Building a Next-Generation Transit System
Funding for a Satellite Facility
Metro Transit has submitted an application for the TIGER 2017 Discretionary Grant in order to build a much-needed bus satellite facility at Nakoosa Trail.
The facility is estimated to cost approximately $35 million and will be the first step in addressing current service needs, providing a new force for economic development and planning for the future of mass transit in the region.
tiger grant background
On September 7, 2017, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced the opportunity for state and local stakeholders to apply for $500 million in discretionary grant funding through the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program.
Since the TIGER grant program was first created, $5.1 billion has been awarded for capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure over eight rounds of competitive grants.
need for bus maintenance facility
From 2010 to 2014, Metro has experienced a significant increase in ridership. In 2014, Metro tallied an all-time record of more than 15 million rides.
As a result of this success, many routes have become dramatically overcrowded. Due to these overcrowded buses, drivers struggle to keep buses on-time.
In attempts to address these issues, Metro has maxed out its number of available buses, and lost the ability to expand during commuting hours. As the community continues to thrive and grow, there are several communities, disadvantaged neighborhoods, business centers and other important destinations that Metro is not able to serve. Metro is also not able to accommodate an ever-increasing call for service from key regional employers to help increase their workforce.
None of these expansions or accommodations in service can be made without additional buses, and more importantly, a facility to house them.
Metro's current facility on East Washington Ave. is more than 30 years old and was originally designed to house 160 buses. There are now 215 forty-foot buses and 17 paratransit vehicles stored at this location.
Additionally, the garage itself is not equipped to house articulated 60-foot buses, which are also needed to help address capacity issues.
proposed SITE AT nakoosa trl.
In 2013, the City of Madison purchased property on Nakoosa Trl. to be used for a variety of municipal purposes including Fleet Services, Fire Maintenance, Radio Shop, and Metro Transit operations.
Metro is proposing to use TIGER funding to build a $35 million bus satellite facility on this property to relieve severe overcrowding in its current garage, improve safety, and provide the capacity necessary to expand service.
The new facility is proposed to house 56 buses including 36 sixty-foot articulated buses and 20 forty-foot standard buses. If articulated buses are not purchased, the facility has the capacity to house 70 standard buses.
This new facility is also proposed to be a clean energy garage. It will be partially powered by solar energy and have the infrastructure necessary to service both diesel and all-electric vehicles.
next-generation transit system
Building this facility is the first step in building a next-generation transit system in the regional community.
As part of this grant application, Metro plans to purchase five electric 60-foot articulated buses to serve its most crowded routes. Metro would also look to expand service to Sun Prairie, and increase service to our region's largest employers such as Epic Systems and the proposed Foxconn healthcare technology facility.
Building this bus facility would be the next step in Metro's long-term goals of introducing a Bus Rapid Transit System by the year 2023, converting 50% of its fleet to all-electric zero emission vehicles, and overall increasing ridership by at least 31% by 2035.
Several hundred applications are expected to be submitted for this grant opportunity. Metro hopes to hear the results of its grant application near the end of summer or early fall of 2018.
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