COTA moves forward on plans to bring full transit services

The Commonwealth Office of Transit Authority (COTA) is currently coordinating with Architectural and Engineering (A/E) Consultant, SSFM CNMI, LLC on the construction of a permanent facility as part of its overall public transportation plan to provide reliable transit services to the Commonwealth.

Special Assistant for Public Transportation Alfreda P. Camacho says the administration and maintenance facility will consist of a concrete building, which will be a combined structure with approximately 10,900 square feet of total floor space. The planning phase is currently underway with a target start date next year.

“This facility will house the One-Call/One-Click Center for convenient access to transportation services and will accommodate the growing fleet of transit vehicles in order to best serve our local community.  COTA is very grateful to Governor Ralph DLG. Torres and Lt. Governor Victor B. Hocog for the continued support for public transportation in the CNMI,” she said.

The proposed project is anticipated to cost just over $1 million funded entirely by the VTCLI II grant through the Federal Transit Administration grant under the Department of Transportation.

The permanent facility is the latest development in COTA’s plans to fully provide transit services to residents. Last June, COTA held a test run of its fixed-flex route service, which will run along the southern end of Garapan to the Northern Marianas College. The service, which will start early next year, goes through key points and areas to provide a public transportation alternative for CNMI residents and visitors, while reducing traffic congestion, carbon emissions, accidents, and fuel costs while improving air quality.

According to Governor Ralph DLG. Torres, the construction of a dedicated transportation office is another step closer for the Commonwealth to meet its transportation needs.

“Improving our infrastructure is important and the construction of COTA’s office will allow us to steadily improve our services and remove the transportation barrier in our community in terms of access to employment, childcare, education and healthcare. This administration is committed to providing safe, efficient and quality transportation to improve our standard of living. That is why we ask for the community’s patience. We commend the progress of COTA and look forward to meeting the needs for transit services in our community very soon,” he said.

For more information on the Commonwealth Office on Transit Authority, please contact the office at (670) 664-2682 or visit Suite 216 of the Marianas Business Plaza, Susupe, Saipan.

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