September 27, 2011
Ann Arbor Transportation Authority Receives $2.7 Million for Blake Transit Center and Hybrid Bus Fleet Improvements
The Ann Arbor Transportation Authority (TheRide) announced today that a combined $2.7 million in grant funding from the Federal Transportation Administration (FTA) has been officially obligated. The funding includes $1.013 million for improvements to the Blake Transit Center and $1.697 million to add 10 hybrid buses to TheRide's fleet.
"This funding will play a critical role in expanding and enhancing transportation options for Ann Arbor to help us retain, create, and attract jobs to Washtenaw County. I am very happy to help Mayor John Hieftje and AATA's CEO Michael Ford continue their outstanding work," said Congressman Dingell. "I want to thank the U.S. Transportation Department for their assistance and work on this funding. Both of these projects will help TheRide operate more efficiently and effectively, working to better public transportation and economic security for Southeast Michigan."
The total construction cost of the Blake Transit Center renovation is estimated at $5.5 million. Plans include tripling the transit center space from 2,000 to approximately 6,000 square feet to allow for more office space, increased public restroom space and a remote dispatch center. TheRide has received a total of $4.195 million in grant funding to support the project and has submitted a grant application for the remaining costs.
Michigan-based engineering and architectural firm, DLZ, has been selected to design the new center to meet LEED certification. Michigan firm, Spence Brothers will be providing oversight will be providing construction management and oversight. Construction is scheduled to start in spring 2012.
The purchase of 10 hybrid electric vehicles will increase the number of hybrid buses in TheRide's fleet to 41 out of a total of 78 buses. The grant comes from the Clean Fuels Bus and Bus Facilities Program, which assists Clean Air Act nonattainment and maintenance areas in achieving or maintaining the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone and carbon monoxide, and supports emerging clean fuel and advanced propulsion technologies for transit buses and markets for those technologies.
"You cannot have a growing economy without robust access to transportation," said Ford. "Fortunately, Congressman Dingell understands this connection very well. We appreciate his efforts to bring these grants to Ann Arbor and look forward to further improving public transit services for the region."
The Ann Arbor Transportation Authority (TheRide) was chartered in 1969 by the City of Ann Arbor, Michigan, as a not-for-profit unit of government. AATA operates the local public transit system for the greater Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti area, enabling the area's residents to reach their destinations at reasonable cost, and offers the region efficient, environmentally sound transportation alternatives. For more information, please visit http://www.TheRide.org.
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