Grant could fully fund Arborway Yard

The federal grant for which the MBTA is applying in hopes of finally building the Arborway bus yard, located at Washington Street and the Arborway, could provide the $200 million to $220 million necessary to completely fund the project.

The announcement on whether the MBTA wins the grant and if so, how much money is granted, would not be made until September or October.

The Discretionary Bus and Bus Facilities Grant Program has up to $750 million in funds to dispense this fiscal year. It is accepting applications through July 29.

While the MBTA has not yet applied, spokesperson Joe Pesaturo told the Gazette, “It will happen before the deadline.”

“The MBTA feels the Arborway project is a good candidate for a grant, and General Manager Richard Davey has made it clear to staff that he wants the MBTA’s application to make a very strong argument for funds,” Pesaturo added.

There is no limit for any single grant under the Federal Transit Administration program. However, according to the program’s documentation, the FTA intends to fund as many projects as possible.

The joint board of the MBTA and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) approved a budget in April that does not fund the permanent Arborway bus yard, a project that has been in planning since 1998. The project would include several acres of residential, commercial and parkland development.

The current facility on the site is a temporary facility that was intended to be in use for five years. It is now eight years old.

The Community Planning Committee for the Arborway Yard has been fighting for a community-friendly facility on the site for 13 years, when the MBTA decided to close Bartlett Yard in Roxbury. It is now up to the MBTA and MassDOT to fund the project and break ground.

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