The city already owns nearly all the land it would need to build the center there, and the study determined it would not need the entire block for the transit center as previously envisioned, Gulbranson and StarTran Manager Mike Davis said.
Former police station identified as preferred site for StarTran bus center | Local GovernmentSeptember 20, 2020
At $12.4 million, construction of the new center would be less than half the $28 million estimate tagged to the previous concept for that block.
The proposed bus center would feature 14 covered bays adjacent to a two-story building with a lobby, customer service center and offices for administration, among other amenities.
Investing in a transit center could increase the value of the city’s bus service, lead to cleaner air and speed up the bus system overall, Gulbranson told the council.
“If all the routes were able to meet and transfer passengers off-street, that would trim down people’s overall travel time significantly,” said Gulbranson, noting that the current hub boarding areas limit efficiency.
Lincoln applied for a U.S. Department of Transportation BUILD grant it hoped could fund up to 80% of the project, but of the $1 billion Secretary Elaine Chao awarded Wednesday, $7.6 million went to build a bypass around Blair. The Blair project was Nebraska’s lone grant recipient.
Lincoln officials view federal funding as a key component of constructing the bus center, and they plan to pursue other federal grants, including a program specifically for bus transit-related capital projects.