Governor Justice attends Bluefield Area Transit Regional Transfer Station Groundbreaking Ceremony


BLUEFIELD, West Virginia – Governor Jim Justice took part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony today to celebrate the grand opening of the new Larlyn Patrick McKinney Bluefield Area Transit Regional Transfer Station, located in the heart of downtown Bluefield.

The $3.2 million state-of-the-art facility will operate as the hub of the city’s Bluefield Area Transit (BAT) bus system. The local transit system now serves more than 225,000 annual passengers on routes in Mercer and McDowell counties, including more than 120,000 seniors and 15,000 passengers with disabilities.

“It’s an amazing building that’s going to serve thousands and thousands of cyclists, leaving them to be in the air conditioning or the heat instead of out in the elements. It’s truly amazing,” Governor Justice said. It took a lot of hard work from a lot of people, but you made it. You’re on your way, and there will be more and more goodness to follow. I couldn’t be prouder.

Named after BAT’s director for more than two decades, Patrick McKinney, the new transfer station will provide passengers with a secure indoor facility with lavatories, as well as heating and air conditioning. The facility will allow BAT passengers to stay sheltered from the weather while waiting to change buses, unlike the small outdoor shelter used for many years on Princeton Avenue.

The new bus transfer station was built with more than $527,000 in WVDOT grants, as well as funds from the US Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and local funds.

Work on the project was carried out by Swope Construction. The Huntington-based company also has offices in Bluefield.

This project is part of a larger effort to revitalize downtown Bluefield.

“When I look at this building, I see the rebirth of a city,” Governor Justice said. “Bluefield is the kind of place, as a town in southern West Virginia, that many people will tell you could have easily disappeared from the map. But the people of this community didn’t just sit back and allow this to happen. They dug and worked. Now you see that hard work is paying off.

“If there was ever a town to be defended and celebrated as an American achievement – a place that wouldn’t quietly disappear and give up – it’s Bluefield,” Governor Justice continued. “It’s a community that is rebuilding and moving, and it’s happening before our eyes.”

In addition to McKinney, Bluefield City Manager Cecil Marson, representatives from the offices of U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito and U.S. Representative Carol Miller, and WVDOT Secretary Jimmy Wriston, PE, were all in attendance for the a event.

During the event, officials also announced that the road leading to the new transfer station would be dedicated to William “Bill” Robinson, executive director of WVDOT’s transit division.

Top left – Patrick McKinney; Top right – Cecil Marson;
Bottom left – Jimmy Wriston; Bottom right – Bill Robinson with McKinney and Marson


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