SAN LUIS OBISPO — The San Luis Obispo Regional Transit Authority (RTA) received a $6.285 million grant on Sept. 25 to help fund the construction of a new administration and bus maintenance facility.
“I am very appreciative of the partnerships that it took to procure the land for the new administration and maintenance facility, and this project would never have happened without the support of SLOCOG, CAPSLO and the City and County of San Luis Obispo,” said Geoff Straw, Executive Director of RTA. “This grant is a significant step forward in developing a long term solution for the RTA’s needs.”
The grant comes as a result of the Federal Transit Administration Buses & Bus Facilities Infrastructure Investment Program, which makes federal resources available to states and direct recipients to replace, rehabilitate and purchase buses and related equipment and to construct bus-related facilities. The FTA received 255 applications for this grant and SLORTA received the largest amount in the State of California.
“SLOCOG is proud of the role we were able to take in helping to develop this new facility project,” said Pete Rodgers, Executive Director of SLOCOG. “We are pleased that this Federal funding support has been awarded for the new RTA facility to ensure that transit services continue to support and serve our community.”
The motivating factors for applying for this grant are that the current location is too small to conduct the ongoing maintenance needs of the 90-plus vehicles in the RTA fleet. The vehicles that RTA maintains include the RTA buses, Paso Express, South County Transit, Runabout and Dial a Ride vans, administrative support vehicles and two trolleys. The second factor is that the lease on RTA’s current facility expires in February 2022.
The land for the new facility was purchased in 2014 and is adjacent to CAPSLO’s new homeless shelter on Prado Road in San Luis Obispo. RNL/Stantec Architecture has been hired to design the new facility and it is being designed to meet the City of San Luis Obispo’s Green Building code. Solar power for the facility and infrastructure for battery powered “e-buses” is being explored.
“It is vital that SLO County residents have safe and affordable buses they can depend on to get to work, school, and around the Central Coast,” said Congressman Salud Carbajal. “Thousands of Central Coast commuters utilize our public transportation system each day and I will continue working to build on this significant investment in our public transit.”
The new facility design is slated to be complete by October 2019 with an estimated completion of the project at the end of 2021.