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Downtown 2010 Plan Idea #6 - Bus Transit Station

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  • #81216
    Walker Evans
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    Develop a Downtown Transit Center to Replace the High Street Transit Mall

    Main CU Feature: 12 Ideas Laid Out for Downtown 2010 Strategic Plan

    In the past few years, dozens of U.S. cities have opened new, state-of-the-art bus transit centers to better serve riders. From Charlotte, North Carolina to Nashville, Tennessee, these new transit centers have been developed to improve the level of service by providing a secure, efficient and attractive environment for transit customers. These cities have also decided to move toward transit centers to reduce bus congestion on downtown streets, simplify routes and stops, and give passengers a defined location for transfers. Far more than just indoor waiting areas, these new transit centers offer ticket and bus pass services, retail and office space, and community meeting rooms. Many of these new downtown transit centers make strong architectural statements, directly contributing to the positive image of both downtown and the transit authority.

    Today, COTA uses High Street and Broad Street as its primary Downtown transit spines. Dozens of buses converge on the corner of Broad and High streets and at the facility in the City Center garage. While the garage location offers weather protection, the transfer point at the corner of Broad and High streets offers little to no cover to bus riders. This problem could be solved with a dedicated facility that provides riders with a much improved transit experience. This site should be located within the core of Downtown, providing both bus access and proximity to employment centers for riders. For those transferring buses in Downtown and heading elsewhere, this facility would provide a more efficient and pleasant transit experience.

    MORE HERE: http://www.downtowncolumbus.com/plan/transit-center

    #361817
    Andrew Hall
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    I said back when the ‘what to do with City Center’ was a discussion that this is exactly what they should do with that space. (as well as integrate the sorry-ass Grayhound station.) They should also add to that a one-stop shop for city services like parking tickets, water, electric, etc.

    A.

    #361818

    Analogue Kid
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    What do people think of a bus tunnel a la Seattle? I think it improves service and makes the transition to light rail much smoother.

    #361819

    Tenzo
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    Andrew Hall wrote >>
    (as well as integrate the sorry-ass Grayhound station.)

    Greyhound centers are supposed to be sorry ass. It’s part of the mystique and cultural heritage. A place for transients. runaways and sit coms

    #361820

    johnwirtz
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    Analogue Kid wrote >>
    What do people think of a bus tunnel a la Seattle? I think it improves service and makes the transition to light rail much smoother.

    I think it’d be great…and like most things worth doing, very expensive.

    #361821

    johnwirtz
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    As for the bus station, it seems to me that they are just trying to move the buses off of High Street so they can allow parking (see idea #5) or maybe build streetcar or light rail.

    Nevertheless, I think this is a very good idea for routes terminating in downtown, such as express routes and a few of the local routes. I don’t think it’s a very good idea for routes continuing through downtown (#1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, and 16).

    Although the High Street lineup has its benefits, I’ve never been a big fan because it adds a lot of travel time to trips passing through downtown. For example, if you are going from Bexley to the Short North on the #2, the bus just stops on High Street and sits there for a while when all you want to do is go the last mile to your destination. Transit agencies call this sitting around time “recovery time,” and it does help to keep a bus on schedule. Putting the recovery time downtown though discourages the trips passing through downtown. I recommend that the buses recover at the ends of the route (like Graceland, Crosswoods, Reynoldsburg, Northern Lights, Great Southern, etc…).

    #361822
    Walker Evans
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    At last night’s meeting, Keith Myers (who presented this info) pointed out that with so many bus routes converging at Broad & High, it leaves a lot to be desired in terms of passenger comfort. There is no seating around the Statehouse other than on the stone wall, an no protection from the elements (winter, heat, rain, etc).

    I do like this idea, and think that High Street would benefit from moving the bus lineups off of it to make a more retail-friendly environment.

    Andrew Hall wrote >>
    I said back when the ‘what to do with City Center’ was a discussion that this is exactly what they should do with that space.

    I remember that. Funny enough, I think every single idea last night has been mentioned by someone on CU at least in some manner in the past. ;) Perhaps the walls have ears. ;)

    #361823

    futureman
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    Isn’t there some sort of COTA stop or transfer station in the existing City Center parking garage? It’s kinda bunker like at the west end of the above ground garage.

    #361824

    johnwirtz
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    Walker wrote >>
    At last night’s meeting, Keith Myers (who presented this info) pointed out that with so many bus routes converging at Broad & High, it leaves a lot to be desired in terms of passenger comfort. There is no seating around the Statehouse other than on the stone wall, an no protection from the elements (winter, heat, rain, etc).
    I do like this idea, and think that High Street would benefit from moving the bus lineups off of it to make a more retail-friendly environment.

    Agreed. Overall this could be very good, but I’m not sure it could or should handle all routes. They need to be careful not to add even more passenger-delay to bus trips if they choose to route every bus through this station. Of course, the amount of diversion would depend partially on the location selected for the station.

    #361825
    Walker Evans
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    johnwirtz wrote >>
    Overall this could be very good, but I’m not sure it could or should handle all routes.

    Oh, definitely. It wouldn’t make sense for every route to pass through the station. But with so many already passing through the middle of Downtown, I imagine that many of them could pass through with minimal impact on route times and scheduling.

    #361826
    Walker Evans
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    futureman wrote >>
    Isn’t there some sort of COTA stop or transfer station in the existing City Center parking garage? It’s kinda bunker like at the west end of the above ground garage.

    There are actually two Downtown “stations” right now.

    The one you mention in the City Center garage, which primarily only serves express bus routes (mostly suburban shuttle/commuter lines). There was a photo slide of this station in the presentation. If you’ve never been inside, give it a walk through sometime. It’s about as welcome as walking through the City Center Parking Garage itself.

    The other “station” is at Spring and Wall Streets (behind Barrio). This one also primarily serves express routes. This station is pretty bare bones. It’s essentially a gas-station style high roof where buses can pull underneath diagonally for loading & unloading.

    Take a quick look at the PDF for this Idea to get a better image of what type of bus station they have in mind for servicing both local & express routes Downtown that currently converge at Broad & High:

    http://www.downtowncolumbus.com/docs/6-Idea-TC.pdf

    I think placement is going to be key for this idea, and nothing was really mentioned as a potential spot, but I think the more central (close to Broad & High) the better. Perhaps SW corner of Gay & High or NE corner of State & Third?

    #361827

    johnwirtz
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    Walker wrote
    I think placement is going to be key for this idea, and nothing was really mentioned as a potential spot, but I think the more central (close to Broad & High) the better. Perhaps SW corner of Gay & High or NE corner of State & Third?

    I wonder why a bus station can’t be integrated into the 3C rail station at Nationwide and High. Wouldn’t it be nice to get off a train, walk upstairs, and get on your bus. Hell, you could put the bike station in the same facility too. Multi-modal transit hub.

    Also, Detroit has a pretty sweet new bus transit center:

    #361828
    Walker Evans
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    The 3C Station idea was mentioned as being multi-modal and I imagine it would service several bus lines as well as the 3C and potential Light Rail or Streetcar.

    I think this other transit station was proposed as a more centrally located transfer station to either replace what’s currently being done poorly outdoors at Broad & High or to consolidate with either of the other existing underutilized stations.

    #361829
    joev
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    This one, I don’t think there’s a need for. Sure, there are a lot of people waiting for buses at Broad and High. A few shelters might be nice. I’d move some routes off High Street, but I don’t think a building is needed.

    I’m not sure I get the whole concept, but I’d wait for the bus outside, so I don’t miss it. Granted, when I take a bus, I don’t really pay attention to the schedules and don’t transfer- I just wait for a #7, #8 or #16 to pull up.

    #361830

    BCNation
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    johnwirtz wrote >>
    I recommend that the buses recover at the ends of the route (like Graceland, Crosswoods, Reynoldsburg, Westerville, Great Southern, etc…).

    Elaborate on that some more, please.

    ——————–

    As I was about to say, a Downtown Transit Center seems redundant. But more shelters would be better, so you know when to catch the bus, instead of waiting forever.

    Recovery times make some routes (# 1, 2, 11, 16) longer than others (# 6), though.

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