Transportation took center stage at the Fayetteville City Council’s work session on Monday, Oct. 6. During the meeting the council discussed the proposed multimodal transportation center and proposed changes to bus routes, which are designed to improve customer satisfaction by providing prompt service.
    The architectural firm of Gantt Hubberman Architects of Charlotte was hired to perform sit evaluation and a market feasibility study for the multimodal transportation center. On Monday, the architects were back to make their final recommendation for the location of the center. {mosimage}
    The architects recommended the city-owned property co-located to the current train depot and the Prince Charles Hotel for the site. The new center will serve not only the FAST buses, but the trains as well. It will provide a central downtown transfer site and offer an enclosed waiting space for people waiting to make transfers. In addition to the facilities for the transportation elements, the center will also offer retail space for rent and administrative offices for FAST. The proposed 24,000 square foot building has a price tag of $15.2 million. It is estimated that 80 percent or more of the cost would be covered by federal transportation funds.
    Turning their attention to FAST, the council heard from Ron Macaluso, the transit director, on proposed changes to the existing bus routes. The changes are in line with the city’s goal of improving the timeliness and efficiency of the bus system. The tardiness of the buses was one of the major complaints made by bus riders during a customer satisfaction survey.
    Several council members were uncomfortable with the proposed changes and asked that the council hold a public hearing to allow the citizens affected by the changes to respond to the changes.
    The changes are designed to shorten routes by altering transfer sites, deleting turns down side roads, moving bus stops to a centralized spot and eliminating unsafe turns on busy roads like Ramsey Street.
    The public hearing will be held during the Oct. 27 city council meeting. To see a PowerPoint presentation of the proposed changes, visit www.upandcomingweekly.com.

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