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Lextran Debuts New State-Of-The-Art Hub

Josh James
Lextran unveiled its new headquarters located at the corner of West Loudon Avenue and Russell Cave Road Wednesday.

Years in the making, Lextran’s new headquarters officially welcomed its first visitors Wednesday.

A sleek gray structure that stands out on the sometimes neglected corridor connecting West Loudon Avenue and Russell Cave Road, the newly-minted Lextran home base cuts a sharp contrast with its predecessor. Lextran board chair Jeff Fugate remembers the old building – or buildings rather – as woefully inadequate to meet the community’s growing needs.

"We were basically way overcapacity on our maintenance bays," he recalls. "We couldn't keep buses on the road. We couldn't even work on them, much less them out on the street."

Credit Josh James / WUKY
A Lextran bus is parked alongside the bus service's new $24 million dollar headquarters.

Now officials are promising a more nimble operation, able to cut back on weather-related delays and boost fleet readiness. With this upgrade, assistant general manager Jill Barnett is happy to report the number of fully-stocked maintenance bays will more than triple.

"So for the customer, that means improved service, reliability, reduced vehicle downtime. If a bus breaks down en route, we can get it back to them quicker, get them where they're going," she explains.

Stroll inside and other benefits soon become apparent – from a designated community area to workout and quiet rooms where drivers tackling split shifts can rest up and recharge their batteries.  Fugate notes the bus service is also diversifying its vehicles, so riders will see a mix of traditional diesel-powered buses, hybrid models, others that run on compressed natural gas…

"And then also we are taking delivery of our very first electric buses in the next year," he adds.

Including the property, the project cost around $26 million with the Federal Transit Administration kicking in $11 million.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.
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