COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- City planners have talked for years about building a new transit center to replace the current facility built in 1976 at the corner of Nevada Avenue and Kiowa Street downtown.
In a December 2017 final report on a study regarding the matter, planners revealed that the preferred site for a new center is an area bordered by Colorado Avenue, Cucharras Street, Sahwatch Street and Sierra Madre Street, which is part of the southwest downtown revitalization district and a block north of the Olympic and Paralympic Museum.
However, city administrators said Thursday that negotiations to acquire the property from the owner have yet to be settled, and there will be no comment until the situation is resolved.
The property consists of parking lots and several vacant buildings, as well as two operating businesses -- a piano store and a Postal Service vehicle maintenance shop.
Employees at those businesses couldn't say whether they would have to move for the project.
According to the report, planners chose the aforementioned location partly because of its proximity to existing rail lines that one day may be used for a commuter rail, light rail or high-speed rail service in the future.
"I'd rather keep it right where it is, in the middle of downtown," said city bus passenger Cristo Canett. "If you move it farther west, it'll be harder for people to get to. Getting around is already hard enough, as it it."
Other advantages of the site, the report states, include: Being close to Interstate 25, existing shuttle transportation between Old Colorado City and Manitou Springs, and attractions such as the Olympic & Paralympic Museum and America the Beautiful Park; and having the potential for future development to revitalize the area.
The report explains that while a single owner has 75% of the property, 25% on the northeast corner of the parcel is owned by two separate people.
As a result, conceptual drawings of the project do not include the minority parcel and is illustrated as a gray-shaped cube; planners hope that parcel can become part of the project in the future because it would include allowing space for development -- possibly as part of a public-private partnership.
A public plaza would be part of the proposed transit center.
The actual center facility would be a single-story structure that would include city buses, regional bus service (Bustang), nationwide bus service (Greyhound) and future transportation services.
The old Greyhound terminal on Weber Street downtown has been closed and is being demolished; passengers now must board in the Park & Ride lot under I-25 between Nevada Avenue and Tejon Street.
"I don't think people realize that when you get on or off with your luggage, there are no restrooms, no indoor terminal and no comforts," a waiting passenger said. "Makes a big difference when it's cold like this."
Tickets can be purchased online or in person at two downtown-area offices.