A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

On a rainy day: Check into bus barn story

Written January 5th, 2022 by Hasso Hering

This shot of buses at Albany Station is from Oct. 26, 2021. Albany is planning to build a new bus barn.

A reader was browsing the local paper on Jan. 3 and came across something that he thought might make a story on this blog on a “cold, windy and rainy day” when nothing else was at hand.

What he had seen was a legal notice in the back of the paper. It said the city of Albany was looking for someone to design a new transit facility on 34th Avenue. And yes, considering the weather and my current order to stay off the bike for a while, there’s something there.

For years, when the city buses are not in service they have been parked on a lot behind the South Albany fire station. This is less than satisfactory, and in 2018 the city bought, for $285,000, land on the north side of 34th Avenue for a bus barn. It’s about 2.2 acres just east of the water reservoir at 475 34th Ave. S.W., between the avenue and land to the north still owned by the Southern Pacific Transportation Co.

The city estimates the total cost of this project, including design and construction, at $3.9 million. Most of the design expense will be covered by a grant from the Federal Transit Administration. And for construction, the city hopes to get an FTA grant as well.

Public Works Director Chris Bailey says it would be optimistic to hope for construction in 2023. A more realistic expectation is to have the project complete “in 2024 or later.”

(Greater Albany Public Schools, by the way, is already building a new bus barn for its fleet. More on that later, perhaps on another rainy day.)

In the meantime, you are asking yourself, what about the Albany Transit System’s big upgrade of routes and schedules announced in 2021?

The word from transit manager Barry Hoffman is that those changes are “in the works.”

“We have the routes figured out,” he emailed me, “and we are working on identifying locations of new bus stops along those routes.”

He hopes to have all that done this winter and to have the new ATS system running in the spring.

Ah spring! Something to look forward to in this winter’s gloom. (hh)

6 responses to “On a rainy day: Check into bus barn story”

  1. MarK says:

    Like all of the local improvements, I’ll bet on the “or later” timeframe.

  2. Mark H Avery says:

    Hopefully Happy 2022 to ALL,

    I’m the inquirer on this blog, “cold, windy and rainy day”.
    Thank you Hasso for research on it and the hundreds of stories preceding and yet to be told.
    Here is a quick Google Maps link for the un-built transit facility:


    Some might rember when the train had access track to ORE-MET there.
    It shows up well on the map image. This appears to me a great use of the property.
    Looking forward to others comments.

    Mark A.

  3. russell w Tripp says:

    We should build the garage and keep them there. Empty buses running around town spread more carbon than they prevent. Perhaps the new routes will help, but I doubt it. The Albany buses do more harm than good. We need to rethink Albany transportation and come up with something that really works. Maybe making it free would help.

    • hj.anony1 says:

      Interesting comment. Only bus I ride is the airport shuttle from economy to the terminal.

      Post idea for you HH, study the Albany ridership. Think headcount. Maybe the buses are empty. If so, yikes!!

      You might have to study Corvallis too where buses are “free”.

  4. Bill Kapaun says:

    Apparently they plan to run more buses and totally skip the BOYS & GIRLS CLUB?
    Pretty stupid priorities.

  5. Pat Essensa says:

    Instead of spending money on a new bus garage why can’t Albany store their buses in the greater Albany old bus garage. When the school buses move to 34th why can the Albany busesuse the old barn. Its centrally located. God’s spot Albany must think are Mrs gutrocks


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