Gov. Justice attends groundbreaking ceremony for all-new Bluefield Area Transit bus transfer station

3/29/2021

BLUEFIELD, WV – Gov. Jim Justice took part in a groundbreaking ceremony today to celebrate the beginning of work on an all-new $2.6 million bus transfer station in Bluefield, West Virginia.

The state-of-the-art facility will operate as the hub of the city’s Bluefield Area Transit (BAT) bus system. The local transportation network serves more than 200,000 annual passengers on routes in Mercer and McDowell counties.
The new Larlyn Patrick McKinney Bluefield Area Transit Regional Transfer Station, named for BAT’s director of more than two decades, will offer riders a safe indoor facility with restrooms along with heating and air conditioning. The facility will allow BAT riders – the majority of whom are elderly – to stay out of the weather while waiting to transfer to another bus, unlike the small open-air shelter used for many years on Princeton Avenue.

The new bus transfer station will be built utilizing more than $527,000 in grant funding from the WVDOT, along with funds from the U.S. Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and local funding. Work on the project will be completed by Swope Construction. The Huntington-based company also has offices in Bluefield.

“There have been a lot of people turning the wheels on this; doing amazing work to make this day a reality,” Gov. Justice said. “It's unbelievable how important, how vital Bluefield Area Transit is to this community. Really and truly, all I can do is thank you – all of you that have made it happen. It’s been a real honor to be along for the ride.”

Gov. Justice participated in the ceremony alongside United States Senator Shelley Moore Capito.
“I just briefly wanted to say how great I think it is that the Bluefield Transit Authority is going to have this beautiful center,” Senator Capito said. “It's important for transporting workers and families. It's important for quality of life. It's important for people to feel safe when they're at a transit center. It's important to get people out of the elements...but it also, I think, shows that you’re a community on the move.”

Officials from the West Virginia Department of Transportation (WVDOT) and the City of Bluefield, West Virginia, were also on hand for the celebration.

The project is part of a larger effort to revitalize an underutilized part of town. Since the beginning of 2019, more than 40 new businesses have opened in Mercer County.

“Over the last several years, Bluefield has been on a transitional movement; a rebirth, a revival, a renaissance,” Bluefield City Manager Dane Rideout said. “This city has been the change agent for the region. In a nutshell, the city has taken charge of its destiny.”
“This is a very special day for Bluefield, West Virginia,” Rideout continued.

“I owe my life to southern West Virginia. The story that you have to tell here is really something,” Gov. Justice said. “You took cannonballs to the stomach like you can't imagine and, still, you're on the move, doing greatness beyond belief.

“I congratulate you in every way,” Gov. Justice continued.



Contact Information

Jordan Damron, jordan.l.damron@wv.gov

Contact

Office of the Governor
State Capitol, 1900 Kanawha Blvd. E
Charleston, WV 25305

Office Phone:
304.558.2000 or 1.888.438.2731

Governor's Mansion:
304.558.3588

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