DelDOT/DTC Announce Innovative Approach to Construct New Transit Center
DelDOT and Delaware Transit Corporation (DTC) know the critical need for a transit center in the City of Wilmington. As the 11th busiest Amtrak Station, Wilmington’s Biden Station serves as the focal point of public transportation in Wilmington. Improving the customer experience, allowing better connections to buses and trains, as well as addressing the parking shortage around the train station are many of the concerns we have heard from both the traveling public and the business community. As many in the City will agree, a transit center will provide a better and much-needed layover spot for buses and make for a more efficient traffic flow in the downtown area.
DelDOT and DTC are currently working to finalize a Public-Private Partnership to construct the Wilmington Transit Center on State-owned land just east of Walnut Street and north of Front Street, adjacent to the train station. The selected private entity would, at their expense, design, build, maintain and operate a parking and transit facility by way of a lease. In return, DTC would have at least nine bus bays on the ground floor of the parking deck, an area for bus staging, accommodations for future electric bus recharging, bus operator facilities, public kiosk for transit ticketing/information, rental car parking and additional public parking availability. Based on the success of the project, there may be an opportunity for revenue sharing.
Governor Markell said, “Public-private partnerships are so important to the economic vitality of this state. These types of partnerships foster innovative opportunities to deliver transportation projects that save the taxpayers time and money, by maximizing efficiencies and tapping the strengths of each partner.”
Transportation Secretary Jennifer Cohan said, “Under Governor Markell’s leadership, innovation has been key to many transportation projects recently completed such as the Diverging Diamond, and I-95 deck replacement. This Public-Private Partnership is a great opportunity work with the business community to construct the Transit Center with minimal cost to the public. Through our traditional design and construction methods, this project would take nearly five years to complete. Utilizing the Public-Private Partnership, this project will be completed in half the time.”
“This is an important project for the thousands of people who rely daily on public transportation in Wilmington and for the managers of the transit systems who we rely on to move citizens efficiently to their destinations,” said Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki. “A vibrant, responsive transportation system is key for a City like ours that is welcoming more people each year to live, work and enjoy Wilmington. I am grateful to the Governor and Transportation Secretary and all of those who have supported the transit center concept.”
When completed, the intermodal transit center, connecting more than 23 DART bus routes, daily SEPTA and Amtrak trains, intercity buses and taxis, will provide one-stop connections for people to travel locally, throughout state and the northeast corridor, providing greater access to jobs and tourism. The final proposal is due March 7, 2017 and the Transit Center could open as early as spring 2019.
The Delaware Transit Corporation, a subsidiary of the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT), operates DART First State. Real-Time Transit Information is now available on the free DelDOT App (iOS and Android), as well as DART’s Trip Planner on www.DartFirstState.com. For more information, please call 1-800-652-DART.