The Iowa City Transit Operations and Maintenance Facility Project will replace a facility that is failing in condition and unable to support future growth or full conversion to a zero-emission fleet. A new Transit Facility will enable Iowa City to pursue sustainable service and fleet enhancements that improve mobility and accessibility for the 1.5 million annual riders who depend on Iowa City Transit to get to work, school, shopping, and medical appointments.
The existing transit facility was built in 1984 on a former unregulated dumpsite. It has reached the end of its useful life, is overcapacity, and has significant ground subsidence, air quality, and safety and accessibility issues. The City has spent $1.4 million to date on safety projects related to soil settlement, methane abatement, and age and condition repairs and maintenance.
A new Transit Facility will enable the City to meet the increasing demand for sustainable transportation and reach ridership and climate action goals, which include a full conversion to all-electric buses and increased mobility across all neighborhoods. The savings from current maintenance and repair costs will instead be invested directly in these service improvements.
- Double ridership by 2030: In 2019, the City invested $200,000 in a comprehensive Transit Study to identify how route, stop, frequency, fare, and fleet improvements can better meet community needs and foster ridership growth. As a result, several service and fare enhancements were implemented.
- Replace 55% of vehicle trips to sustainable transportation options, such as public transit, by 2050: In June 2020, the City received a $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to replace four diesel buses with battery-electric buses. The City contributed $1.6 million in local matching funds. This small-scale transition is the first step and the City is pursuing additional electric buses; however, continued conversion is not possible with the existing facility.
Project Status + Cost
- A site has been procured and space needs studies have been completed.
- A 2018 condition assessment by the Iowa DOT rated the existing facility as ‘poor to marginal condition’ and no longer in a State of Good Repair.
- An environmental study has commenced with an estimated completion of April 2022.
- Preliminary estimates from the 2015 Public Works Master Plan, estimate a new Transit Facility will cost $20 million including $2 million in design and $18 million for construction.
- The City has committed to providing a 25% match ($5 million) and continues to pursue federal funding for the remaining $15 million project costs (75%).
- The project was awarded $750,000 in federal Community Project Funding for design costs, sponsored by Rep. Miller-Meeks.
- Environmental reviews are underway.
About Iowa City Transit
Iowa City Transit (ICT) is located in Iowa City, Iowa, the 5th largest city in the state and is the "Home of the Hawkeyes" and the University of Iowa. Major local industries are education, healthcare, and advanced manufacturing, including bio-medical and consumer goods. It is anticipated that by 2045, the City’s population will have grown by 90% since the existing transit facility was built. In Fiscal Year 2019, Iowa City Transit provided 1.5 million rides had the 17th highest ridership per capita in the nation. Iowa City has an explicit goal of doubling ridership in the next ten years based on a clear understanding that supporting and expanding transit service is critical to a more sustainable and equitable future for all.