Mountain Line will receive more than $6 million in federal funding to construct a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) training and testing course on the Northern Arizona University (NAU) campus.
Mountain Line and NAU are partnering on this project, which meets both organization’s workforce development goals to recruit and train transit drivers. The federal funding is leveraged by $1.5 million in local funding, for a total project cost of $7.6 million. Additionally, Coconino Community College (CCC) will use the course to support their CDL training program and it will be designed to accommodate both Class B (buses) and Class A (commercial trucking) layouts.
Several members of the Arizona Congressional delegation were instrumental in advocating for and securing this much-needed funding for the Flagstaff community, including Sens. Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema, and Reps. Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01) and Greg Stanton (AZ-09).
“Mountain Line has long needed a dedicated space to train and test drivers to attain their CDL, and this grant funding will ensure we have the necessary access to get our drivers out on the road,” said Mountain Line CEO and General Manager Heather Dalmolin. “We are grateful for the support of our congressional delegation and the partnership of NAU and CCC in bringing this vital project to our community.”
“Northern Arizona University is pleased to partner with Mountain Line and CCC on this important workforce development initiative, said NAU President Cruz Rivera. “This is the first phase of advancing critical infrastructure to support the electrification of transit fleet, and we thank the Arizona congressional delegation for their support of this impactful project.”
The CDL course is Phase 1 of a larger project on NAU’s south campus. The remaining phases include a shared bus storage, maintenance and electric charging facility between Mountain Line and NAU, but these are not currently funded. Construction on Phase 1 is scheduled for April through December 2022 and will include a new bus-only access road from Lone Tree Rd. to Pine Knoll Dr. and an approximately 45,000-square-foot CDL course.