Rahall, Rockefeller, Manchin Announce $3.2 Million for Bluefield Transit Project

Special to HuntingtonNews.Net

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, along with Senators Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin (all D-W.Va.), Tuesday announced $3.2 million in federal funding for a new Bluefield Area Transit (BAT) bus operations facility.

“Having a dependable and accessible bus system is important to many residents in getting to and from work, the grocery store, and doctor appointments,” said Congressman Rahall, who serves as the top Democrat on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. “This is important funding to ensure that public transportation is an available option in rural areas, especially at a time of high gas prices.”

“This award is a major step toward providing modern and reliable transportation that’s essential for Bluefield area residents and businesses, and a new transit facility will really help this growing southern West Virginia community,” said Senator Rockefeller.  “Initiatives that invest in transportation and infrastructure help to secure the future of West Virginia’s economy.”

“Investments in our infrastructure help West Virginia attract the businesses and residents we need to keep our economy strong,” Senator Manchin said.  “These funds will help make necessary updates and improvements in Southern West Virginia that will be an asset to Mercer and McDowell counties, and will support the businesses that currently employ West Virginians.”

The funding was made available through the State of Good Repair (SGR) Bus and Bus facilities program operated by the Federal Transit Administration, which helps to finance capital projects to replace, rebuild, and purchase buses and related equipment, and to construct bus facilities.

BAT is operated by the City of Bluefield and maintains a fleet of 27 vehicles to serve Mercer and McDowell Counties.  BAT operations and administrative offices are currently housed in a 100 year old converted freight station in need of major repairs. Given the age and condition of the facility, BAT determined that it would be more economical to seek a new facility.  A 3.5 acre site with more than 11,000 square feet of office space has been located in Mercer County near the city limits of Bluefield.  The new facility will be able to accommodate the BAT administrative offices, maintenance activities, and indoor vehicle storage.

 

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