By Staff Reports
(Barstow)– In the continuing evolution of Victor Valley Transit, the organization opened its doors to a new 5.5-acre facility in Barstow, California, located on Route 66. Since VVTA merged with Barstow Area Transit in 2014, the previously leased facility was utilized beyond its design capability. As the need for transit has continued to grow year-after-year in Barstow, the new space was needed to facilitate current and future expansion and promote a livable, sustainable, and economically viable community in the Barstow area. Designed by MZT Architects and Building Designers, the building of the 9,998 sq. ft. facility began in June 2019, with doors officially opening on August 11, 2020.
City of Barstow Councilmember James Noble immediately saw the benefits of the new facility. “I am pleased the new location is in an area where residents can utilize its services easier, and in talking with the staff here, it meets their needs with new modern equipment. This facility looks fantastic!”
The new facility has already brought numerous benefits to VVTA staff as well as the community. One of the most significant benefits is that the facility is adjacent to the Liquified Compressed Natural Gas (LCNG) and gas station, making it easier and quicker to fuel Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and gasoline operated vehicles. Previously, drivers had to travel approximately 12 miles roundtrip to refuel the buses, adding 38,880 unnecessary miles annually. The relocated fueling stations will save more than $100,000 annually for the community. The facility was also approved for the SCE Charge Ready Transport Program, which will help save thousands in costs and allow Victor Valley Transit to introduce zero-emission battery-electric buses into the Barstow fleet. The new facility is also equipped with the proper flammable gas detection and ventilation system requirements for working on Compressed Natural Gas Vehicles.
On the technology side, the facility includes Wi-Fi in the service bay and yard, allowing mechanics to utilize tablets for inspections and repair manuals while working on the vehicles. In addition, this provides the opportunity for buses to utilize yard Wi-Fi to upload surveillance video footage instead of using mobile data.
The location also includes a 2,515 sq.ft Westmatic Viking Bus Wash that features a water reclamation system designed to achieve the highest economical level of water recycling without using any chemical additives, recycling approximately 85% of used water. Other benfits include three modern service bays, updated equipment, backup generator for power outages, a Driver’s Lounge, workout room, plus a brand-new lobby for the public to get route information, purchase TouchPass cards, passes, and more.
“I love the facility,” stated Curt Emick, Chairman of the Victor Valley Transit Board of Directors, “The employees will love it as well, as it helps to have a new and updated workplace. The facility will help VVTA serve our community better here in Barstow.”
The lobby located at 2641 W. Main St. on Route 66 is now open for customers with proper health mandates in place such as required face coverings and 6 ft social distancing. Lobby hours are 8 am – 5 pm, Monday through Friday and can be reached at 760-256-0311.
An official Grand Opening is planned for the coming months, once COVID-19 mandates have relaxed. For more information please contact Chris Ackerman, VVTA Marketing Manager/PIO at 760-559-5185 or email CAckerman@vvta.org.