Recently, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Deputy Secretary for Multimodal Transportation Jennie Louwerse joined the Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority (EMTA) and various county officials to celebrate Erie's new CNG facility.
The opening has been more than a decade in the making, including some extra time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But on June 14, the $72 million dollar expanded facility opened its doors to the public on East 14th and Holland streets.
The event speakers included EMTA Board Chair Ashley Lawson, EMTA CEO Jeremy Peterson, EMTA Executive Brenton Davis and Erie City Mayor Joe Schember.
"The EMTA is proud to unveil the completed Joint Operations Facility. This state-of-theart transit center is ready to service the Erie region for years to come and create vibrancy within the mid-city district of Erie City," said EMTA CEO, Jeremy Peterson.
Being that it was a multiphase project, it took more than five years to complete reconstruction of the transit facility. However, bringing all shared-ride and fixed-route services into one building is something officials feel will be a benefit to the community.
The facility is comprised of 18,000 square feet of retail space and 300 parking spaces with the hope of bringing food vendors and shopping to the downtown.
"PennDOT remains committed to partnering with local communities to improve access to transportation by making it more convenient and safer for people in every situation," Louwerse said.
Transit continues to be essential transportation service, with Erie alone carrying nearly 800,000 passengers in 2020-21, despite the pandemic.
Due to the stable source of public transportation funding that was enacted through Act 89 of 2013, and the increase in federal funding with the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), many more projects like this will become a reality throughout Pennsylvania.
The CNG P3 is a Public-Private Partnership with Trillium CNG, who is responsible for operating and maintaining the station until April 2037.
To date, nearly 11 million gas gallon equivalents have been pumped into involved transit agency vehicles, which has resulted in nearly $7.6 million in savings when compared to the cost of purchasing diesel fuel.
In the next few months, the facility is expected to host another welcome event that would include vendors, hoping to expand its reach even more.
For more information on public transit and alternative transportation options like ridesharing, biking, and walking, visit our Public Transit Options page.