Mayor Gaylor Baird announces new multimodal transportation center
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Lincoln will be getting a new multimodal transportation center thanks to a $23.6 million federal grant.
On Thursday, Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird announced that the grant had been awarded to StarTran.
“This law marks the largest federal investment in public transit in U.S. history, and today, here in Lincoln, Nebraska, we will not miss the bus on that history,” Gaylor Baird said. “In fact, we are kicking things into high gear.”
The grant will be used to fund over 70% of a $32.2 million multimodal transportation center, which will be located just north of the County-City Building near 9th and K Streets.
There is currently a parking lot at that location, but Liz Elliott, director of Lincoln Transportation and Utilities Department, said the new center would provide just as many, if not more parking spots once complete.
The center is going to feature public parking, restrooms, and indoor seating for riders as well as BikeLNK and ScooterLNK rentals.
“It’s right in the center of the city, so it’s close to the university, it’s easier to access for those who live down here,” Elliott said. “So we’re hoping and we believe that this will be a huge asset.”
Officials will begin working on designs next year, with construction scheduled to begin in 2024. They say the project could be finished as soon as 2025.
“It’s one of those that just makes you want to kind of jump up and down because the possibilities and the potential are huge, I think, for the entire community,” Elliott said.
Gaylor Baird said she also thinks this project could have several benefits to the community.
“It’s also a win when it comes to sustainability. We’re really looking at how this could be a more reliable, effective form of transportation in our community so that we can continue to make progress toward our climate action goals,” Gaylor Baird said.
The transportation department has applied for this grant eight times since 2014 before they were eventually approved.
The grant is a part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant program.
Lincoln Transit Manager Mike Davis said a cost-benefit analysis showed that for every $1 spent, the project will provide $1.20 in benefits for the community.
Gaylor Baird said these funds make it possible to connect people more efficiently, and they hope the changes will help increase ridership as well.
“You know, if I knew how to do a cartwheel, I would do one. That’s how it feels. This is a big deal. We’re really, really grateful and this is a big win,” Gaylor Baird said.
The project includes a public input and participation phase which will take place in 2023, allowing citizens to get involved in the process.
To find out more about the new center, visit the City of Lincoln website.