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RMTD sets date for East Side facility grand opening
Posted By Brandon Reid On May 16, 2012 @ 6:59 am In Local News, News | No Comments
The Rockford Mass Transit District (RMTD) has announced the Grand Opening of the new East Side Transfer Center is scheduled for 10 a.m., Tuesday, May 22.
A ribbon cutting featuring comments by Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider and Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey (I) will take place at 10 a.m., followed by tours of the facility and refreshments.
The ribbon cutting is open to the public and one of several activities scheduled during the week of May 20 to celebrate the completion of this facility.
At 725 N. Lyford Road, across from the Cracker Barrel Restaurant, the RMTD East Side Transfer Center was designed by the Larson and Darby Group. The building features eight bus berths, a passenger waiting area for more than 90 passengers, a vending room with café seating for passengers with extended wait times, a state-of-the-art digital information board system, energy-efficient HVAC and lighting systems and a community room with seating capacity for 50.
Highlighting the lobby area is a terrazzo compass designed by Larson and Darby and laid in by Northern Illinois Terrazzo. Rockford Structures, served as the general contractor, and ARC Design, also of Rockford, served as the civil engineer. Jim Johnson of Rockford Mass Transit served as project manager.
Built to incorporate the look of the surrounding area, the East Side Transfer Center is constructed out of natural stone, brick and glass. The grounds of the facility has been professionally landscaped by Thomas Graceffa and Associates. Interior furnishings and design were provided by Widmer Interiors.
The transfer center cost $6,180,000 to build. An additional $1.4 million was used for the land acquisition and A&E study work. More than 97 percent of the dollars used to construct it were federal dollars with the State of Illinois contributing 3 percent of the funding.
RMTD was able to proceed with construction of this building largely in part because of the $3,693,576 contributed through the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). As of this writing, RMTD can lay claim to being the first shovel-ready transit project completed in the state of Illinois.
New transit hub for the stateline
The 725 N. Lyford Road station will serve as a transit hub for RMTD routes and Trailways Motorcoach service. Immediate RMTD service will connect passengers using the East State Street route to the newly-started service in Belvidere. Passengers originating in Belvidere will have seamless connections to Rockford destinations on East State Street and the rest of the RMTD system.
Later this fall, RMTD anticipates additional service through this facility connecting routes to the north and up to the stateline area. By year end, it will finally be possible for a transit rider to travel on public transportation from Rockford or Belvidere all the way up to Janesville, Wis. This has long been a vision for Rockford Mass Transit officials and one that will be realized very shortly.
Strategically located close to I-90, the East Side facility also positions RMTD to be a key player in future bus rapid transit service into Chicago and the nearby suburbs.
The new facility will also serve as a ticketing and dispatch location for Trailways Motorcoach Bus service. Trailways provides twice daily service out of Rockford; at 8:15 a.m. and 6 p.m. Trailways customers will now be able to purchase tickets and wait for the coaches inside anytime the Lyford Road facility is open.
The Grand Opening Ceremony is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. with comments from Schneider, Morrissey and other local dignitaries. After the ribbon cutting, refreshments will be served. Attendees and all riders that day will be given a Grand Opening commemorative item to celebrate the day.
In addition to the opening day activities, RMTD will host a family night for its employees from 7-9 p.m., Sunday, May 20. Monday, May 21, district officials are reaching out to the businesses and neighbors surrounding the facility and inviting them for a preview night get-together. From 7-9 p.m., invited guests will have the opportunity to tour the facility and enjoy light refreshments while district employees answer questions about future plans for the facility.
Later in the week, RMTD will host a Regional Maintenance Training session in the Community Room. More than 25 transit maintenance professionals are expected to attend to learn about the latest technologies in paratransit vehicle maintenance. To end the week, RMTD will host an informal coffee between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., Thursday, May 24. Community and business leaders are invited to drop by to view the Community Room and learn about RMTD’s room rental program and policy. The district plans to rent the Community Room to businesses for meetings and training sessions with the intent of raising additional revenues.
RMTD provides more than 1.7 million rides each year. The District has a fleet of 64 fixed route and paratransit vehicles, and offers 18 hours of service Monday-Friday, 13 hours of service on Saturdays, and eight hours on Sundays. RMTD also provides service to Loves Park, Machesney Park and Belvidere.
From the May 16-22, 2012, issue
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