County officials cut the ribbon on the new 5,035-square-foot building Tuesday, four weeks ahead of schedule.
For Henry County Transit Director David Williamson and his 27-member staff, it comes just in the nick of time.
The new facility has seven offices, a conference room, a drivers’ training room and a break room with a kitchen — all of which are a total luxury for his previously cramped staff.
“When we have staff meeting, we’ll have enough chairs for everyone to sit down,” he said.
The new facility allows for expansion of bus services, as well — increasing the capacity from the current 23 buses up to 30.
Upping the number of buses may be a requirement in the near future. Ridership has increased by 30 percent since 2009, and Williamson projects ridership to hit more than 100,000 riders a year by fiscal year 2013.
“We probably get 30 new people every month registering for transportation,” he said.
The in-county, curbside service allows passengers to be picked up directly at their homes.
“We like to think we provide a little better, more personalized service than fixed routes,” Williamson said.
November ridership totaled 6,671, with most trips falling under the human services umbrella, such as drop offs at the Mental Health Center, Development Disabilities Center and senior centers, among others.
However, 2,500 of those trips were public transportation and included drop offs for medical appointments and employment commutes.
The $1.24 million facility was funded through Federal Transit Administration dollars.