The Greenville Transit Authority has been awarded an $11 million federal grant to build a new bus maintenance facility, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced Tuesday.
Greenlink officials have said a new maintenance facility is vital to the transit system’s ability to improve operational efficiencies and to implement future service expansions. Its current facility at 154 Augusta St. originally was a beer distribution center and not designed for transit maintenance. It is also more than 30 years old and big enough so only two buses can be worked on at a time.
Greenlink Director Gary Shepard said he hopes the new facility will be completed within three years. The grant requires a 20 percent local match, or $2.2 million.
The estimated total cost of the new facility is between $20 million and $25 million. Some of that would be the cost of the land and the proceeds of the sale of the current facility, which is located in an area of the city that is undergoing a resurgence, Shepard said.
The city recently completed a streetscape project, the South Carolina Children’s Theatre has broken ground on a new $10 million campus, the old Claussen Bakery building was converted to McMillan Pazdan Smith’s new office, and single family homes and an assisted living facility has been built.
Shepard said the transit authority has identified some available sites that are not currently on the tax rolls.
The Federal Transit Administration awarded $366.2 million to 107 projects through its Buses and Bus Facilities Infrastructure Investment Program. The funding supports projects to replace, rehabilitate, and purchase buses and related equipment, as well as projects to purchase, rehabilitate, and construct bus-related facilities, according to a news release.
More than $2 billion in funding requests were received for 339 projects.
Greenlink was the only bus system in South Carolina to get an award.