Federal funding for the Guam Regional Transit Authority to build a new maintenance facility has been extended through fiscal year 2023.

The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transportation Administration sent a notice Thursday to GRTA that its request to extend two unspent FTA grants has been approved, the governor's office announced.

Of the $1.2 million,  $1 million will be used to build a maintenance facility that will house the transfer station, bus operations and administration office.

The rest – $237,500 – will be budgeted for the architecture and engineering design for the new facility

The maintenance facility grant was originally awarded in 2012 and the A&E grant was first awarded in 2011. The unencumbered funds were set to expire on Sept. 30, 2019, but with the enactment of Public Law 35-26, the FTA approved GRTA’s request for an extension.

Public Law 35-26, which was authored by Sen. Jose “Pedo” Terlaje, dedicates 6,120 square meters of land in Tamuning to GRTA for the construction of the maintenance facility.

Securing the land for this facility was a key component of GRTA’s request for extending the funding, the governor's office stated.

GRTA Executive Director Celestin Babauta thanked Terlaje and the governor's efforts to save the federal money from expiring soon.

"I’m also appreciative of the GRTA board and the thousands of riders who have been so patient with us,” said GRTA Executive Director Celestin Babauta.

By performing regular maintenance of its vehicles, GRTA has doubled the number of its fleet from 7 buses and vans in January 2019 to 14 buses and vans in May 2019.

GRTA is also no longer leasing transit vehicles from its contractor, resulting in a savings of over $150,000. In addition, GRTA is finalizing the procurement of 10 more buses, the governor's office stated.

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