Finding Function and Identity in a New Joint Operations Facility
Since 1966, the Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority (EMTA) has been serving the public transportation needs of Erie County. To meet current and future needs, EMTA is building two new facilities that will consolidate their operations so all transit facilities and staff are in one location instead of spread across four.
EMTA’s new Joint Operations Facility project is being done in two phases. Phase 1 was completed in 2016 and includes a 61,000-square-foot maintenance facility that houses 12 maintenance lifts to accommodate bus and paratransit vehicles, a four-bay body and paint shop, bus wash, and fueling systems for CNG, diesel and gas vehicles.
CDM Smith designed and is currently providing construction services on Phase 2, a 147,000-square-foot fleet storage facility that will provide storage space for EMTA’s growing fleet of 160 buses and paratransit vehicles. The project includes a two-story administration building and three-story parking garage to accommodate all employees’ office and parking needs. The ground level of the parking garage has 10,000 square-feet of transit-oriented retail space that will help generate income for EMTA.
One of the biggest challenges was maintaining bus service without interrupting EMTA’s operations due to facility construction. The project was designed to include 5 stages of demolition and construction to allow partial access to parking, existing buildings, existing fueling and circulation of the site while maintaining service.
When the project is complete in late 2018, EMTA will have all staff, from operations and maintenance to their highest executives, at a single location.
The new site’s long and narrow footprint also created challenges for the design team who had to create proper circulation and segregation for buses, personnel vehicles and delivery trucks. In addition to having to demolish nine buildings, the site sat atop a high pressure gas line, requiring CDM Smith to address environmental mitigation concerns and be compliant with the Findings of No Significant Impact and the Federal Transit Administration mitigation requirements.
When the project is complete in late 2018, EMTA will have all staff, from operations and maintenance, to their highest executives, at a single location. The new space will be functional and energy-efficient, and give EMTA a new identity within the community.