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Capps Announces Funds for New Gold Coast Facility in Ventura County -- $15 Million Grant Will Enhance Public Transportation, Create Jobs
WASHINGTON – Today Congresswoman Lois Capps (CA-23) announced a U.S. Department of Transportation grant of $15,000,000 for the construction of a new maintenance and operations facility in Oxnard. Gold Coast Transit has outgrown the current facility, which was built in 1973. Funds will be used for the construction of a new maintenance garage, operations center, administration building, employee locker rooms and lounge.
This is great news for Oxnard, and the region,” said Capps. “New jobs will be created during the construction of this new transit center, and it will spur business growth and development once it’s completed. This targeted, worthwhile investment in a new transit center will greatly benefit Ventura County commuters, making transportation safer and more convenient, and reducing air pollution, and it will improve our business climate, which is exactly what we need to get our economy back on track.”
Investing in the transportation infrastructure of our communities provides economic and social opportunities that result in lasting benefits. Receiving this grant will help open the doors to a future of continued growth and stability for Gold Coast Transit and more importantly, the communities and customers we serve. We appreciate Congresswoman Lois Capps’s leadership in supporting our efforts to improve transit service throughout western Ventura County,” said Steven Brown, General Manager, Gold Coast Transit.
“We'd like to thank Congresswoman Capps for her hard work and dedication toward this remarkable transit award. Mass transit is a priority for the City of Oxnard, and this new facility will enhance the transit experience for our residents,” said Mayor Thomas Holden.
“This could not have come at a better time and certainly puts into a position to positively move ahead with our dreams to improve transit service for our community,” said Bryan MacDonald, Oxnard City Councilman and Gold Coast Transit Board member.
A new facility will have a significant positive impact on Gold Coast Transit’s ability to expand and provide additional service as demand continues to grow throughout western Ventura County. Ridership has increased significantly over the last several years. Construction of a new transit center will also assist Gold Coast Transit in attracting and retaining top quality employees by providing an adequate and safe work environment. Operators working split shifts currently must leave the property during their splits due to the lack of space for them to relax or rest.
At the request of Gold Coast Transit, Capps secured $475,000 in funding in 2009 to help design the new maintenance and operations facility. She previously secured $900,000 for Gold Coast Transit to construct a Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Fueling Station. Additionally, Gold Coast Transit was awarded over $7 million in Recovery Act funds to purchase 8 buses fueled by CNG, 4 new supervisory vehicles and new fare vending equipment.
Capps also recently helped introduce the Local Flexibility Transit Assistance Act of 2011. This legislation would allow public transit agencies, like Gold Coast Transit, flexibility to use some of their federal transit funding for operating expenses. Under current law, transit systems may not use their federal transit funds for operating assistance, putting a huge strain on their ability to maintain or expand service. This bill would allow cities and transit systems to use some of their transit funds to plug budget holes as they see fit to keep service on the streets. The Local Flexibility for Transit Assistance Act will particularly help transit systems in periods of crises, which are occurring more than ever before.