Ribbon busting

By Sam Inglot
Sam Inglot/City Pulse

CATA celebrates expansion and 40 years in Lansing

Monday, Sept. 17 — The Capital Area Transit Authority celebrated its 40th anniversary with a ceremony this morning at its headquarters’ newly completed 212,500-square-foot expansion. 

CATA officials left the ribbon-cutting scissors at home for the occasion, instead opting to drive a bus through a ribbon in front of the garage.

The $9.85 million expansion at CATA’s headquarters on Tranter Street was paid for with a mix of state and federal funds. The project was completed in three phases over two years and added 76,200-square feet to the facility.

The building will allow CATA to store its fleet of over 200 vehicles indoors, which will make it easier for drivers and maintenance personnel to do inspections and repairs during harsh winter months.

The occasion also marked the 40th anniversary of the CATA bus system and featured appearances by Congressman Mike Rogers, R-Brighton, and state Rep. Joan Bauer, D-Lansing.

“When CATA was formed in 1972 the city let us have a condemned house on Mill Street,” said CATA President and CEO Sandy Draggoo. “We’ve come a long way since Mill Street. We are so very proud of our building in addition to celebrating our 40 years of serving people in the greater Lansing area.”

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero said the building, which is more or less a large garage — or pole barn — was a “beautiful” structure.

“Somehow you managed to force us to use the word ‘beautiful’ in front of the word ‘pole barn,’” he said, an obvious reference to the pole barn controversy the particle accelerator company Niowave has been facing in the Walnut Neighborhood. Unlike Niowave’s, CATA’s addition appears to fit in context with its surroundings.

“Perhaps it’s a lesson for the entire city.”