A Transit Center Review

9 06 2011

If a city has not had a central transit center built within the last few years (Dayton, Akron, Cleveland), there is probably talk of building one.  The latest news included proposals or seeking proposals in Columbus and Toledo.   I happened to be in Akron this week and was able to experience the Intermodal Transit Center, which opened in 2009, and I have a few brief observations.

What I liked…

– The Transit Center is an impressive building.  Glass, metal, spacious, and very clean.  Walking through the center, you feel like you are somewhere beyond a bus stop and that you are metaphysically going places.  I would compare it (somewhat exaggerating, I know) to walking through an airport or being in Penn Station in New York.  Nice things make us feel better about our current task that might simply be transferring buses.

– You can get out of Akron from the Transit Center.  The Greyhound station is located in the center.  This seems much more convenient than the old Greyhound location off a nearby exit on Interest 76.  Megabus also has a stop here on its Cleveland to Pittsburgh route.  I see intra-city bus travel growing in the near future and Akron is ready.

What I did not like…

– Though technically downtown and within a 10 or 15 minute walk to the city center and The University of Akron, the location feels isolated, surrounded by industrial buildings.  Though there is some food options within the center, it seems like an “intermodal transit center” would be a perfect opportunity for development.  It seems like the city could easily throw out a number of how many passengers go through the station everyday to cigarette sellers and coffee brewers.

And in a perfect world, businesses could attract top talent by locating next to the center: no transfers required.  I guess we can dream.


Update on rapid station in Little Italy

23 05 2011

From the Plain Dealer’s “Whatever Happened to…” series, Tom Breckenridge wrote an update on the status of a proposed Little Italy station for the Red Line.  The anser is: seeking funding.  This will not be an extension of service, but replace an existing station at East 120th.  The current station is one of the more worn down stations in the system and it is also more on the periphery of the main University Circle drag as compared to the proposed station.  A new station could not hurt.  If you have not seen University Circle recently, it feels like the home of all new development in Cleveland.

from Cleveland.com

Brookings Rates Transit Systems for Work

17 05 2011

There were several articles about this recent Brookings Institution report about access to public transit.  The three main variables of the study were access to transit stops, wait-per-bus during rush hour, and if you can get to work within 90 minutes by transit.  Unsurprisingly, if you are not working downtown, you will have trouble breaking 90 minutes.  Here is an article from The Columbus Dispatch about COTA and here is one from Cleveland.com about Greater Cleveland RTA.

For those interested in how Ohio metropolitan areas ranked (only 100 cities were included in this study):

Akron: 58

Cincinnati: 71

Cleveland: 41


Dayton: 27

Toledo: 40

Youngstown: 97

Go Dayton!  Do checkout the metro profiles (PDFs) which have great maps of each region.

Cincinnati Streetcar going forward

10 05 2011

This is a few days old, but should be reported.  Though it looked like the Cincinnati streetcar project was in serious trouble when the state pulled back funding, Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory reports that the project is going forward.  For the time being, it sounds like the route will not run from Fountain Square to The Banks, which is a planned mix-use development (popular with the kids) along the river.  This may be added later as funding is currently being sought.  It is good to see that something is moving forward in Ohio.

from kypost.com

Is the streetcar dream dying in Cincy?

20 03 2011

Some large signs have appeared in the last few weeks that the Cincinnati streetcar line connecting downtown to the university is in trouble. This opinion piece sums up the two main issues: 1) A leading proponent of the project, Councilman Mark Mallory, has changed his mind.  2) The state will pull $51.8 million promised from the last administration.

Along with the failed commuter and light rail service in Columbus (though it was never near as close to shovel-ready as Cincinnati), does this mean that transit cannot get done in Ohio?  Is Ohio digging its heals into car-only transit?

from Cincinnati.com

Kent tries to end limited access road

30 09 2010

Some more news on the planned transit center in Kent.  The city is trying to have the state changed the limit access designation of the road known as the Haymaker Parkway, which runs between downtown and the campus.  This ruling would allow for more car-unfriendly items like cross-walks.

from Recordpub.com

TOD in Canton?

21 07 2010

Though vague on details, the following article outlines a proposed business revitalization plan for Mahoning Road Corridor.  SARTA received federal transit money and the transit improvements appear to be associated with sidewalk and bus shelter improvements, improving transit between downtown and northeast Canton.

from CantonRep.com