Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority celebrates opening of joint operations facility

June 21, 2022
The multi-year, $72 million project was funded by state, federal and local governments.

The Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority (EMTA) hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony in celebration of its completed joint operations facility.

The $72 million, multi-year project received funds from local, state and federal governments to create a state-of-the-art transit center.

“EMTA would like to thank the Federal Transit Administration’s Regional Director, Terry Garcia-Crews and PennDOT Deputy Secretary of Transportation, Jennie Louwerse and their respective teams in all of their efforts throughout the construction of our capital improvements,” said EMTA CEO Jeremy Peterson.

Speakers at the ceremony included EMTA Board Chair Ashley Lawson; EMTA CEO Jeremy Peterson; Pennsylvania Deputy Secretary of Transportation Jennie Louwerse; Erie County Executive Brenton Davis; and Erie City Mayor Joe Schember.

“The EMTA is proud to unveil the completed Joint Operations Facility. This state-of-the art transit center is ready to service the Erie region for years to come and create vibrancy within the mid-city district of Erie City,” said Peterson. “For the first time, we now have our fixed route, LIFT and administrative operations in one place. The difference is tangible. A clean, modern and effective operations center that provided our operators with a spacious and comfortable break area, a high-tech communications center and a maintenance and storage facility for all our rolling stock. With the incorporation of green technologies throughout, this facility is state of the art and will serve Erie County long into the future.”

The project also provides 18,000-square feet of commercial retail space located under a 300-space parking facility that aims to enhance the Midtown neighborhood and provide an economic boost to Midtown Erie.

While the facility was finished a couple years ago, the pandemic prevented EMTA from hosting a proper ceremonial opening for the facility.

EMTA officials said it is just the start of their plans for Erie's bus system.

"We have electrification of our fleet," said EMTA CEO Jeremy Peterson. "We have a new transit development plan that's going to be taking place within the next month. We have Wi-Fi capabilities coming out, and [we'll be] rolling those out in our buses, hopefully within the next year."

The celebration also included a public block party called 14th Fest featuring live music, food trucks and beer vendors, and ended with fireworks.

About the Author

Megan Perrero | Associate Editor

Megan Perrero is an award-winning B2B journalist. She is the associate editor of Mass Transit magazine where she assists with developing the newsletters and social media posts, along with the online and print content. She is currently a board member for Latinos in Transit and serves on the APTA Marketing and Communications Committee. She’s based out of Chicago, Ill.

Prior to joining the team, Perrero gained experience covering the manufacturing and processing food and beverage industry, the agriculture industry and the library industry.

Perrero is a Columbia College Chicago alumna where she earned a bachelor's degree in journalism with a concentration in magazine writing and a minor in public relations.