continue to support the Administration’s call for a ‘Fix it First’ plan that includes $9 billion in federal funds to help communities around the nation repair and renovate public transit systems that riders depend on to get to work, to the doctor’s office, and to other destinations.”
The renovated building houses buses indoors for the first time to reduce wear and tear and improve access for repairs, and includes larger maintenance bays and upgraded fuel and bus wash stations. Administrative offices for City Utilities personnel were also added.
In 2011, FTA awarded City Utilities $3 million in State of Good Repair funds to purchase 10 new buses that will spend less time in the shop, cost less to maintain, and provide a more reliable ride for everyone who needs it. City Utilities reports that bus ridership rose by 8 percent in 2012 over 2011, the latest year figures are available.