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El Paso awarded $10.3 million for northeast transportation project
By: Ruben Veloz
EL PASO, Texas---The city of El Paso is getting millions of dollars to help fund one of its biggest mass transit projects.
Sun Metro is getting $10.3 million in federal grants to fund a mass transit system that will run along northeast El Paso.
The money will help fund the construction of a transfer center near Dyer Street and Diana Drive.
Mayor Oscar Leeser, as well as the federal transit administrator Therese McMillan, City Representative Carl L. Robinson and Sun Metro Director Jay Banasia, will be at the construction site Friday morning.
They will announce how this money could further help El Paso's northeast side, as well as some other projects that are being planned in the near future.
The project, which is costing the city nearly $27 million, will also have a two-story parking lot, retail space, and will help reconstruct Wren Avenue.
The transit hub will be the end point and starting point for the BRIO buses that will run more like a light rail system, but on wheels.
BRIO buses will be able to run much faster and can carry twice as many people as a regular bus.
The transit system will run along Dyer Road, and end in downtown El Paso.
The Sun City was awarded the money after applying for a $1.8 billion federal grant known as the TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) fund.
El Paso was one of 37 cities to be awarded some of that money.
In a press release project managers said the money for the project will be able to help reduce congestion in the area and increase bus ridership for one of the fastest growing cities in America.
They also hope it will increase economic development, in an area that's in dire need of it.
The project is expected to be done by fall of 2014.