Grand opening for downtown transit center
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.