October 11, 2012

N.Y.'s Centro opens $18.8M transit hub

The Central New York Regional Transportation Authority (Centro) has opened its new $18.8M Transit Hub in downtown Syracuse.

Each day, about 8,000 Centro customers travel through the Transit Hub, which serves as the main transfer location for Centro’s bus services in Syracuse and surrounding communities. The new facility replaces a four corners location known as “Common Center” which required customers navigate an array of buses that lined up in all four directions of the intersection and exposed customers to Syracuse’s harsh winters.

“We simply outgrew ‘Common Center’ and smothered that intersection,” said Centro Executive Director Frank Kobliski. “So we moved a couple of blocks south and built the Transit Hub. Now our customers have a refuge from the elements, access to restrooms, and they no longer have to guess where their bus will be. Each bus route departs from a designated bus bay.”

The transit hub also provides customers with access to new ticket vending machine and indoor/outdoor electronic bus information monitors.

Transit customers have been waiting at the former Common Center dating back to the horse-car days. In recent years, the intersection has become increasingly dominated by transit buses and its customers. With the transition to the Transit Hub, developers have taken interest in the former location. A $25M renovation project is already under way — known as Pike Block — which will renovate 130,000 square feet of vacant space into 78 market rate apartments, 25,000 square feet of ground floor retail space and a revitalized city center.

“In the last year we have welcomed 22 new businesses to Downtown. In fact, 38% of Syracuse’s jobs are within 3 miles of the city’s center,” said Robert Simpson, President of CenterState CEO. “Convenient transportation is part of this movement back to the city and Centro’s Transit Hub greatly enhances that experience.”

Construction of the Transit Hub began in July of last year and opened to the public on Sept. 4. The facility includes a 55,000 square foot canopy, 22 sawtooth bus bays and heated sidewalks to help melt the 110 inches of snow that fall in Syracuse during an average winter. 

The project was funded through various federal grants, including an $8.5M from the United States Department of Transportation’s Livability Grant program designed specifically to fund projects that improve the quality of public transportations and the communities it serves.

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