Plans to revamp Summit’s transit hub will go to the public next week at an open house on Wednesday, Nov. 18. As county officials draft a master plan for the Frisco Transit Center, they are working to gather citizens’ feedback before finalizing the plan in December.
“We’re going to be presenting some conceptual design ideas that we’ve come up with, get input, and use the input that we get to develop design ideas and a final master plan by the end of the year,” Summit County senior planner Kate Berg said.
The short-term goals of the project are to improve circulation and visibility at the station by creating designated areas for the many buses that pass through, and building a better indoor waiting space for passengers.
“There will be some real tangible ideas for folks to get an idea of what we’re thinking,” Berg said. “We started with 11 concepts, and we’re trying to meld them into one plan.”
Once the final plan is developed, she said the group would work with RNL Design to plan the first construction phase for next summer, with construction potentially starting as early as May. A cost estimate for the project will not be available until the plan is finalized, though a $593,000 planning and construction grant from the Colorado Department of Transportation will assist with the improvements.
“So far, we have a lot of good options,” assistant county manager Thad Noll said. “We can do a lot of that with the infrastructure currently in place.”
A GROWING NEED
A master plan to improve the transit center has been in place since 1999, but the new plan, inspired by a design charette from Brynn Grey Partners, expands to fit projected transportation needs in future years.
The center sees an average of 1,000 riders daily and serves a growing number of transportation services, including the Summit Stage, Bustang, Greyhound, Hertz rentals and four different airport shuttles.
“When this was built, the Greyhound may have used it, and Bustang wasn’t even on anyone’s horizon,” county transit director Jim Andrew said. “There was one airport shuttle back then. Today we’ve got four.”
He estimated that 80 or 90 shuttles travel through the lot each day.
“It’s a more intensive use of the facility than when it was first created,” he added.
While no extra room has been allocated to expand the six-acre property, the plan would reorganize traffic to allow buses to move through with more ease. The plan would include eight bus bays, with distinct spaces for each of the different operators.
“Hopefully we’re coming up with something that makes better use of the space that we’ve got,” Andrew said.
BUILDING A BETTER SPACE
In the long term, the Transit Center would serve as more of a “landmark,” with visitor information, including local and regional transit schedules, as well as outlets and other necessities.
The building and bus shelters would also be renovated to allow for better visibility for passengers. Berg said they were looking at creating a larger, more open building that would allow riders to see their bus from indoors. The waiting area would also feature long, heated bus shelters.
“For visitors, a lot of them are arriving on a shuttle from the airport the first time they step in the county,” Noll said. “For locals, we want it to be a place that you feel safe, it’s attractive, and if you have some time to blow waiting for a bus you do it there.”
He added that he hoped to see a coffee shop nearby.
Wednesday’s open house will be located at at Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant in Frisco, from 4:30-6:30 p.m., where preliminary designs will be provided for feedback.
“Big picture, we want to get as much input as we can, because you never know where the next good idea’s gonna come from,” Noll said.