A $2 million federal grant awarded to Holland, Mich.-based Macatawa Area Express (MAX) Transportation Authority will allow the transit system to complete all five phases of a new bus facility and garage.
MAX's project was among 11 projects in Michigan to receive grants, but is the only one from the western side of the state to receive funding. The funds are purposed for capital projects rather than funding operational service improvements, such as an expansion of hours or routes.
MAX's new bus facility will cost an estimated $4.2 million. About $2.2 million in federal funds were awarded to MAX in 2006 and 2007 and will fund the first two phases of the project. MAX planned the design and construction of the building in phases so that it could add on as funding became available.
The new 38,000 sq. ft. bus garage and facility will provide adequate indoor vehicle storage, office space, and wash and maintenance bays for its growing operations. A new facility is needed to replace the current bus facility that has been used for 25 years.
The majority of MAX's fleet must be parked outside, subjecting vehicles to weather and possible vandalism, because only eight buses can fit inside the small, aging facility.