Groundbreaking for Lewes Transit Center Celebrated Today
Delaware Governor Jack Markell and Transportation Secretary Jennifer Cohan, joined Delaware Transit Corporation (DTC) CEO John Sisson and other state and local officials to celebrate the start of construction on the Lewes Transit Center along DE 1, just south of Five Points.
Speaking to those assembled, Transportation Secretary Jennifer Cohan said, "The Lewes Transit Center will allow us to offer a much-needed year-round service to residents of eastern Sussex County in addition to the many tourists visiting our fabulous beach areas." She added, "It will provide a convenient hub for improved transit service, connecting local passengers with job opportunities, recreational activities, medical appointments, shopping, and more throughout the county."
Construction of the new transit center consists of three phases. The first is the Lewes Park & Ride project which will construct a 248-space Park & Ride to become operational for summer 2017. The Park & Ride will include security cameras, bicycle racks and repair station, as well as electric car charging stations and temporary passenger amenities. The new location, providing direct access to DE 1, improves existing transportation choices by enhancing connectivity between local DART buses, Greyhound, the Cape-May Lewes Ferry Shuttle and DART Paratransit. The northern location also provides an option to travelers before getting into the heaviest beach congestion.
Phase 2 will build a three-bay maintenance facility designed for both gas and alternate fuel buses with completion slated for early 2018. Having a maintenance facility on the eastern side of Sussex County will greatly improve the efficiency of DART's transit service, lending itself to year-round service, as well as making express service between Lewes and Dover a reality.
"Increasingly the health and economic benefits of alternate transportation are appealing to more and more citizens," said Governor Jack Markell. "DART Transit Services are a convenient and cost-effective way to go."
The 3rd and final phase includes a public meeting space, improved passenger amenities such as public restrooms, canopied bus boarding/alighting areas, an information kiosk and local tourist information.
Funding for the Transit Center comes in part from the Federal Transit Administration's State of Good Repair Grant of $5 million, as well as its 5311 Rural Transportation Assistance Program.
In anticipation, DART is already improving transit in this area. New Route 215 which just started operations in mid-February fills a gap in service between Rehoboth and Millsboro and will eventually be garaged at the new site instead of Georgetown.
Gregory Smith, Labor Solutions of AL, LLC who does recruiting for Mountaire Farms in Millsboro commented, "I think it is wonderful that DART has responded to the needs of the community. The new 215 bus will provide many in the Rehoboth area with access to employment opportunities in the Millsboro and Long Neck areas."
In addition, DART is kickstarting its Resort Transit service to provide weekend service three weeks early along DE 1 between Five Points down and the Rehoboth Boardwalk. Beginning May 7, weekend service will operate every 30 minutes from approximately 10 AM to 10 PM.
The Delaware Transit Corporation, a subsidiary of the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT), operates DART First State. For information on fixed route bus services statewide, please call 1-800-652-DART or visit www.DartFirstState.com.