Babauta has big plans for GRTA

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According to GRTA director Celestin Babauta, his plans to improve public transit by the end of 2020 involve increasing this number considerably by adding about 10 vehicles to the island's fleet using federal funding.

The Guam Regional Transit Authority is working to improve the island’s public transportation system.

Every day, around 500 people from all walks of life and occupations ride vehicles dispatched from the Guam Regional Transit Authority. And over a month, around 12,000 residents use public transportation to go to school, work, or do errands.

According to GRTA director Celestin Babauta, his plans to improve public transit by the end of 2020 involve increasing this number considerably by adding about 10 vehicles to the island’s fleet using federal funding.

“As we grow, as we make our transit system more reliable, we’re hoping to increase it by at least 50 percent, if not more, by the end of 2020,” Babauta said.

Currently, there are 14 out of 23 units that are operational, with the other nine being down due to maintenance issues. Babauta says that the addition of more vehicles would hopefully reduce the usual hour-and-a-half wait time between shuttles.

Babauta also says that he is working with the Guam Community College to provide a driver training course to accommodate the new units.

In addition, Babauta is looking forward to the agency breaking ground for its new facility by the end of the year. This new facility will have maintenance services and docks for electric vehicles.

GRTA is also working to build more bus shelters and signs throughout the island as there are currently only 13 functioning shelters and 180 stops.

To make scheduling rides more efficient, Babauta says that passengers will soon be able to use an app to pay their bus fare.

“It’s a system that’s going to allow our riders to have better access to scheduling their rides because they’ll be able to download on their mobile phone to determine when the buses arrive and schedule effectively. They’ll be able to pay their bus fare through smart cards, tickets, or cash. That’s a big agenda for GRTA,” Babauta said.

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