Metro breaks ground on next zero-emission bus facility at the Bladensburg Bus Garage
Construction is underway on a new, state-of-the-art bus facility at Metro’s Bladensburg Garage. At a groundbreaking event, Metro General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Randy Clarke laid out plans for Metro’s second zero-emission bus facility which will open with 150 electric buses, while phasing out buses that are not zero-emission in subsequent years.
Regional Administrator for the Federal Transit Administration Terry Garcia Crews, Ward 5 Councilmember Zachary Parker and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689 President Ray Jackson joined Metro for the community celebration.
“Our investment in new, modern electric-ready bus garages is the future of public transportation,” said Clarke. “Zero-emission buses are a game changer for Metro and for the surrounding communities by providing clean transportation that will help improve the region’s air quality and make the environment healthier for everyone.”
Additionally, Metro announced contracts awarded to New Flyer and Nova Bus to each provide five battery-electric buses (10 total) by 2024. They will join two other electric buses purchased by Metro through an FTA Low-No Grant.
An electric Nova Bus was on site for the groundbreaking to begin work with Metro on the design process to incorporate elements that address customer, operator and mechanic needs.
The garage, first built in 1962, will be reconstructed to include environmental and infrastructure improvements to support Metro’s transition to zero-emission buses. The 17-acre site off Bladensburg Road in Northeast DC will be transformed into a new, modern facility housing 300 buses, approximately half of them all-electric.
Construction of the facility also supports Metro’s commitment to sustainability and equity in transportation. The Bladensburg Garage serves communities in DC and Maryland, including several in Opportunity Zones created to spur investment in economically distressed areas. The project will create new construction jobs with a goal of more than 18% of the contract going to small, minority and disadvantaged businesses.
The LEED® Platinum designed building - the U.S. Green Building Council’s highest ranking – will be built in a three-phased demolition and construction process while remaining open. Nearly 500 employees work on-site overseeing bus repairs, maintenance, inspections and other operational needs. The plans also include additional parking spaces to accommodate all employees, freeing up street parking in the surrounding area.
In planning for reconstruction, Metro went back to the drawing board after initial plans did not include zero-emission infrastructure. With the future in mind, the design was updated to make the garage electric ready, just as Metro is doing at the new Northern and Western bus garages.
Integrating zero-emission infrastructure into Metro’s new and existing garages aligns with Metro’s zero-emission bus plan to transition Metro to an entire zero-emission fleet of more than 1500 buses by 2045. Under the contracts awarded to New Flyer and Nova Bus, Metro will be evaluating an option to purchase up to 100 more electric buses.
Additional information is available on the Bladensburg Bus Garage Reconstruction Project page on wmata.com or sign up to receive the latest project updates.