Improved Bus Fleet Storage for Kirk Avenue Bus Facility

New bus maintenance and storage facility meets increased space demands while improving community relationship

Situated snugly on 6.7 acres in an urban residential environment, the original Kirk Avenue Bus Facility in northeast Baltimore, built in 1947, was running out of room to store and maintain its bus fleet.

The limited space within the facility required that approximately 175 buses frequently be shuffled to perform servicing activities as well as be idled to warm the buses in the winter or cool them in the summer, resulting in noise that negatively impacted the surrounding residential community. Despite upgrades to the wash bays and inspection areas over the years, operations staff members were challenged to efficiently complete bus storage, maintenance, fueling, vaulting, and washing activities.

The Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA) needed to expand the facility to:

  • Reduce noise output.
  • Accommodate the existing and programmed bus fleet.
  • Improve maintenance and operating efficiency.
  • Improve transit service delivery.
  • Modernize employee working conditions.

The solution was a two-phase project to demolish and redevelop the existing Kirk Avenue facility, replacing it with an energy-efficient administration building with enclosed bus storage, fueling and wash areas, and an enclosed maintenance facility with interior bus circulation. The new Kirk Avenue Bus Facility features sustainable design and practical efficiency that improves the “good neighbor” relationship with the community and reduces the facility’s carbon footprint.

What We Did

The project, which spanned three on-call contracts, began as a single project for Gannett Fleming in 2009. It was subsequently separated into two phases and culminated in construction completion in 2021. Gannett Fleming provided construction-related services for both phases, including overall coordination and management, as well as industrial and structural design. For Phase II, Gannett Fleming provided mechanical, electrical, and plumbing design.

Phase I involved the construction of a 100,000-square-foot maintenance building across the street from the existing facility, including:

  • Associated parts storage.
  • Chassis wash.
  • Interior dead bus storage.
  • Administrative area.
  • Training room.
  • Locker space
  • On-site staff parking.

The facility has six articulated bus maintenance bays, 10 standard bus maintenance bays, and 13 dead bus storage bays. Elevated offices provide maximum viewshed for maintenance oversight. The two-bay chassis wash allows maintenance staff to clean the underside of the buses via portable lifts.

Placing administrative and support areas on the ground and second floors minimizes the building’s footprint. Utilizing the existing topography of the project site, the team embedded a portion of the building into a slope, helping to lessen the building’s external footprint. Buses can circulate within the building, reducing vehicle visibility to the neighboring community. The building’s heating and ventilation systems are located within a mechanical room to reduce noise output.

Upon completion of the Phase I maintenance building, the existing Kirk Avenue facility was torn down and replaced with a 180,000-square-foot bus storage facility with space to house and maintain 145 buses. The interior storage will reduce bus shuffling, idling, and noise output while providing a more aesthetically pleasing view of the facility. In addition, bus fueling and washing are performed within the facility, limiting bus circulation to the interior. The storage building also contains:

  • Bus transportation administrative spaces.
  • Facilities maintenance.
  • Vaulting operations.
  • Fuel storage with off-street refill capability.
  • On-site parking spaces for guests and visitors.

Key Features:

  • Energy-efficient mechanical equipment lessens the facility’s carbon footprint.
  • Internal bus fueling and washing capabilities reduce noise and visibility to the surrounding neighborhood.
  • Use of existing sloped topography minimizes new building’s footprint and external visibility.

Awards:

  • 2022 Maryland Quality Initiative (MdQI) Award of Excellence for MdQI: MTA Modal for project over $5M.

 

More Project Details
OUTCOMES

Accommodates growing and modern bus fleet.

Improves maintenance and operational efficiency, reducing overall operating costs.

Modernizes employee working conditions.

Increases goodwill in the neighborhood by reducing noise and improving aesthetics.