Update: WRTA Awarded More Than $8M for Infrastructure Updates, New Buses

WASHINGTON – The Western Reserve Transit Authority will receive more than $8 million in federal funds to improve its infrastructure, replace older buses and update Federal Station.

Three grants, announced Friday, were awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The funds were made possible through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

The WRTA will receive a $4,313,552 Buses and Bus Facilities grant to update its Mahoning Avenue bus garage.

“This Buses and Bus Facilities grant award will provide funding for the replacement of one of our bus barns that hasn’t been updated since the 1970s, and when the update is complete, the new bus barn will be ready for the future with the ability to charge battery electric buses and make our operation more efficient,” Dean Harris, executive director of the WRTA, said in a news release.

The bus garage consists of two connected buildings that store 46 large buses, 28 small buses and four modified minivans, WRTA’s website states. The vehicles provide fixed-route transit service to the cities of Youngstown and Warren and surrounding areas.

The WRTA also received a $2,940,480 Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity Transportation Discretionary grant to complete engineering and final design for the reconstruction of the Federal Station transit hub into a mixed-use, transit-oriented facility that includes a sheltered passenger terminal, parking garage, electric vehicle charging stations and amenities.

The WRTA will also receive $1,208,631 as part of a $29,331,665 Low-No Grant to the Ohio Department of Transportation on behalf of 10 subrecipients. This investment will support the Ohio Zero Emission Ready Ohio project by helping transit authorities across the state replace older buses with zero- and low-emission models.

“Transportation isn’t just moving vehicles – it’s moving people,” said ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks. “We are happy to partner with the federal government to help our local transit agencies upgrade their bus fleets.”

The other nine subrecipients are Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority, Stark Area Regional Transit Authority, Perry County Transit, Chillicothe Transit System, Seneca Crawford Area Transportation, Butler County Regional Transit Authority, Ottawa County Transit Authority, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority and Geauga County Transit.

It was announced in February that the WRTA will receive $32.6 million in transit funds over five years through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to purchase new buses and improve infrastructure.

“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is getting resources to Ohio communities to improve transportation and support Ohio workers,” U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.