Come one, come all to the MetroBase operations building groundbreaking Friday

If you are in the area of 1200 River Street around noon Friday, Oct. 26. There will be a little celebration going on and you are invited to join in. Santa Cruz Metro will break ground on the last of its MetroBase project – the new operation's facility. Congressman Sam Farr, Assemblyman Bill Monning and other dignitaries, plus Metro personnel will be on hand for the groundbreaking of the Judy K. Souza Operations Facility, which will be built in the bus parking lot next to the current ops building. Souza, who died in 2011, was Metro's first female bus driver and supervisor. Retired in 2008 after 32 years with Metro, Souza was well-loved by coworkers and the community, and was known for initiating outreach programs in local schools. When the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake destroyed Metro's maintenance and operations facilities in Watsonville, the agency began looking at rebuilding. Since 1995, millions of dollars has been spent on the MetroBase project in the Harvey West Business Park area. The project has included a fueling station, garage, maintenance facility and bus wash, which uses reclaimed water. This last piece of the puzzle is expected to cost about $15 million, with most of the money coming from state bond revenue, Metro officials said. Bidding is to begin soon on the two year construction project that's expected to create 325 jobs. The project is not expected to impact traffic on River Street, as there's plenty of room on Metro's property for stage of equipment and materials. Once the new “green” operations building is complete, the old one will be torn down. All together, the entire MetroBase project is projected to cost about $50 million and $60 million, a transit official said. “Ask George” Every week, I get a newsletter from Ask George, the DMV's transportation column that features frequently asked questions. Here are two things you probably didn't know:
  • If your vehicle registration is ever suspended because you lack proof of insurance, you can check the status of the suspension at Simply click on the link for “show detailed listing of online services,” then choose the “Vehicle Registration Suspension Program” link. There you can type in your vehicle license plate number and the last five characters of your vehicle identification number. If you have the notification letter from the DMV, you can use the personal identification number on it to look up the information, as well.
  • If a driver experiences a lapse of consciousness while behind the wheel, the DMV has a process for that. The agency requires every physician and surgeon to report patients who are have a disorder characterized by a lapse of consciousness to their local health officer, who is required to notify the DMV. These drivers can be put on medical probation, which allows the DMV to continuously monitor their medical condition. Learn more on medical probation at Read about the history behind this rule at
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