02/05/12 — GATEWAY considering new home

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GATEWAY considering new home

By Steve Herring
Published in News on February 5, 2012 1:50 AM

A feasibility study is under way to determine whether it would be more cost effective for the GATEWAY administrative offices to remain at its current location at 600 N. Madison Ave., or to move into the new transfer station proposed as part of the Union Station renovation project.

Also, the GATEWAY board is negotiating with Union Station architect David Gall to review the design of the transfer station in an effort to reduce the project's cost. The cost of the review is not to exceed $20,000.

GATEWAY is paying $7,500 to Martin/Alexiou/ Bryson, a consulting company that specializes in transportation planning and traffic engineering services, to conduct the study.

Terry Jordan, GATEWAY's new director, told the bus system's board at its Tuesday morning meeting that the study should be completed in February.

Board member and City Councilman Bob Waller said he would like to see the study completed as soon as possible.

"I would like to suggest that once you get it, to go ahead and call your two meetings and review it with the city and the county," Waller said. "We don't want to hold it up. Have a special meeting."

It should a joint session between the City Council, Wayne County commissioners and the GATEWAY board, he said.

"This is so they can be brought up to speed on the entire project and made aware of what all is going on," Jordan said following the meeting.

But while the goal of the study is to determine the best location for the bus system's offices, he said there has not been a change in the plans to build the $4.5 million transfer station.

Facing west and looking at Union Station, the transfer station would be located to the right of the station which is to be completely renovated.

The transfer station will have bus slots, a covered opened area, an interior centralized heated and cooled area, a concession area and office, scheduler and ticket seller.

"It (transfer station) is still in the schematic design and we are working with the architect to look at some alternatives to reduce the overall cost," Jordan said. "That is where we stand right now with that to see how we can minimize the overall expense of the building.

"We are looking forward to getting it built."

And while that is some time off, GATEWAY has already entered an agreement with Amtrak Motor Coach to pick up passengers from the current transfer station at 1615 E. Beech St. and then later at the new transfer station.

Hopefully that would be followed by the return of passenger trains to the city, he said.

"About two months ago, Amtrak came down and approached GATEWAY with the proposal of bringing their Amtrak bus into Goldsboro, then continuing on to the rail stations as a connector," he said. "That will be implemented prior to the station being built. They want to implement that soon."

In other business Tuesday, no one from the public spoke during a brief public hearing on GATEWAY's annual application for funding through the state's Community Transportation program.

The application for $980,460 includes $438,200 for administration, $499,700 for capital, including vehicles and $42,560 for operating costs. The program requires a local match of $136,280.

The application was approved by the board.