for New Bus Facility
By Lookout Staff
September 20 -- The Big
Blue Bus will break ground next week
on a new eco-friendly maintenance
facility that will service a growing
fleet and features solar panels, reclaimed
water and recycled materials.
The 66,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility
-- which will be built on the site of the current
maintenance yard at 6th and Colorado Avenue --
will feature 5,000 square feet of offices and
20 new repair bays, including two chassis wash
bays, according to transit officials.
The expansion project will increase the size
of the bus parking lot, which is currently filled
to capacity, and improve the existing maintenance
facility, which was built in the 1960s, when the
bus system had a much smaller and less technologically
advanced fleet, officials said.
“The size of the fleet and the number of
buses required to make daily roll-out has significantly
increased in the last decade,” said Ralph
Merced, Big Blue Bus transit maintenance manager.
“More buses out on the road mean more buses
that need to be consistently maintained, fueled,
cleaned and repaired. The expansion of the maintenance
facility will allow us to have enough room to
keep improving our services for many years to
A number of new lines and routes have been added
in the past few years, including the Rapid Blue
and Mini Blue, increasing the need for more parking
space at the maintenance facility, bus officials
New services planned for the future, including
the expansion of Rapid Blue service to line 7,
will require adding longer articulated buses to
the fleet, which require more parking space, larger
maintenance bays and more powerful lifts, according
to Dan Dawson, the agency’s spokesman.
The new maintenance facility will feature locker
rooms, a training room, library, parts storage
and other specialized areas. The upgrades will
utilize the most advanced and sustainable building
systems, construction materials and landscaping
Some of the new “green”
technologies that will be used in
the project include:
- Photovoltaic panels that collect
power from the sun and supply energy
to the buildings.
- Construction materials made of
recycled content such as concrete,
steel, insulation, and gypsum board
to reduce landfill waste.
- A reclaimed water irrigation
system for landscaping and water
efficient landscaping plants and
- Storm water management and site
infiltration to ensure water entering
the bay will be clean.
- Carpeting and other interior
building materials containing recycled
- Light colored concrete in the
bus yard to cool the air temperature
and reduce the “heat island”
- Light colored single-ply roofing
called “Cool roof” to
reflect solar energy away from the
buildings and prevent heat buildup
in the facilities.
- Construction waste management
to reduce the amount of material
going into landfills.
- Dual glazed, low-e glazing for
interior office spaces to keep the
buildings cool in summer and warm
- No VOC off-gassing materials,
to help keep the interior air fresh
and free of toxins.
The three-year construction project
is expected to begin in February 2008,
with completion expected in early
The groundbreaking ceremony will
take place on Monday, September 24
at 2:30 p.m. at 612 Colorado Avenue