MOUNT VERNON — Officials at Mid-Ohio Transit Authority received an anniversary present rather than an April Fool’s joke when they learned MOTA will receive $311,316 through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
“It’s money we wouldn’t have to come up with ourselves,” said John Madden, operations manager for MOTA.
MOTA applied for a little over $280,000 in funding, to cover three projects: New buses, renovating the facility and upgrading its security system.
“We have the money for four new buses, and we are going to do a lot of renovations around the facility,” said Madden. “The four new buses will replace some of the aging ones. In the next two to three years we would move the oldest ones out of the [fleet].”
Madden said renovations include new tile, a new awning, signs and carpet. According to Madden, the facility was last renovated around 1996-97.
Some of the money will also be used for new cameras for the security system, which Madden said was installed in the early to mid-90s.
“[The money’s] going to be for projects to fix things up here that are needed,” he said. “Stuff that wears out and needs replaced.”
Madden said MOTA serves 550 people a day. The fleet includes 25 vehicles, with three in reserve. Twenty-one vehicles operate during the peak time of 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Ohio’s 18th Congressional District, which includes Knox County, will receive over $5.3 million for public transportation projects.
“This funding will pump additional funding into our region, providing for economic development and recovery,” Congressman Zack Space, who represents the 18th District, said in a statement. “Transportation projects help local businesses. This not only helps the local economy, but will make transportation easier and more affordable for more people.”