On Thursday, Deputy Federal Transit Administrator Therese McMillan marked Earth Day by awarding $39 million for the construction of the Massachusetts-based Worcester Regional Transit Authority's (WRTA) new state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly maintenance and operations center to be built on a former manufactured gas production site.
The WRTA will build the new 260,000-square-foot facility using innovations in "green" technology and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) design principles, including the use of building materials with zero maintenance, lighting from natural sources, oil water separators and water recycling.
The new building will replace WRTA's current facility, a 77-year-old "trolley barn" that was converted to maintain and operate buses in the 1940s when the trolleys were phased out.
Set to be built on twelve acres, the transit center will include room for at least 50 vehicles, an operations center, parking for workers and fueling facilities. The new maintenance facility is also expected to result in lower operating costs due to its close location to the bus hub at Union Station.
Once the trolley barn site is empty, WRTA plans to sell the property and use the proceeds to enhance the passenger facilities at Union Station. The Bus Hub, a new addition to the Union Station transportation campus, is scheduled to break ground late this year.