The city of Springfield plans to relocate its main bus hub to West Jefferson Street in 2024, and allocate at least $1 million in Ohio Department of Transportation funding toward the project.
The current bus hub, located at West High Street, serves as the main connection point between buses and passengers for Springfield City Area Transit. Local officials say the reason for the move includes addressing safety and traffic congestion concerns while also making local public transportation services more accessible to residents.
The city is currently waiting to hear back from the Federal Transit Administration to determine what all needs to be down before moving forward with engineering and construction documents regarding the relocation.
That includes making sure that no historical places will be impacted by the project as well as determining if an environmental assessment needs to be completed.
The city expects to hear back from the FTA next month, said Springfield’s Deputy City Manager Logan Cobbs.
The city also plans to allocate around $1 million from a FY2023 Ohio Transit Partnership Program grant to the relocation project.
The grant is administered by the Ohio Department of Transportation and the total allocation is a little more than $1.3 million. Commissioners last month gave the go ahead for the city to apply for and enter into the grant agreement with ODOT.
The remainder of that grant money not used for the relocation project will go towards a purchase for a new bus to be used for public transportation as well as cover maintenance and paratransit costs, Cobbs said.
The total cost of the bus hub relocation is still being determined, and it is unclear what will happen to the current bus hub after the move. Construction has not started on the project.
Buses used by Springfield City Area Transit currently spend on average five minutes at the hub on West High Street between routes. The bus center also has a covered space that is heated for passengers waiting on buses. There is also space to purchase tickets.
However, the city wants to limit congestion caused by buses at the current location and increase the safety of passengers by making the future center more compact.
The bus center on West High Street is more spread out and takes up a larger stretch of space. There is also more traffic in the area, city officials say.
City officials hope that moving the bus center to West Jefferson will create a more efficient space for both patrons and buses. The new location will be near Clark State and the Clark County Public Library.
“Ultimately, the goal of this is to increase accessibility and service quality for our patrons,” Cobbs previously stated.
The city is in a contract with the company First Transit to provide public transportation services. As of the beginning of this year, there were 19 buses being used by SCAT and 13 drivers were employed.