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)