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MAX Transit System Awarded $2 Million to Fund New Bus Facility | Community Spirit

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MAX Transit System Awarded $2 Million to Fund New Bus Facility
MAX Transit System Awarded $2 Million to Fund New Bus Facility

(Holland, MI) October 14, 2011 – A $2 million federal grant awarded to the Macatawa Area Express (MAX) Transportation Authority will allow the Holland area transit system to complete all five phases of a new bus facility and garage.

The U.S. Department of Transportation yesterday announced the recipients of federal grants through a competitive selection process. MAX’s project was among 11 projects in Michigan to receive grants, but is the only one from the western side of the state to receive funding.

The funds are purposed for capital projects rather than funding operational service improvements, such as an expansion of hours or routes.

“This is very good news for us and the lakeshore community,” said MAX Director Linda LeFebre. “We had already received federal funds for this capital project in 2006 and 2007, but this additional $2 million grant now allows us to complete the remaining phases of our planned bus facility.”

MAX’s new bus facility will cost an estimated $4.2 million. About $2.2 million in federal funds were awarded to MAX in 2006 and 2007, and will fund the first two phases of the project. MAX planned the design and construction of the building in phases so that it could add on as funding became available.

The new 38,000 sq. ft. bus garage and facility will provide adequate indoor vehicle storage, office space, and wash and maintenance bays for its growing operations. A new facility is needed to replace the current bus facility at 433 E. 24th St. that has been used for 25 years. The majority of MAX’s fleet must be parked outside, subjecting vehicles to weather and possible vandalism, because only eight buses can fit inside the small, aging facility.

MAX’s operations staff and fleet has grown dramatically in recent years to keep pace with the rapidly growing ridership. This year, MAX expects to provide more than 350,000 rides. The transit system is planning a Customer Appreciation Day in January 2012 to commemorate its Three Millionth Ride since it began operations in the year 2000.