SunLine welcomes new building, jobs to Coachella Valley

SunLine hires local contractor for multi-million dollar project

POSTED: 01:01 PM PST Feb 26, 2013    UPDATED: 02:00 PM PST Feb 26, 2013 
Sunline administrative building
THOUSAND PALMS, Calif. -

SunLine Transit vehicles travel more than 21 million miles throughout Riverside County every year. Now, they're on the move -- from portables, to permanent.

"We've currently been working out of an admin building that's over 25 years old; it's actually trailers believe it or not," said Sunline Transit Agency General Manager Mikel Oglesby, "We're coming into the modern years."

By summer 2014, the dirt lot on Harry Oliver Trail in Thousand Palms will be a new administration building and transit hub. It's a project nearly 10 years in the making.

"I came here in 2004," Oglesby remembers, "and when I saw the trailers, I knew we had to do something, so I started the process then."

SunLine had other options, but they chose to put shovels in the hands of local, working families.

"We're really pleased SunLine is going [with a] local contractor, because in turn, we're going local," says Doug Wall, President of Doug Wall Construction.

The Bermuda Dunes-based company will lead the project.

It's paid for by taxpayers through Proposition 1B passed in 2006, and a grant with the Federal Transit Administration, or FTA.

"Out of the $10.7 million contract, $8.1 million of it is going back into our local economy, which is very important," explains Wall.

Very important is right.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in Riverside County sits at 11.1%. That's up five percent in five years.

"Our valley families have been hurting for years now, we're short jobs, and when local funds are spent, we think they should be spent on local families," says Wall.

For more information, visit SunLineTransit.org.

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