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US Secretary of Transportation LaHood and US Congressman Ryan Visit Kent’s Multi-Modal Center

April 10, 2015

The Hon. Ray LaHood, U.S. Secretary of Transportation, and Tim Ryan, U.S.Representative for the 13th District of Ohio, today joined John Drew, General Manager of PARTA and Jerry Fiala, Mayor of Kent, for a tour of the Kent Central Gateway in downtown Kent. This $26 million joint transit/city project will hold space for a 10 bus bay transfer center, bike lockers, as well as the first parking deck in Portage County with parking for 365 automobiles, serving all of Portage County and the greater Akron/Cleveland area.

“The Federal Transit Administration TIGER grant for $20 million that PARTA was awarded to build the Kent Central Gateway Multi-Modal facility has been nothing short of transformational – for both PARTA and the City of Kent. The lack of parking in the City has been a problem for some time,” said Drew.

PARTA has provided the cornerstone of the $125 million redevelopment of downtown Kent.  Kent has always been a great place to live, learn and do business and now this project will further enhance our quality of life with new jobs, businesses and opportunities,” said  Mayor Fiala.

“The redevelopment of Kent is a great example of the cooperation of the private and public sector—and the value that those collaborations bring in enhancing the community of Kent. Secretary Ray LaHood’s presence is a strong indicator of the Administration’s commitment to bringing together the strengths of the business community and the public resources needed to create wealth and provide jobs,” said Congressman Ryan.

“As President Obama said in his State of the Union Address, we know that businesses – not to mention students and local residents – want modern transportation infrastructure,” said Secretary LaHood. “By building this transit center, Kent is giving its people the transportation options they want today and investing in a brighter economy for everyone tomorrow.”

The Kent Central Gateway and adjacent development will altogether create:

  • Roughly $125 million total in public and private development
  • 266 construction jobs
  • 703 new long-term jobs
  • $5.8 million in tax revenue annually and
  • A lasting "halo effect" for existing businesses, Kent State University, and Portage County

For more information about Kent Central Gateway and PARTA, please visit the following websites:   www.kentcentralgateway.com and www.partaonline.org.

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