The new transit center is at the heart of local efforts to dramatically transform the Kent’s downtown core into a thriving employment, business and cultural center.
Federal and local officials were in Ohio to celebrate the opening of the Kent Central Gateway multimodal transit center. The new center is a state-of-the-art facility that improves access to transportation options in Northeastern Ohio and is key to local efforts to revitalize downtown Kent and connect the city’s central business district with Kent State University
The U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) provided $20 million for the $25 million project through the TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant program. The remaining cost was covered by local funding sources.
The new transit center is at the heart of local efforts to dramatically transform the Kent’s downtown core into a thriving employment, business and cultural center. The facility is central to a larger effort by the city, university and private developers to invest roughly $125 million to develop over 500,000 square feet of office and retail space; a new hotel and conference center, which opened in June; and a new county courthouse — all within walking distance of the Gateway facility.
According to the Portage Area Regional Transportation Authority (PARTA), which provides public transit service within Kent and the surrounding communities, more than 250 jobs were created during construction of the project, and hundreds of additional new jobs in the city are also expected due to related development.
PARTA will begin operating service out of the new transit center on Aug. 12. The facility will provide improved access between downtown Kent and the university, and serve as a key transfer location for PARTA and regional bus routes, connecting riders to Akron, Cleveland and other locations in Portage County.
The facility also includes parking, pedestrian and bicycle connections to provide additional options for residents and visitors to get around.