Transportation vehicles, employees ready to roll

CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks City Manager Joe Thomas said the new Clovis Area Transit System facility could serve as a central hub if the transit system established a fixed route bus system.

By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer

Clovis Area Transit System will move into its new $2 million facility next month, according to city officials.

Transit System Director MaryLou Kemp said her employees and 14 busses will move to a new facility located at the corner of Seventh and Axtell streets. She said they are waiting for the completion of the irrigation system and installation of phone lines in the building before moving.

The facility was paid for with a combination of city and federal funds, according to Kemp.

The Federal Transportation Authority provided $1.6 million for the facility while the city provided the balance, Kemp said. She said the city also spent about $250,000 for four mid-sized buses.

“We were lucky in that our congressional delegation was real helpful and supportive in getting the funding,” she said. “The city officials were supportive and it’s been a long time coming and I think it’s a perfect opportunity for us to change and grow as the city grows.”

City Manager Joe Thomas said the facility could potentially serve as a central hub if the transit system established a fixed route system.

“One of the long term plans that we’re looking at is the possibility of establishing of a fixed route system to various locations in the city,” he said.

In October, the transit system posted a survey on the city’s Web site about a possible fixed route throughout the city. Kemp said the results of that survey will be released next month.

Construction for the facility started in November 2006.

The transit system requested the new facility in 1997. It has shared buildings with different city departments, including the Senior Center, and more recently, the Parks Department.

“We’ve never actually had a place to be. We’ve just moved from one place to the next,” she said.