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Federal funds approved for service garage

August 02, 1998|By CLYDE FORD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The Eastern Panhandle Transit Authority will receive federal money to build a new service garage for the eight public buses that run in Berkeley and Jefferson counties.

U.S. Rep. Bob Wise, D-W.Va., announced Wednesday that three bus systems in West Virginia will share $10 million from a federal appropriation.

Federal funding for the project has been sought since 1989, said Linda Mason, director of operations for the Eastern Panhandle Transit Authority.

The transit authority wants to build a new service garage and office center, Mason said.

She said she did not know what portion of the $10 million will be sent to Martinsburg.

The other funds are going to buy new buses for public transportation systems in Charleston and Petersburg, according to Wise, who serves on a U.S. House of Representatives panel that authorizes transportation projects.

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Mason said the service garage is needed to help keep the buses on the road.

The eight buses owned by the transit authority are brought in for routine inspections about every 3,000 miles, she said.

The transit authority currently rents a garage with one service bay, its third location since public transportation started in the county in 1976, she said.

Mechanics must either wait to do their work on buses until the service bay is cleared or contract with other garages to do the work, she said.

The proposed garage would have eight service bays, with garage doors on both sides so the buses could be driven directly inside, Mason said.

"It'll be a nice, modern facility," Mason said. "That's something we have not had."

The federal funds also will be used to buy about two acres of land to house the service garage, she said.

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