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Brown, Sykes Announce More Than $42 Million to Improve Public Transit in Northeast Ohio


Posted by Stephanie Fairchild Friday, June 23, 2023 1:32:00 PM Categories: METRO News

Investment Will Allow Local Transit Authorities to Upgrade Facilities

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and U.S. Representative Emilia Sykes (D-OH-13) announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has awarded two Buses and Bus Facilities Grants totaling $42,121,665 to two transit authorities in Northeast Ohio. This investment will allow communities to upgrade existing bus and operations facilities. This investment was made possible through the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).

“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is getting resources to Ohio communities to improve transportation and support Ohio workers. We fought to secure this investment to create jobs and to connect people with jobs – saving them time and money,” said Senator Brown. “I’m working to make sure Ohio gets its fair share – or more – of infrastructure investment, so Ohio communities can improve transit options and create opportunity.”

“METRO Regional Transit exemplifies excellence in their commitment to enhancing the mobility and quality of life for Ohioans in the 13th Congressional District. Their unwavering efforts to improve transportation accessibility, promote sustainable solutions, and foster economic growth have made a lasting impact in Summit County,” said Rep. Sykes. “The Federal Transit Administration's recognition and support of this outstanding organization will play a pivotal role in empowering METRO Regional Transit to continue their mission of serving Ohio's 13th Congressional District with distinction.”

“Securing this funding from the FTA was a direct result of the unwavering support of Senator Brown and his staff as well as the dedicated effort from the team here at METRO. The Maintenance and Operations Facility will be a key component to ensuring we can further our mission and continue to offer fair and equitable transportation solutions to the community we serve 365 days a year. Our current facility was built in the ‘80s before we were a countywide system and had fewer than 100 buses. We now have over 230 buses, and as we continue to grow, this facility will enable us to serve the region for years to come. This funding represents a landmark investment in keeping our community thriving, and that is a legacy we can all be proud of,” said Dawn Distler Chief Executive Officer, Akron Metropolitan Regional Transit Authority (METRO) RTA.

“This Buses and Bus Facilities grant award will provide funding for the replacement of one of our bus barns that hasn’t been updated since the 1970’s and when the update is complete the new bus barn will be ready for the future with the ability to charge battery electric buses and make our operation more efficient,” said Dean Harris, Executive Director of the Western Reserve Transit Authority.

Funding from the FTA includes:

  • $37,808,113 to the Akron Metropolitan Regional Transit Authority for the construction of a new maintenance and operations facility on Metro RTA’s existing campus.
  • $4,313,552 to the Western Reserve Transit Authority to reconstruct and improve WRTA’s bus barn, the agency’s primary facility for bus maintenance and operations. 

Brown – who serves as the chairman of the U.S. Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, which oversees DOT’s Federal Transit Administration – has championed federal investment to support Ohio’s local transit authorities. 

METRO would like to thank the offices of Senator Sherrod Brown, Representative Emilia Sykes, and Senator JD Vance for their letters of support to the FTA, as well as the continued support from the communities and organizations that we serve.