As an indication of a growing ridership, the transportation agency running Flagstaff’s bus lines is thinking of building a new connecting hub.
The current facility at the intersection of W. Phoenix Avenue and S. Mikes Peak serves just over 350 individual bus stops yearly, more than double the number from a decade ago.
But officials with the Northern Arizona Intergovernmental Public Transportation Authority say that central connecting facility for what is called the Mountain Line network is out of date and too small for current needs.
Among the problems associated with the facility is a lack of sitting space and shelters for passengers, as well as adequate room to maneuver all of the buses that drive in and out of the site.
A new facility, those officials say, might also house administrative offices for the authority.
Exactly where the new facility would be built remains to be determined, although there is some thought that it could go up at the site of the current connecting center, which is owned by the City of Flagstaff.
Another question mark concerns the cost of the project.
The Federal Transit Administration has awarded the authority a nearly $7 million grant for the express purpose of putting up such a facility.
But it is expected that the new center would cost more than that to build, requiring the need for additional funding from other sources.
Last November, a proposition calling for an increase in local sales taxes, which it was thought could generate as much as $41 million in revenue for the authority, was defeated by Flagstaff voters.
If funding can be secured elsewhere, it is expected that work on the center could begin sometime in 2021.
By Garry Boulard
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