The city of Tucson and Sun Tran held a ceremony to celebrate the grand opening of Sun Tran's Northwest Bus Facility located at 3920 North Sun Tran Blvd. This 25-acre facility will store and maintain Sun Tran's expanding fleet of buses, and allows the continued expansion of transit service in the region.
"The completion of this facility represents a major milestone for our community," said Kate Riley, Sun Tran general manager. "This state-of-the-art complex was built in three phases to accommodate the growing need for transit options in our region."
Phase I was completed in 2005 and included the construction of Sun Tran Boulevard and the city fueling facility, with $8 million of Federal Transit Administration (FTA) funds and 1994 city of Tucson bonds.
Phase II was completed in 2009. It included the operations building and a portion of the maintenance facility, and was funded with $29 million of Regional Transportation Authority
(RTA) and FTA. The second phase, built to accommodate operation of up to 150 buses, included 17 bus bays to repair and maintain the fleet, a fare retrieval area, bus wash and dispatch center.
Phase III was completed in December 2011 and includes expansion of the maintenance building, a new administration building for regional transit operations, and more bus parking. This phase was funded with just over $16 million from FTA's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) stimulus program and $3 million in funding from the RTA. During its peak month of final phase construction, 186 local full-time jobs were created.
Sun Tran's Northwest Bus Facility now has the capacity to operate and maintain 250 buses for the entire Tucson region. Although the $56 million facility is complete, Sun Tran will continue to operate approximately one-third of the service from its location at 4220 S. Park Avenue.