Elected City officials and city and state transportation administrators gathered on a field Friday, Oct. 27 at New Salem Hwy. and Bridge Ave. to officially break ground for a new $17.1 million Murfreesboro Transit Center. The Transit Center, with a passenger pavilion, maintenance and administration building, will better facilitate transportation in the congested and growing City.
“Ultimately, the local level is about services,” said Mayor Shane McFarland. “I can’t think of a better service that we’re going to provide than getting people to their jobs, to medical appointments, and to places some citizens couldn’t otherwise get to without public transit. Without the $9 million from the State, and $5 million federal funding this would not be possible. I want to thank TDOT and our federal partners for their critical participation.”
The City of Murfreesboro was selected by TDOT to receive $9 million IMPROVE ACT funds in three separate grants for design and construction of the new Transit Facility on the 5.5-acre site at 324 New Salem Hwy across from the Doug Young Public Safety Training Facility.
“In the Case of Murfreesboro, three separate grants of $3 million, the maximum amount totaling $9 million in TDOT grant funding, is helping make the new transit center reality,” said Dan Pallme, TDOT Interim Director of Multimodal Transportation Resources who attended the ceremony. “On behalf of TDOT, I want to thank the City of Murfreesboro and the City’s Transportation Department for bringing this together.”
The City’s local required matching funds for the project from the 2019 and 2022 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) is $2.8 million. The City hopes to open the 2,375 square feet passenger pavilion, 3,200 square feet bus maintenance facility and the new administration building including offices, by 2025.
Murfreesboro is one of 26 public transit agencies across the state that serve all 95 Tennessee counties, adapting the services to the needs of local communities, said Jason Spain, executive director of the Tennessee Public Transportation Association (TPTA) who recognized Murfreesboro’s efforts at Friday’s ceremony.
“That’s exactly what this new facility will do,” said Spain. “It’s going to be a shinning example of how the transit agency, Murfreesboro Transit, can meet the needs of Murfreesboro residents and visitors alike. I want to commend the federal, state, and local agencies that came together to make this facility possible and especially recognize TDOT in administering the IMPROVE ACT grant program critical to brining this facility to fruition.”
Addressing the challenges of the congested and growing Middle Tennessee region makes partnerships between local transit agencies and WeGo Public Transit increasingly important said Steve Bland, CEO, WeGo Public Transit and RTA.
“We value our partnerships that local transit provides like Murfreesboro to make local connections with our regional service,” said Bland. “No where is that more important than the I-24 South corridor, Tennessee’s most congested corridor and one of the fastest-growing areas in the state, if not the country. We know what it takes to put a project like this together. We truly appreciate what the City of Murfreesboro and its Transportation Department have gone through to bring this project to bear.”
“We are pleased to receive this significant grant funding from TDOT for the Transit Center,” said City Transportation Director Jim Kerr. “This full-service bus transit facility for the Murfreesboro Transit system will include a passenger waiting and passenger loading and unloading areas, bus maintenance, parking, and support amenities. We look forward to seeing how it enhances public transportation service in our City.”
HDR was the Design Team for the project and Franklin-based Rock City Construction was awarded the bid for the construction phase of the project.
Murfreesboro Transit currently operates a fleet of nine 23-passenger buses and employees 15 drivers. Currently, the central hub is located at 222 W. Burton. The new Transit Center on New Salem Hwy will not only provide a central location for boarding and transferring passengers, but also housing for dispatch, operations, administration, and maintenance facilities for the public transit system.
Murfreesboro Transit now has an effortless way to track public transit service through a mobile app. The “Murfreesboro Transit” app is available for downloading via Apple and Android devices. Just go to your device’s App store and search “Murfreesboro Transit” featuring the identifiable City rotunda featured in the City of Murfreesboro logo.