HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — The general manager of Huntington-based Tri-State Transit Authority says he hopes Congress will move forward with implementing President Donald Trump’s proposed infrastructure plan.
Paul Davis with TTA said about 20 percent of Trump’s $1 trillion dollar infrastructure package will benefit public transportation systems nationwide and in Huntington.
“This trillion dollar investment, if we can help transit and things like that, will help preserve jobs, replace aging equipment and improve the entire Tri-State area,” Davis told MetroNews.
TTA currently has 34 buses and 12 vans, but Davis said about 10 of those vehicles need to be replaced due to old age.
“These vehicles are 12-15 year old vehicles. The life span is 12 years, so you have to be constantly updating your equipment, not only for the maintenance part of it, but safety becomes an issue too,” he said.
The cost of a brand new 30-foot bus, however, costs around $400,000, Davis said. Those buses travel about 1.2 million miles per year.
Trump has discussed the need to invest in the nation’s crumbling infrastructure including rails, highways and bridges. Davis said people depend a lot on public transportation.
“People are doing one of two things if they jump in the car: we’re either going to go make money or we’re going to spend money,” he said. “It’s that plain simple.”
TTA has seen a dramatic increase in ridership over the last five years, Davis said. The bus system reported the highest boarding numbers two years ago with nearly 940,000 riders. They average around 920,000 customers each year.
Davis said TTA currently has 75 employees.