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Congresswoman Sykes and U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown celebrate groundbreaking of new $37 million Akron Metro RTA operations and maintenance facility .....By Clevelandurbannews.com Ohio's Black digital news media,

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Clevelandurbannews.com and Kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com

AKRON, Ohio — U.S. Representative Emilia Sykes (OH-13), an Akron Democrat and U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) (both pictured),a Cleveland Democrat and Ohio's most prominent Democrat, joined local leaders on Monday to celebrate the groundbreaking of the new $37 million AKRON METRO RTA maintenance and operations facility located on its campus at 336 Kenmore Blvd.

Rep. Sykes and Sen. Brown helped METRO secure a Buses and Bus Facilities Grant for the construction of a new Maintenance and Operations Facility on its existing campus by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA). This investment was made possible through the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), commonly known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

"METRO RTA is a vital part of Summit County's infrastructure, providing reliable and accessible transportation options for our seniors, our students, and our children and families on their routes to school, doctors' appointments, work, and the grocery store. Thanks to the historic investment by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, METRO will be able to improve their transit services, better connecting our neighborhoods and creating opportunities for people in Ohio's 13th Congressional District," said Rep. Sykes. "As the only Ohioan on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I'll continue advocating for the federal support necessary to make the public transportation systems in our district the best in the country."

"This new facility means RTA will be able to not only fix buses faster, but ensure that fewer buses break down in the first place. That means better service for Akronites," said Sen. Brown. "Transit like RTA is ultimately about the dignity of work. It creates jobs, it connects people with jobs, and it attracts jobs."

The new facility will support METRO's current fleet of 226 revenue vehicles and 22 support vehicles as well as up to 330 Operations and Maintenance support staff. The existing facility, built in 1984, was sized to maintain 90 35‐foot fixed‐ route buses, in addition to 50 smaller Demand Response vehicles.

Sykes said in a statement to

Clevelandurbannews.com and Kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com, Ohio's leading Black digital newspaper that a facilities assessment study identified the existing facility as outmoded, undersized and having surpassed its useful life. This need, she said, was reaffirmed in METRO's 2020 Strategic Plan that identified the Project as METRO's highest priority facility investment.

The new facility will consist of a 107,138 square foot, LEED-certified steel-framed structure consisting of two main functional areas (Operations and Vehicle Maintenance), a new visitor parking lot, a reconfigured employee parking lot, and a Commercial Drivers' License training pad. It will be built on METRO-owned property at 336 Kenmore Blvd., immediately adjacent to METRO's existing facilities at 416 Kenmore Blvd.




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