FRESNO – Federal dollars, coming from the recently-signed Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, are helping complete the second phase of a bus maintenance and operations facility in Selma.
The $2.1 million cash boost, along with a matching $540,000 from Measure C funding, will go to finish construction of the facility at 1821 Pacific Ave. in southeast Selma. The project being built by Zumwalt Construction is located across from the Selma Unified School District bus maintenance yard and is scheduled to be completed in 2024.
Moses Stites, general manager for Fresno County Rural Transit Agency, said the latest grant – called the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) 5339 Award – was a highly competitive bid for the grant and a stroke of good fortune for the agency. Project highlights at the facility include a solar field, solar bus port, an inductive charging unit, 10 Level 2 charging stations (standard plug-in), and workforce development.
“We were one of the few applicants to obtain the funding,” Stites said. “It’s really a unique type of facility for our area.”
Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, said in a press release that the federal grant will meet necessary transportation needs and boost the region’s economy.
“Fresno County residents, especially seniors and those with disabilities, depend on an effective transit service to meet their daily needs,” Costa said. “Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this investment will help establish a clean, modern transportation hub to expand transit service, while mitigating air quality impacts and creating good paying jobs in Selma.”
The Fresno County Rural Transit Agency provides local and regional transit service to 13 rural incorporated cities throughout Fresno County. The new Selma facility will include a maintenance shop to service the agency’s vehicle fleet, an office and training facility for technician training in advanced transit vehicle technology, and bus wash services. The project will generate 80-100 jobs at the site.
Stites said Zumwalt Construction has been doing evening and late-hour construction to deal with the Central Valley’s summer heat, and is on track to finish building the facility next year.
The $17.5 million facility was started with an initial $5.2 million federal grant in 2018-19, and was matched by a Measure C local transportation of nearly $10 million. Progress on the project was slowed by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, but ground was broken and construction started in April 2023.
“Every day, over 60,000 buses in communities of all sizes take millions of Americans to work, school, and everywhere else they need to go,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on June 29 after passage of the infrastructure law. “Today’s announcement means more clean buses, less pollution, more jobs in manufacturing and maintenance, and better commutes for families across the country.”
This latest grant is supported by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s FTA Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities and Low- and No-Emission (Low-No) Vehicle programs, and is part of the $5.5 billion made possible through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.