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Public-private partnership with EPTA results in bus shelter at Martinsburg Center

Helping cut the ribbon for the new EPTA shelter at the Martinsburg Center are (l. to r.) Kim Ford, EPTA board of directors member; Mike Ferrari, EPTA board members; Dan Dulyea, Berkeley County Council member; Elaine Bartoldson, EPTA deputy director; Dr. Scott Beard, Shepherd acting provost; Doug Pixler, EPTA director; Kevin Knowles, Martinsburg City Council member; Harriet Weakley Johnson, Martinsburg City Council member; Kristina Arntz, Aikens Group director of hotel sales and marketing; Jim Klein, Shepherd Martinsburg Center director; Matt Mullenax, Hagerstown/Eastern Panhandle Metropolitan Planning Organization executive director; and Lori Taylor, Berkeley County Development Authority business programs manager.

The Eastern Panhandle Transit Authority (EPTA) launched its new shelter program during a ribbon cutting for its first shelter at Shepherd University’s Martinsburg Center. The shelter, just outside the Martinsburg Center’s front door at 261 Aikens Center, was installed with help from Aikens Group.

Representatives from Shepherd, the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Chamber of Commerce, Berkeley County Council, Martinsburg City Council, Hagerstown/Eastern Panhandle Metropolitan Planning Organization, and Berkeley County Development Authority were on hand to help cut the ribbon.

“Today is yet another example of success for the community through public-private partnership,” said Jim Klein, Martinsburg Center director. “Although Shepherd University’s Martinsburg Center was designed to serve the area’s nontraditional students delivering Shepherd’s outstanding academic instruction, we are committed ultimately to improving the quality of life in the community. The shelter may seem like an insignificant gesture, until someone is caught in the rain waiting for the bus with no umbrella. In that rainy moment, someone will be very happy a partnership was formed among Shepherd University, EPTA, and Aikens Group.”

Doug Pixler, EPTA director, said this is the first of several shelters EPTA plans to install along its bus routes.

“We’re excited about it and our ridership is excited about it,” Pixler said. “The shelter will enhance public transportation, making it more accessible and safe.”