MARQUETTE - With winter quickly approaching, Marq-Tran passengers will have a new transfer station on South Third Street to shelter them from the cold.
A ribbon cutting for the fully enclosed $1.2 million 1,500-square-foot station took place this morning.
After the ceremony, the Marquette County Transit Authority hosted an open house for community members to get a first look at the new building, which holds restrooms and office space in addition to room for commuters to wait for the bus.
E. Richard Schwemin, chairman of the Marquette County Transit Authority, cuts the ribbon during the official opening of the Marq-Tran station on South Third Street this morning. (Journal photo by Matt Keiser)
The authority's chairman, E. Richard Schwemin, said he has been working with Marq-Tran for 29 years and couldn't be more excited to bring the transfer station to Marquette County.
"We have grown so much over the years ... and with the rise in gas prices we will have a lot of people using the transfer station," Schwemin said.
Marq-Tran officials and bus drivers were on site to field questions about the project and how the bus system works.
The station was originally scheduled for completion on June 29, but due to a few contractor and material delays, the date was pushed back to September, according to Marq-Tran Executive Director Delynn Klein.
"We are very pleased to bring this station to the community and our passengers," Klein said.
A few of the authority's new vehicles were on display as well. Two new buses were purchased this year, bringing Marq-Tran's total to 36.
Despite the station's $1.2 million price tag, the cost of Marq-Tran bus fares will remain unchanged.
With the new station open, K.I. Sawyer bus routes will bypass the roundabout on U.S. 41 and take Lakeshore Boulevard so the buses can reach more people. No other routes will be altered, according to Klein.
Marq-Tran relocated its main office from Spring Street to Commerce Drive in 2005. In 2006, that building was sold to the Marquette County Historical Society and a location on the south side of Bluff Street was chosen for a temporary station. The Bluff Street facility was a good temporary fix, according to Marq-Tran officials, but during colder months the shelter was open to the elements.
Progressive AE out of Grand Rapids and Closner Construction & Sales Inc. of Marquette designed the building and were the contractors for the project.
A capital grant paid for the station; money was split between 80 percent federal and 20 percent state sources.
For more information about Marq-Tran or bus routes, call 906-225-1112 or log onto www.marq-tran.com
Matt Keiser can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 243.