U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole said today that Raleigh will receive a $2,805,600 federal grant to help buy land for a planned Capital Area Transit bus maintenance and operations center on Poole Road.
CAT has outgrown its 30-year-old maintenance garage on Blount Street, which was designed to handle 50 buses. Now with about 90 buses carrying more riders every month, the city transit agency is planning a new $20 million facility that can handle 150 to 250 buses.
“We’re hoping to move in the next two to three years,” said David Eatmon, city transit administrator. “We need to move now.” [Updated 4:50 pm]
The grant will cover about 80 percent of the purchase price for the planned 23-acre site. Raleigh will seek more federal money to help build the bus maintenance and operations center.
CAT buses carried 450,000 passengers in August, the agency’s busiest month on record.
Dole, who is up for re-election this fall, also said Greensboro will get $2 million to buy land for a new bus maintenance shop, and Fayetteville will get $1.6 million to buy buses and vans and to renovate its maintenance shop.
"Especially with high fuel prices, mass transit is playing an important role in supporting energy efficiency and providing people with transportation options,” said Dole. “Strong transportation infrastructure also is vital to economic growth and job creation, and I applaud these cities for securing these funds.”