A new $8.2 million bus facility unveiled Thursday was hailed as a “landmark achievement” for the Denton County Transportation Authority.
The new facility, which will be the center for vehicle repair and maintenance for the DCTA, will replace the authority’s leased facility located at the landfill on Mayhill Road in Denton. About 130 employees will work at the facility, which will house the 80 buses in the DCTA fleet.
“Collectively we delivered a high-quality product we can all be proud of,” DCTA President Jim Cline said Thursday. “Not only will the new facility greatly enhance our ability to continue providing outstanding bus service to the community, it allows us to provide a better work environment for our valued front-line employees.”
Cline said the facility was “a landmark achievement for DCTA and will greatly improve the quality and efficiency of our bus operations.”
Cline and several other officials from the DCTA, city and county were on hand Thursday for the grand opening ceremony of the facility, which sits on 15 acres of land at 1101 Teasley Lane. Among those in attendance were DCTA board chairman Charles Emery, Denton Mayor Mark Burroughs and Cheryle Tyson from the Federal Transit Administration.
The facility is the result of coordinated efforts by the DCTA, the city of Denton and the FTA. A grant from the FTA’s State of the Good Repair Bus and Bus Facilities Initiative Program funded construction costs and allowed the agency to build immediately rather than wait several years down the road, according to Kristina Brevard, DCTA vice president of marketing and communications.
The facility, made up of a 22,000-square-foot maintenance building with a bus wash and fueling station, provides room for vehicle repair, maintenance, washing, fueling, parking and bus operations. It will house six maintenance bays and administrative office space. It is about one mile east of the agency’s Euline Brock Downtown Denton Transit Center.
The facility is expected to save almost 20,000 gallons of fuel and eliminate 217 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually through more efficient routing of vehicles, officials said.
Other key sustainable design features include insulated roof and wall structures, high-efficiency motors, high-efficiency lighting fixtures for interior and parking lot lighting, occupancy sensors that can control lighting in offices, conference rooms, break rooms, restrooms and similar areas and plumbing fixtures providing water and energy savings.
Brevard noted that the facility also has keycard-only access for improved security and will eventually house a workout room for drivers and employees to help with the agency’s wellness efforts.
The facility is also built to expand. In the maintenance facility, the windows on the side of the building are the same size as the bus bay doors to accommodate a transition from offices to more work space. There is also area on the property where administration offices could be built.
Receiving recognition for his work bringing the facility online was Ed Ewell, director of maintenance. Ewell credited other staff members for the facility’s success.
He described the landfill location as a shell of a shop, a stark contrast from the new high-tech facility.
“We have all the technology we need, all the space we need,” he said. “It’s better to work on vehicles. Guys are a lot happier than where we were at.”
DCTA’s Bus and Operations Maintenance facility marks the second new facility the agency has opened in the past few years. In early 2012, DCTA celebrated the opening of its newly constructed Rail Operation and Maintenance facility in Lewisville.
BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875 and via Twitter at @BjlewisDRC.