Longview Transit bus transfers will move from Magrill Plaza to a new multimodal center by Oct. 1, Assistant General Manager Tequita Dudley said this past week.
Opening the transfer center on Pacific Avenue will coincide with changes to each of the city’s bus routes, she said. Longview Transit also is adding security measures to increase safety for transfers.
“We still have a few more things to do, but it’s looking to be at the latest Oct. 1,” Dudley said about construction of the multimodal transfer facility, which is about 98% complete.
Casey Slone Construction of Marshall has been building the transfer center since the Longview City Council awarded the $1.036 million contract in September. The Texas Transportation Commission, Gregg County and the city are funding the project in an effort to combine public bus, private bus, passenger rail and other transportation modes to a central location.
Longview Transit will move its transfer operations away from Magrill Plaza the same day that the transfer center on Pacific Avenue opens, Dudley said.
In the meantime, she intends to complete prospective route changes by the end of August so that they can be implemented with the transfer center move.
Among the changes will be a new bus stop in front of retailer Target, marking what will be the northernmost stop on Eastman Road, she said. Currently, Route 4 travels on Eastman no farther north than Eden Drive almost 2 miles from Target, while a Route 2 stop at Walmart on Fourth Street is the closest stop to Target.
While each route will notice a change, none of the changes will be more than about three or four blocks, Dudley said.
Passenger ridership increased this past month, but Longview Transit is seeking to make the Pacific Avenue location safer to increase ridership even more, she said.
One safety enhancement is inherent.
The new transfer center will have shorter layover times for passengers and buses than at Magrill Plaza because the routes will be tighter with the changes, she said.
“Plus, everyone at this area will be boarding (buses) instead of loitering,” Dudley said.
The transfer center will be monitored by staff for Longview Transit, whose administrative offices already are on Pacific Avenue, and by the Longview Police Department’s Outreach Services Team that is housed nearby inside the Train Depot.
“We’re looking for ways to increase safety, and, of course, we still have our cops in transit,” Dudley said.
“We’re busy and excited,” she said about the coming changes. “This is something that we’ve wanted the whole duration of Longview Transit. We’re excited to have it all in one spot.”