Integrated Transit/Fleet Garage Offers Opportunity for Efficiencies
The City of Greater Sudbury purchased the former National Grocers property ( 1160 Lorne Street) at a cost of $4.9 million in December 2010 for the development of an integrated Greater Sudbury Transit and municipal fleet maintenance facility. The new location is required because current maintenance depots for both transit and fleet require either extensive renovations or replacement due to size restrictions, inefficient operational considerations, safety concerns, and incompatibility with newer equipment options such as hybrid transit vehicles.
Cost to build a new facility with similar functions is estimated at $250 to $300 per square foot, compared to the $140 per square foot estimate for redesign of the Lorne Street facility. It has been determined that a capital investment of approximately $23 million for the renovation of the Lorne Street property will increase operational savings for ongoing vehicle maintenance and will create opportunities for improvements to the fleet. The decision to purchase the building was based on a long-term strategy for the rationalization of municipal facilities.
Maintenance of all municipal vehicles will be performed in the new maintenance depot, replacing six locations currently used for this purpose. The design of the transit/fleet garage project invests in energy efficient technologies, including heat recovery on exhausted air, on-demand natural gas water heaters, and recycled water to wash municipal vehicles.
The redesigned building will also open the door to the potential introduction of articulated buses on the Greater Sudbury Transit fleet, as the current transit garage is too small to maintain these larger vehicles. Greater Sudbury Transit has estimated that the introduction of articulated buses to its fleet could result in efficiencies of approximately $150,000 to $200,000 per year.
The City of Greater Sudbury currently maintains 548 fleet assets (not including emergency assets) which provide a diverse range of services. Assets include light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicles, garbage trucks, transit buses, ice resurfacers, trailers, and winter control equipment.
The new integrated Greater Sudbury Transit and municipal fleet maintenance facility is scheduled for completion in 2014.