Site list narrowed for transit center

Authored By david.morton

Planners have narrowed down a list of potential sites for a multimodal transportation center.

The nine properties were culled from a list of 20, based on their proximity to existing rail lines, acreage and availability. The findings were presented to the Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority board Thursday morning.

The sites are located near downtown and would need to accommodate existing CARTA services and possible light rail connections. The center is intended to provide a major transfer point for commuters and public transit modes.

Several sites are close to the Chattanooga Choo-Choo, which served as a transportation hub in the early 20th century.

“It’s funny how people got it right a long time ago,” said Greg Saur, a CDM Smith transit planner from Raleigh, North Carolina.

Plans for the project have been underway for more than a year. The center would also coincide with changes to CARTA’s existing routes and services. Saur said residents have expressed interest in establishing bus routes for Collegedale, Red Bank and Soddy-Daisy.

Transportation planners are expected to meet with Mayor Andy Berke later today. A public meeting has been scheduled for Sept. 24 at 5:30 p.m. at the Chattanooga Choo-Choo to present the site list and possible service changes.

The nine sites include the U.S. Pipe property, two properties around the Chattanooga Choo-Choo, a parking lot near Warner Park, a Broad Street location, two properties owned by Pilgrim’s Pride, and city-owned properties on 11th Street and Holtzclaw Avenue.

Updated @ 3:55 p.m. on 9/17/15.