New Castle County Receives $11 Million for Mass Transit Improvements, Senators Carper and Biden Announce Transportation Grant to Expand Services and Routes

WILMINGTON, DE – In a step to improve county-wide bus services, Senators Tom Carper and Joe Biden today announced $11 million in federal funding that will allow the state to repair and buy buses, expand routes and services and build a new bus facility in Wrangle Hill. This new Wrangle Hill facility would allow buses to remain in southern New Castle County, without having to return to the central hub each night in Wilmington. As a result, there will be significantly less wear and tear on the buses, less gas consumption and more efficient scheduling. The funding will also continue the replacement of 40-foot transit buses and allow for the purchase of three new 30-foot heavy-duty buses. Aging buses that are not in compliance with both the Clean Air Act and the Americans With Disabilities Act will be replaced. “The new facility should cut costs and improve performance of our state’s DART buses. It will eliminate drivers’ late-night rides with empty buses from south of the canal to storage in Wilmington. That saves the state money, reduces pollution, and makes DART more efficient,” Carper said. “Mass transit must keep pace with the population growth in southern New Castle county.” “Better, more reliable and efficient buses and additional routes make public transportation more attractive to commuters, saves them money, conserves gas and helps us keep our air and water clean,” said Biden. “It’s a smart investment with good returns.” The Senators noted that bus parking in the Wilmington complex is often scarce, making the facility inadequate to properly support current and future transit operations in New Castle County. The new facility will include a one-story operations building for maintenance, a fueling facility, a bus cleanout building, administrative space and bus parking. In addition to the $11 million for transit improvements in New Castle County, the FY 2002 Transportation Appropriation bill included $750,000 for the Jobs Access and Reverse Commute Grant program; $4 million to fund statewide deployment of an Integrated Transportation Management System and $4 million for the Wilmington Trolley Connector Project.