Gainesville Regional Transit System’s new facility will move into full operation Monday after opening its doors in November.
This weekend, the maintenance and operations staff will move into the new facility and join the administration staff. Buses will depart from the new station beginning Monday.
Before it was built, buses were sent to Ocala and Orlando to have work done, increasing the bus downtime and costs associated with the repairs, wrote Chip Skinner, marketing and communications supervisor for RTS, in an email.
The new facility took a year to build and cost $39 million, Skinner said. The Federal Transit Administration provided grants for construction, and the Florida Department of Transportation provided a loan for the property.
The new facility includes an operations and administration building as well as a maintenance building. Both are energy efficient, Skinner said.
“It was built with room for future growth and offices for current staff members,” Skinner said.
The operations and administration building is home to staff offices and the operators’ lounge, which includes new fitness equipment, a larger kitchen area, a quiet room, lockers and mailboxes, Skinner said. Body work and paint repairs will go on in the maintenance building.
RTS riders will not notice a change in services, he said, but improvements were made to accommodate emergencies or accidents, like the video wall in the dispatch area, Skinner said.
The facility contains a print shop where staff can create stickers and advertisements. There is also a bus-wash station, Skinner added.
Jonathan Howland, a UF public relations junior, said he is happy with the RTS system because of its environmental goals.
“I like that the RTS system provides transportation for students,” Howland, 27, said, “because it reduces the amount of cars on campus and in Gainesville.”
[A version of this story ran on page 5 on 1/30/2015 under the headline “RTS to move all operations to a new facility on Monday"]