In mid April, 2012, the LANTA Board of Directors, representatives of the Federal Transit Administration, PennDOT and invited guests and employees, gathered for the groundbreaking for a new garage and maintenance facility at the Allentown headquarters, 1060 Lehigh Street, Allentown. Here it is 18 months later and the same group has been invited to a ceremonial dedication of the new facility on Tuesday, October 22 at 10:30 a.m.
The new building was actually occupied two weeks ago as maintenance staff and mechanics moved into the new environment and workspace. It is working and working well as a state-of-the-art bus maintenance facility.
As with most of LANTA capital improvement projects, this one has been completed ahead of schedule and under budget.
The new garage was necessitated in order to accommodate new vehicle technologies and different kind of buses. In the past three decades, electronics are more and more essential elements of a city transit vehicle. You are as likely these days to see a bus mechanic with a laptop as you are with a wrench. Therefore, new diagnostic and electronic calibrating repair tools are necessary: this new facility offers those in abundance.
Also, within the past 10 years, LANTA has made a commitment to purchase hybrid vehicles – vehicles powered by a combination of diesel and electric energy. Hybrid buses are more efficient in terms of fuel economy, pollutants are kept at a minimum and systems last much longer with less maintenance. These vehicles are engineered differently than the standard diesel engine bus. Many of the systems on the vehicle must be accessed above not below the vehicle. So, a garage with high ceilings and catwalks in addition to bus lifts was needed.
The building is of course, more energy efficient; brighter in terms of illumination; and easier to keep clean. Special materials were employed on floors and walls to make clean up easier and more effective. It is also a healthier work space with great attention paid to safety and a cleaner air environment.
We will publish more about the building after next Tuesday’s Dedication Ceremony but one surprise announcement we cannot wait to reveal: The LANTA Board of Directors earlier this year decided to name the new facility in honor of its long term Executive Director. The building will be officially dedicated next Tuesday as the Armando V. Greco Maintenance Facility.
Again, we will publish more about this next week, but right now we want to say congratulations to Armand for a most fitting honor. He was instrumental in the planning effort that led to the creation of LANTA back in 1972 and, since 1977 has guided the Authority to stability and growth that exceeded everyone expectations way back when. With more than 40 years of public service, Mr. Greco is one local municipal authority executive who truly deserves recognition.