Grand opening for downtown transit center

Despite sounds of construction and yellow caution tape, the downtown Charlottesville Transit Center is celebrated its grand opening today.

The $6.5 million facility was initiated in February 2003 as part of the East End Downtown Mall Improvement Project. The 10,000 square-foot transit center is located near the amphitheater on Seventh and Water Street, despite early controversy over its location, as the Hook reported back in May 2003.

"This is fantastic," Charlottesville resident Leroy Keyes says. "I usually catch the bus closer to Ridge Street, but I wanted to check this out." Although Keyes says he waited over half an hour for a bus to Pantops Shopping Center, he noted that "these chairs are great and I'm retired, so I'm not in a hurry."

And there are lots of them: 32 chairs inside and ten outside the center which will be open Monday through Saturday 8am to 8pm. Upstairs, a new visitors center will open later this spring.
Today's first trip was courtesy of Raymond Williams (shown here), who pulled up at 6:10am in Bus 10-A. Unfortunately, Williams notes, the usual riders must have still been over on Market Street, so he pulled out at 6:15am with an empty bus. (On his return trip at 7:15, Williams reports, he picked up "about four" passengers.)

Not only will the transit center serve as a place for travelers to rest their feet or take refuge from inclement weather, but it also serves as a convenient meeting place and restroom for bus riders.

"We won a small grant to show students with disabilities how to use the bus system to go to school, work, etc." says Albemarle high school work study coordinator Andy Wojick. "The new transit center will become a central meeting point for us."

As of today, CTS routes are being updated to accommodate the new transit center, and starting April 1, UVA students can flash their student ID for free rides. Click here for the updated schedule.



I can't imagine that there are a lot of people riding the bus away from the Downtown Mall quite that early in the morning.

Who cares about a transit center? Huge waste of our tax dollars! A far more effective use of that $6.5 mil would have been to purchase cars for the people who actually ride the buses. Or bikes. Or skateboards. Or rickshaws.

However...the article fails to note how many toilets and stalls there are for the Pavilion, which is the real benefit to the people of Charlottesville! No more porta-potties. Woo hoo!

It looks good but still seems like a waste 'o $$. I guess it'll be handy during Pavilion concerts.

I was disappointed to learn that bus stops in the old routes were eliminated, possibly leaving may people who relied on the bus in these areas with out transportation or having to walk further to the next stop. In an effort to become environmentally friendly, I recently bought a house on Cherry Ave. hoping to be able to commute to work via CTS. Unfortunately for me and others, I learned that the section of Cherry Ave. where I'll be living no longer has bus service close by. While I understand the City's desire to make the routes shorter, eliminating coverage in areas where bus travel has traveled for years is not the answer. If anything the City needs more routes and service, which would greatly assist in decreasing traffic if more people would ride. Now that service for UVa employees and students, there is a greater incentive to use CTS. However, eliminating bus stops in communities relying on bus transportation is not the answer.