Gastonia Planning Director Jack Kiser said the first step would involve finalizing a location that would be suitable for Greyhound, Gastonia Transit, Gaston Access and CATS 85-X bus routes, as well as Amtrak passenger trains.
"It would house city buses, inter-city buses, Amtrak, and if we're able to re-establish commuter rail on the P&N, it could house all of that," Kiser
told the City Council at a meeting this month.Kiser
said possible sites for the multi-modal transit station already have been identified in previous studies.City leaders have discussed locations in Gastonia's Center City that could be developed in conjunction with revitalization of the downtown business district.
The grant, awarded by the state public transportation division with funding from the Federal Transit
Administration, will not cover the cost of construction.As the design phase progresses, the city would then apply for construction funding, Kiser
At this point, construction of the transit facility would appear to be several years out, as would restoration of commuter service on the P&N Railroad.But the timetable for both of those projects depends on the rising demand for public transportation in direct correlation with rising fuel prices, Kiser
"I think a lot of it will depend on state and federal policy in regard to public transportation," Kiser
The project would likely develop in phases with room for expansion when new modes of transportation become available, Kiser
"The first phase would accommodate existing modes.Then when the time is right, say for commuter rail, bus, rapid transit or light rail, we'd be ready for that," Kiser