C-Tran receives $4.5 million federal grant

Bulk of money will go toward replacing aging fare boxes

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C-Tran will use a $4.5 million federal grant to replace aging fare boxes on 105 buses and make other improvements to its headquarters campus in Vancouver.

The grant was part of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s announcement on Monday that the Federal Transit Administration will provide $776 million nationwide through its State of Good Repair program. The initiative is intended to help local transit agencies maintain existing buses and related equipment.

In Clark County, C-Tran plans to use the biggest portion of the new grant to replace fare boxes.

“The manufacturer no longer maintains the components to keep the fare boxes up to date,” C-Tran spokesman Scott Patterson said.

He added that the average age of C-Tran fare boxes is 19 years.

The agency requested federal help to replace fare boxes and undertake three other projects. The grant falls short of C-Tran’s original request for $5 million, so Patterson said the cash-strapped agency will have to decide how to prioritize the four projects on its list.

“We don’t yet know if we will defer one of the projects,” he said.

The project list includes the following:

o $3.5 million, with $700,000 contributed by C-Tran, for new fare boxes.

o $1.7 million, with $300,000 contributed by C-Tran, to pave a large gravel lot on the south end of C-Tran’s property on 65th Avenue and install a stormwater treatment system.

o $520,000, with $104,000 from C-Tran, to install a new bus wash that minimizes energy consumption and maximizes water reclamation.

o $454,000, with $90,000 from C-Tran, to rehabilitate its bus painting facility. The new facility will meet modern air quality standards and reclaim exhaust heat.