|BLUEFIELD, WV – Gov. Jim Justice took part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony today to celebrate the grand opening of the new Larlyn Patrick McKinney Bluefield Area Transit Regional Transfer Station, located in the heart of downtown Bluefield.|
|The $3.2 million, state-of-the-art facility will operate as the hub of the city’s Bluefield Area Transit (BAT) bus system. The local transportation network now serves more than 225,000 annual passengers on routes in Mercer and McDowell counties, including over 120,000 seniors and 15,000 passengers with disabilities.|
“This is an incredible building that is going to serve thousands upon thousands of riders, letting them be in the air conditioning or the warmth instead of standing outside in the elements. It’s truly amazing,” Gov. Justice said. “It’s taken a lot of hard work by a lot of people, but you’ve done it. You’re on your way, and there’s going to be more and more goodness to follow. I couldn’t be more proud.”
|Named for BAT’s director of more than two decades, Patrick McKinney, the new transfer station will offer riders a safe indoor facility with restrooms, plus heating and air conditioning. The facility will allow BAT riders 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 was 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 was completed by Swope Construction. The Huntington-based company also has offices in Bluefield.|
This project is part of a larger effort to revitalize downtown Bluefield.
|“When I look at this building, I see the rebirth of a city,” Gov. Justice said. “Bluefield is the kind of place, as a city in southern West Virginia, that many people will tell you could easily have fallen right off the map. But the people of this community didn’t just sit on the sidelines and allow that to happen. They dug in and worked. Now, you’re seeing that hard work paying off.|
“If there was ever a city to hold up and celebrate as an American success story – a place that wouldn’t go away quietly and wouldn’t give up – it’s Bluefield,” Gov. Justice continued. “This is a community that is rebuilding and on the move, and it’s happening right in front of our eyes.”
|In addition to McKinney, Bluefield City Manager Cecil Marson, representatives from the offices of U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, and U.S. Rep. Carol Miller, and WVDOT Secretary Jimmy Wriston, P.E., were all in attendance for the event.|
During the event, officials also announced that the road to the new transfer station would be dedicated to William “Bill” Robinson, the Executive Director of the WVDOT’s Division of Public Transit.
|Top left – Patrick McKinney; Top right – Cecil Marson;|
Bottom left – Jimmy Wriston; Bottom right – Bill Robinson with McKinney and Marson
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