Thursday, April 26 , 2018, 8:21 pm | Fair 56º


Santa Maria to Break Ground Thursday on Transit Center

The downtown intermodal facility will include indoor waiting areas and large bus bays

The city of Santa Maria will hold an official groundbreaking ceremony at 1 p.m. Thursday to highlight construction of the future Santa Maria Intermodal Transit Center.

The event will be held on the 3.82-acre parcel, owned by the city, at the southeast corner of East Boone and South Miller streets.

Among those invited to attend the ceremony are the Santa Maria City Council, Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, and other city staff and community members. The event is open to the public.

“This project will provide greatly improved accessibility for both transit passengers and pedestrians,” city transit service manager Austin O’Dell said. “This customer-focused transit center will feature public restrooms, a snack shop, a park and ride location, indoor waiting areas with seating, bicycle racks and other amenities.”

The new downtown transit center will enable passengers to more easily transfer among local and regional routes, accommodating Santa Maria Area Transit, The Breeze, Guadalupe Flyer and San Luis Obispo Regional Transit Authority. It will have 16 bus bays — 14 for 40-foot-long buses.

The current bus facility along Cook Street near the Town Center mall consists of bus parking along the road, with only a handful of small bus shelters.

Designed by BFGC Architects Planners Inc. of San Luis Obispo, the transit center will benefit the community by providing a safe and reliable facility to daily commuters, the public, students, elderly and those with disabilities in the greater Santa Maria area, and special services to southern San Luis Obispo County.

Construction will commence after the ceremony. The contractor, Vernon Edwards Constructors Inc. of Santa Maria, was awarded the $3.55 million contract by the City Council on Dec. 1. Construction is expected to be completed in the fall.

— Mark van de Kamp represents the Santa Maria City Manager’s Office.

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