Groundbreaking For Victor Valley Transportation Facility In Downtown Barstow

Public officials with San Bernardino County, the City of Barstow and the Victor Valley Transit Authority last week participated in a ceremonial groundbreaking for the Victor Valley Transit Authority’s Barstow operations facility anticipated for completion in early 2020. The major capital improvement comes precisely five years after the consolidation of the Barstow Area Transit Authority with the Victor Valley Transit Authority.
Most recognizable to the crowd on hand was Barstow Mayor Julie Hackbarth-McIntyre, who used a shovel to turn over some earth where the 8,500-square-foot facility will rise from the ground at 100 N. Sandstone Court, just north of Main Street.
“We’re pleased to see the quality of service the Victor Valley Transit Authority has brought to the Barstow area,” Hackbarth-McIntyre said. “This facility will help the Victor Valley Transit Authority move forward with its successful plan to serve the Barstow community with excellent and efficient public transportation.”
The 5.5-acre Barstow Victor Valley Transit Authority facility will integrate with the already in-place Victor Valley Transit Authority’s compressed natural gas and liquid natural gas fueling station. Upon opening, it will replace the Victor Valley Transit Authority’s leased facility located in east Barstow, which is hamstrung by its location within a difficult-to-access commercial complex.
The new facility will feature many amenities, including three modern service bays, updated maintenance equipment, ample room for operations and administration staff, and an accommodating lobby for riders who come in to purchase bus passes.
“We’re excited to see the operational savings the new location will deliver to the agency,” according to the chairman of the Victor Valley Transit Authority’s Board, Hesperia Mayor Larry Bird. “Refueling the buses from its current location has always been challenging and added a considerable expense to operations.”
The current 12-mile round trip to refuel adds 38,880 miles every year to the authority’s operations. Placing the facility next to the fueling station will save the Victor Valley Transit Authority over $100,000 per year in operating expenses.  Because of the new facility’s proximity to an existing gas pipeline, the need for transporting the fuel to the station by truck will be eliminated.
The Victor Valley Transit Authority intends to eventually incorporate zero-emission battery electric buses into its Barstow fleet. The Sandstone Court/Main Street facility will feature four battery-electric charging stations, battery-electric storage, and a photovoltaic array.
The Victor Valley Transit Authority recently participated in the post-earthquake relief effort in Trona, dispatching several of its transportation vans to the town at the extreme northwestern corner of San Bernardino County. Those vans provided transportation service into and out of Trona’s neighborhoods where passage by larger-scale vehicles was deemed too dangerous because of low hanging power lines.

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