MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Eastern Panhandle Transit Authority officials have announced the acquisition of land for a new administration building and transfer station.
The current administrative building is located at 446 Novak Drive, near the Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport.
EPTA has experienced a steady increase in ridership every year in the past decade. This has resulted in more bus routes through Berkeley and Jefferson Counties, which means more buses.
“Having that transit center downtown, it will increase accessibility and mobility or our ridership in Berkeley and Jefferson County,” said EPTA Executive Director Elaine Bartoldson.
Phase I of the project will include a new 5,400 square foot administration and training building, a 6 bay transfer station, administration parking and public parking. The location will connect to existing sidewalks and the Raleigh Street bicycle trail.
“The Raleigh Street extension property is going to be the perfect facility for us,” said board Chairman Nick Diehl. “It’s in close proximity to most of our riders. We have several buses that go through town now. We’re going to be able to pick up more people, more frequent routes through town and our deadhead miles are going to be significantly less. So we’re very excited about the opportunity to be able to grow at that site.”
Federal funding was provided for phase 1 of construction. EPTA was required to provide a 20% local match for the project. MVB Bank is handling the financing of the project.
“The award was through the federal government to build the building,” MVB Bank Senior Commercial Lender Garrett Reid. “A piece of it needed to be provided by the EPTA, which we helped finance. So we financed essentially the land portion and then the award will be to construct the building.”
In April 2018, U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito and Joe Manchin awarded $4.5 million toward the project.
“EPTA is such a valuable resource for thousands of citizens in the Eastern Panhandle—whether they’re riding to get to work at P&G or to get class at Shepherd University or Blue Ridge. EPTA had a great problem outgrowing their current headquarters, and my office was happy to assist in securing funding for their new property. This new facility will help EPTA better serve their riders and continue to transport them safely to their destination.” -Sen. Shelley Moore Capito
“The Eastern Panhandle Transit Authority provides a crucial service throughout the region and expanding their infrastructure will create jobs and drive economic growth that will support Martinsburg and the entire region. I am excited to see this investment come to West Virginia.” -Sen. Joe Manchin
Phase II of the construction project is projected to include a 32 storage bay maintenance facility. Plans are currently under consideration.
Al Gaige/Panhandle News Network contributed to this report.