Public Transit to build $1.1 million facilityA second round of bids for the new Public Transit storage facility will be discussed Monday at the City Commission meeting in Dickinson at City Hall.
A second round of bids for the new Public Transit storage facility will be discussed Monday at the City Commission meeting in Dickinson at City Hall.
Jamie Olson, Communications Specialist for the North Dakota Department of Transportation said bids opened Nov. 19 and the decision about the new bids will be announced by Dec.19.
The building was scheduled for completion in November, but was put on hold because the first round of bids came in $270,000 over budget according to a July Press article.
Public Transit plan to begin construction on a new building budgeted for $1.1 million this spring.
“We desperately need a place to store our vehicles because they get weathered when left outside,” said Colleen Rodakowski, executive director for Elder Care and Public Transit. “It’s tough to clean off and start the vehicles in the mornings during the winter. By keeping the vehicles indoors, the ride will be more comfortable for drivers and passengers and it will also make the upkeep of the vehicles easier and make them last longer.”
The building is being funded by the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the City of Dickinson, Rodakowski said.
The city is providing the land for the building and paying part of the engineering and design cost, Rodakowski said.
The building will be in north Dickinson. It will provide storage for the Public Transit vehicles and house the Elder Care and Public Transit offices, Rodakowski said.
Besides the new building, Public Transit is also celebrating the past year’s business growth.
“We are glad to be offering a service that is so needed in our community,” Rodakowski said.
October was a record month for Public Transit. It made 4,198 trips and served 4,600 passengers. Both are the highest numbers to date, Joel Mayer, Public Transit assistant, said.
Trips to and from medical appointments made up almost 29 percent of the rides, rides to and from work made up 27 percent. Thirteen percent of trips were social or recreational.
Public Transit’s growth has gained the attention of the Dakota Transit Association, which recognized its accomplishments with two awards.
Public Transit was awarded this year’s Innovative Agency of the Year Award and one of its drivers, Dickinson resident Dennis Ulmer, won Driver of the Year.
“Dennis is an outstanding full time driver,” Rodakowski said. “He has been with us 26 years, and recently agreed to be our 24 hour contact person for airport rides; he also does light mechanic work for us. His passion and love of his job is contagious.”
The City of Dickinson won the 2010 Friend of Transit Award from the Dakota Transit Association.
“The city of Dickinson has helped our business so much. Not only have they provided office space for us but they pay for our utilities, waste management services and subsidize the taxi service. We are so grateful for their financial and in kind donations, we couldn’t provide transit without the city’s help,” Rodakowski said.
“We were all pleased and surprised the city received the award,” said Dennis Johnson, City Commission president.