Ben Franklin Transit Receives More Than $1 Million in Federal Funding Secured by Senator Murray

Apr 23 2007

Funding will go toward base revitalization and modernization project, Murray has now directed more than $1.5 million for this critical project

(Washington, D.C.) - Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation has released $1,020,367 in federal funding to modernize and expand the Ben Franklin Transit (BFT) base facility. Senator Murray secured the funding in the fiscal year 2005 Transportation, Treasury, and Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill. The funding will be used to fund a new maintenance building, administrative building, and bus washing facility. To date, Senator Murray has secured more than $1.5 million for the BFT expansion project.

"I know that so many residents throughout the Tri-Cities rely on Ben Franklin buses to get to work, school, and around town," said Senator Murray. "And as the Tri-Cities has expanded, so too has Ben Franklin's ridership and the demand for additional services. I am working to ensure that we provide federal support that allows Ben Franklin to meet demands. That starts with providing a base of operations that can house, maintain, and staff a fleet of buses that serve all the residents of the Tri-Cities."

Built in 1986, the existing BFT base facility was designed to house just 180 employees, 60 transit vehicles and 21 paratransit vehicles. The current employee population and vehicle inventory is 275 employees, 67 transit vehicles, 67 paratransit vehicles, and 200 vanpool vehicles. BFT has also experienced tremendous growth over the last four years, with a more than 10-percent spike in ridership in 2006. The current BFT facility can not keep up with the current level of growth.

Senator Murray is the Chairman of the Senate Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee.