October 5, 2012

D.C. Metro opens new bus facility

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro), local and federal officials opened the new Shepherd Parkway Metrobus Division, a modern, spacious and environmentally-friendly bus facility in Southwest Washington, D.C.

The state-of-the-art facility sits on 16 acres of land with space for up to 250 buses. Initially, it will house 114 Metrobuses that operate on 50 routes mainly in Southeast and Southwest Washington, D.C., providing better bus service for thousands of customers in the District of Columbia.

The Shepherd Parkway facility consists of a maintenance and administration building, maintenance bays for repairs, inspections and servicing, bus wash, fueling station, and parking and storage for up to 250 buses. A compressed natural gas fueling station will be added next spring. Approximately 400 employees will work at the new Shepherd Parkway Metrobus Division.

Shepherd Parkway will be Metro’s first building with US Green Building Council LEED Silver certification. While in its initial stages, Metro committed to incorporating features to reduce energy and water consumption from the design and construction phases through to the ways the facility will be operated and maintained. Of note, Shepherd Parkway features a storm water filtration system, white roof, drought-tolerant landscaping, low-flow plumbing fixtures and lighting system with occupancy sensors. Additional environmentally-friendly attributes include being within ¼-mile walking distance from a bus stop, bicycle parking and priority parking spaces for fuel efficient vehicles.

“Better maintenance on our vehicles, improved employee working conditions and improved operating efficiency equals better service to the thousands of people who ride Metrobuses in Southwest and Southeast Washington every day,” said Metro GM and CEO Richard Sarles.

Shepherd Parkway replaces the former Southeastern Metrobus Division, which was more than 70 years old when it closed in March 2008 because of its proximity to Nationals Park. Metro broke ground on the $97 million facility in September 2009, using proceeds from the sale of the former Southeastern Metrobus garage and funds from the Federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

“This state-of-the-art bus facility has been years in the making and we’d like to thank our local and federal partners, including the District of Columbia and US Department of Transportation, and the local community for their continued support. The investment in and dedication to Metro will be returned to the community with better bus service here in the nation’s capital and throughout the region,” Sarles said.

The Shepherd Parkway facility also features public art by sculptor, Ann Gardner. “North Star” consists of one large star and six small stars connected by dots that outline the image of the Ursa Minor constellation. The large-scale sculpture covers the north wall of the main building and is constructed of glass tiles, stainless steel and concrete.

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