KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) – Kingsport Area Transit Service (KATS) cut the ribbon Tuesday on its new Transit Garage.

The new 21,000-square-foot garage is located at 850 E. Main Street next to the transit facility.

A release from the City of Kingsport states the new garage represents nearly a decade of planning and construction to better serve city residents. City leaders were joined Tuesday by representatives from the Tennessee Department of Transportation and the Federal Transportation Administration.

The completion of the transit garage marks the end of a 10-year plan to move and modernize KATS. That plan included the construction of the new transit facility, which is capable of housing the full 22-bus KATS fleet with room to grow.

“We can store them now, secure them and keep them safe and out of the elements,” Kingsport Transit Director Chris Campbell said. “And now we have a great place for our employees to work and the longevity of our vehicles can continue.”

Campbell also said the city can shift its focus now to purchasing new vehicles.

The recently-finished garage was also built with future technology in mind.

“We understand that the future is going to be electrified,” Campbell said. “So to plan for that, we have 440-volt power into this facility, which would power those chargers in the future if needed.”

According to the city, the funding for the new garage came from federal, state and city funds. City funds made up $1.1 million of the cost, with federal and state funding amounting to about $5 million.