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BATA receives grant for new facility

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A grant will help fund a new transit facility for the Bay Area Transportation Authority.

The close to $13.5 million grant comes from the Federal Transit Administration. The new facility will serve as BATA’s operations and administrative headquarters.

Executive director for BATA Kelly Dunham said they increased fleet size by 20 percent to better serve the community, but that opened eyes.

“What we realized in doing that was that we really had no space for more buses or more employees, for that matter,” she said. “So we're really limited in our ability to grow without having some additional space.”

Dunham said the grant shows the importance of public transportation in Northern Michigan.

“What it really says, to me, is how much public transportation is a part of the fabric of this community, today and in the future. And how much that is valued, nationally and locally.”

She said the new facility will allow them to help bridge the gap between housing and transportation. 

“It has plagued this region for many decades,” Dunham said. 

BATA and Traverse City Housing have entered into an agreement to purchase property on the east side of LaFranier road near the corner of Hammond Road and across the street from the Ridge 45 apartment complex..  

BATA plans to close on the LaFranier property and break ground in early 2021 with a tentative move-in goal of summer 2022.