Where will transportation center go? - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Where will transportation center go?

July 5, 2005

Albany- City leaders are still at odds over where to build a new $2.5 million transportation center. City commissioners spent around $100,000 to study the best place for a multi-modal transportation center to replace an aging bus station downtown.

But more than three years after the first study began, commissioners haven't made up their minds. Every day hundreds of people wait at the bus station on the corner of Oglethorpe and Jefferson Street to catch a ride on the Albany Transit. "I ride them every day to work and around town to different places, out to the mall and things like that," says Bus Rider James Blanks.

The City leases the space from Destiny Tours. Riders like Blank says the location is convenient. "They have a restaurant, Carter's Grill, right here that I eat at a lot. I use the bank right behind it, so it's in a good area for me," says Blanks.

Surrounding businesses thrive off the bus riders, and that's why some city commissioners want to build a new $2.5 million transportation center on the site. "It would certainly make it easier for the people who ride the bus to patronize these facilities," said Albany Mayor Willie Adams.

But to rebuild there, the City must convince the Georgia Department of Transportation the current site is better than this plot at the corner of Roosevelt and Washington Streets.

Three years ago, a consultant study said showed the Sandy Bottom site was larger and more suitable. But since then, plans for a rail services have fallen through and a second study showed Oglethorpe was now the best site. "Rail is very remote so we need to take care of the historical part, business revitalization downtown," said Mayor Adams. "I certainly think the Oglethorpe site is more appropriate."

The city received a $1 million federal grant to build the center, but the Georgia DOT must sign off on it. Now the city must get DOT on-board with the Oglethorpe site, or some riders may be walking a little further to catch the bus.

City commissioners plan to vote on a site at their next meeting July 19th.

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