WILKES-BARRE, Pa. -- The Luzerne County Transportation Authority (LCTA) announced Thursday it will be bringing all of its operations to the 12-acre site of the Murray Complex in Wilkes-Barre. The city says this site has been vacant for decades.
Along with the move comes a new look and a new name for the transportation authority.
"By consolidating all of our operations into one site, we're going to be able to save a lot of money and eliminate a lot of inefficiencies," said executive director Norm Gavlick.
The agency that runs the public buses in Luzerne County currently operates from two sites in Kingston and Forty Fort. Officials with the transportation authority say moving the operations to Wilkes-Barre will benefit both employees and riders.
"For our riders, our customers, being in one spot where they can come to one place, one service window, and be able to take care of all of their transportation needs right there in one place. It's a tremendous thing," said Gavlick.
The total cost of the new headquarters is estimated to be between $22 million and $27 million. It's made possible by grants from PennDOT and the Federal Transit Administration, as well as money from the city.
"This property has been an issue for decades and now we're moving forward. What's the next step of Wilkes-Barre? What's the next step of Luzerne county? This is going to be a huge part of it," said Luzerne County Manager David Pedri.
"It's kind of exciting because you hope that it betters everything with all of the business growth that's been happening in the area," said bus operator Kevin McGee.
The change for the transportation authority also comes with a new look and a new name: Northeastern Pennsylvania Transporation Authority (NEPTA) as part of the agency's goal to be the center of public transit in our area.
Officials with the transportation authority tell us the next step is to come up with a demolition plan for the building. They say they are months away from groundbreaking but as soon as that happens, it will be about a year and a half until the project is complete.