Colorado State University and the city of Fort Collins are hosting a dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Transit Center at Colorado State from 11 a.m.-noon Oct. 30 outside the north entrance to the Lory Student Center. The celebration marks the first-phase completion of the collaborative $11.5 million project designed to increase use of public transportation and to decrease personal car travel by students and city residents.
Wednesday’s dedication will include remarks by Fort Collins Mayor Ray Martinez, City Manager John Fischbach, Colorado State Vice President for Research and Information Technology Anthony Frank and Associated Students of Colorado State University President David Bower. Refreshments will be provided and the public is encouraged to attend.
"The Transit Center is a major step toward achieving Colorado State’s goal of creating a pedestrian-oriented campus free of traffic congestion while also further integrating the use of mass transit into campus life and culture," said Frank. "The facility will additionally serve city residents as a transfer and ticket center adjacent to major transportation corridors in Fort Collins."
The Transit Center is a joint project between Colorado State and the city with support from the Federal Transit Administration. The projected total cost of the center is $11,465,150 with the FTA providing $9,172,119 and the university and the city funding the additional $2,293,031. The center, located on the edge of Colorado State’s main campus adjacent to the proposed Mason Street Transportation Corridor, will be operated by the city of Fort Collins.
"The location of the new Transit Center on the north side of the Lory Student Center provides a way for buses to move in and out of campus without adding traffic congestion on campus," said Mike Rose, director of University Parking Services. "The student center is a central location for the university, but it is also on the edge of campus neighboring major city roadways, benefiting both the campus and the entire Fort Collins community."
With the completion of phase one, the new Transit Center is a fully functioning busing and shuttle facility. The center is equipped with bus transfer areas, bus pullouts, benches, shelters, site lighting, pedestrian walkways, bicycle pathways, parking and landscaping. The first phase of construction for this project began in May 2002 and was completed earlier this semester at a cost of about $3 million.
Phase two, expected to begin in May 2003 and be completed by December 2004 at a cost of $8.5 million, will add a bus terminal building and additional landscaping. The 16,000-square-foot terminal will house passenger waiting areas, a ticket counter, restrooms, offices, elevators, a retail area and lobby areas.
"The city will continue to pursue federal funding to build phase two," said Tom Frazier,
Transfort/Dial-A-Ride general manager. "The congressional members have been very supportive of this joint transit center project."
Last year, more than 555,000 passenger trips were provided to Colorado State students by the city’s public transit system, and by 2010, the number of trips will be an estimated 1.1 million. The Transit Center is expected to make ridership more attractive among the 3,600 students and faculty who already commute to campus on Transfort each day.
In 1995, Colorado State and the city of Fort Collins began working on plans to lessen the transportation impacts on campus and the surrounding neighborhoods. In 1997, the city and the university began planning the Transit Center.