June 14, 2011

Hampton Roads Transit unveils ‘green’ bus facility

Hampton Roads Transit officials unveiled a new, energy efficient bus maintenance facility in Norfolk, Va. The modern facility embraces innovative new technology and was built, in part, with $14 million in ARRA funds provided in 2010.

The building has many environmentally-friendly features, such as motion-sensor controlled lighting and a 50,000-gallon rainwater harvesting tank for bus wash operations.

“The Hampton Roads bus facility is the kind of investment that will help us achieve President Obama’s goal of reducing the nation’s dependence on oil,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “We have not only provided a safer, cleaner and healthier facility for workers, we’ve helped construct a building that is more energy efficient and good for the environment.”

The 95,000-square-foot Southside facility will house dispatching operations, a garage, bus wash, fueling station and a body and paint shop. The new “green” facility replaces dilapidated trolley barns that had been built in the early 1900s and later converted to a bus garage.

Workers in the old facility had to contend with aging equipment and bays that were too narrow to accommodate modern buses, not to mention an inadequate heating and cooling system and the building’s general state of disrepair. The new facility also includes covered parking for 200 buses.

Hampton Roads Transit used $14 million of a $24.5 million Recovery Act grant in building the $57 million facility. The transit agency used the remainder of the Recovery Act money for buses and new equipment. The Federal Transit Administration provided an additional $4.7 million in discretionary funds for the facility through other transit assistance programs.

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