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Feds Give Maryland $40M For New Baltimore Bus Depot

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Rochelle Ritchie 370 x 278 Rochelle Ritchie
Rochelle Ritchie joined WJZ Eyewitness News in June 2012. Prio...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Out with the old, in with the new. The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded the city of Baltimore $40 million to build a new bus transit facility.

Rochelle Ritchie has more on how unemployment and the environment will be affected.

Thanks to this new project, at least 700 jobs will be created. Noise from the buses will reduce and air quality will improve. It’s an upgrade long overdue.

The bus transit buildings on Kirk Avenue are still standing after 65 years. Until Monday, they’d never been renovated.

“We’re giving MDOT $40 million,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood.

LaHood says the money is part of a $53 million project to replace the bus facilities.

“This is the second largest amount awarded this year through the Federal Transit Administration,” said LaHood.

Forty million dollars will come from federal funding and $13 million is from the state. The benefits range from the creation of 700 jobs, reduction in noise and an increase in parking for those like Roslyn Johnson, who has to share the street with more than 100 transit employees.

“Weekdays you never can park. I am usually around the corner or all the way up the block and it’s hard for the customers also,” Johnson said.

The design of the new building eliminates that problem.

“We’re going to reduce the on street parking. This new facility will include parking on this property,” said Darrell Mobley, Deputy Secretary of Transportation.

While things like parking and noise are important, neighbors say they’re more concerned about air quality. Freida Morton says she moved to the neighborhood more than 50 years ago.

“You can’t sit in your yard. You can’t do anything outdoors because the bus fumes overwhelm you,” Morton said.

Construction on the project will start in the spring of 2013. The building is expected to be complete in two years.

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