The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) celebrated the opening of the new R.Y.D.E. (Reach Your Destination Easily) Transit Facility in Kearney, Neb., which will provide reliable transit service for hundreds of daily riders in rural central Nebraska and significantly improve maintenance and operations of RYDE Transit vehicles.
R.Y.D.E. Transit is a service provided through the Community Action Partnership of Mid-Nebraska, a non-profit organization that seeks to improve access to transportation, education, housing and medical care for people living in rural communities in south central Nebraska.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) provided nearly 100% of the funding for the $4.5 million facility, plus approximately $239,000 for related technology upgrades. Of the total from U.S. DOT, $4.4 million was provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
“President Obama is committed to modernizing our nation’s transportation infrastructure and bringing more transportation choices to more Americans,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “This investment in Kearney will provide transit riders with convenient and reliable access to 21st century transportation services for years to come.”
The new 27,000 square-foot-facility will provide climate-controlled bus storage and maintenance areas for up to 24 transit vehicles and house RYDE Transit’s regional offices. This will be a vast improvement to maintain RYDE Transit’s fleet of vehicles, which were previously parked outside and exposed to inclement weather, leading to increased wear and tear on the vehicles.
In addition, federal funding is being used to upgrade technology used to schedule rides and provide drivers with route changes and GPS-based routing — all of which translates to more efficient transit service for riders.
“Maintaining our nation’s transit vehicles and equipment in a state of good repair is just as important for bus riders in rural locations like Kearney as it is for transit riders in Cleveland, New York or Boston,” said Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff. “Kearney’s new transportation facility will help keep transit vehicles operating in good condition and ensure residents have reliable transit options to get to downtown, Good Samaritan Hospital, Hilltop Mall, University of Nebraska at Kearney and elsewhere.”
R.Y.D.E. Transit provides approximately 400 to 450 rides per day through scheduled, curb-to-curb service for residents in rural areas of Buffalo, Adams, Franklin, Kearney and Gosper Counties.