Transit administration chief praises new DC Metro bus facility

The head of the Federal Transit Administration is praising a new bus facility that the Washington, D.C. Metrobus system broke ground on Monday.

FTA chief Peter Rogoff said that the new bus maintenance facility that will be opened by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) in northern Virginia will be a “state-of-the-art facility” that will have “new and more reliable equipment to improve the maintenance of 160 buses and service newer, alternative fuel buses that require space and equipment the current garage lacks.”

“When it’s time to take your car in for a tune-up, you want a shop that’s got the right equipment and can turn the job around quickly so you can get back on the road,” Rogoff wrote in a blog post on the Department of Transportation’s website. “America's transit agencies need the same qualities in their bus maintenance facilities.

 

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“That's why the Federal Transit Administration helps transit systems modernize their bus shops and keep their fleet in a state of good repair,” Rogoff continued. “One place we're doing just that is in Northern Virginia, where the Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority…has had to rely on a bus maintenance facility that was built in 1945. This maintenance center is not just old and deteriorating – it’s from another era and can’t even accommodate WMATA's newer, more efficient buses.”


Metro received $58 million from the transit administration to help build the new bus maintenance facility that is located Fairfax County, Va.

The capital area transit agency hailed the new bus facility on Monday as “another example of the region and federal government partnering to fund critical infrastructure projects.”

“Metro is rebuilding the system and modern bus facilities are a key part of our ability to provide quality bus service to our riders,” Metro General Manager Richard Sarles said in a statement.

The new Metro bus facility was also praised Monday by northern Virginia Rep. Jim Moran (D), who played a role in helping the agency win the federal funding.

“Breaking ground for this modern bus facility provides needed infrastructure investment,” Moran said in a statement. “The future sale of the old Royal Street facility will give the City of Alexandria the ability to encourage development appropriate for the neighborhood, while the new facility development here in Fairfax will greatly improve Metro’s operations, benefiting Northern Virginia residents for many years to come.”

The FTA’s chief Rogoff said Monday that the new Metro bus facility “will improve service for the thousands of riders who depend on WMATA's buses to get where they need to go.

“The new facility will also allow WMATA to grow its bus service, connecting even more people to ladders of opportunity in the decades to come,” Rogoff wrote.