DOT grant to help modernize transit, parking in Morgantown

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito and Joe Manchin, members of the Senate Appropriations Committee, have announced $40,000 in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation to support the Mountain Line Transit Project in Morgantown. This funding is made available through DOT’s competitive Accelerating Innovative Mobility grant program and will promote innovative approaches to improve financing, system design, and service of the Urban Mass Transit Authority in Morgantown and the surrounding area.

According to Mountain Line general manager Dave Bruffy, downtown commuters need a form of payment for bus service, the Morgantown Parking Authority and the PRT. .

“This funding is to engage a consultant to look at the way we’re doing that and see if we can come up with a universal way,”Bruffy said,”So, it makes it easier for all of our clients to move from parking to transit.”

“As the city of Morgantown continues to grow, we must provide the resources our public transportation sector needs to accommodate residents,” said Senator Capito. “Furthermore, COVID-19 restrictions that protect the health of West Virginians have limited mass transit options, especially in our larger cities. This funding will assist the Monongalia Urban Mass Transit Authority and their current initiatives, improving the quality of public transit in the region. I am pleased to see this competitive grant funding come to West Virginia and look forward to the benefits it will create.”

“Morgantown is one of the fastest growing cities in West Virginia and this significant investment from the Department of Transportation will provide necessary resources to allow for the continued development of the Mountain Line Transit Project. Safe, reliable and affordable public transportation is essential for the continued growth of the city and I will continue fighting for investments like these for every West Virginia community,” said Senator Manchin.

Bruffy says they will likely extend the contract with the consultant researching expansion plans for the Mountain Line.

“I think the study part by itself will take about three to four months,”Bruffy said,”But, where that fits into our overall study is yet to be determined.”

In the pandemic era, Bruffy says they will look at additional technology to improve service and safety.

“We’ll also be looking at touchless technology so you don’t have to put that credit card in the swiper,”Bruffy said,”Everybody knows what that’s like with COVID on our minds.”