The Summit County Transit Board has applied for a federal grant to fund improvements and an expansion of the Frisco Transfer Center.
The transfer center opened in 1997 with the understanding that it would require improvements in the future. Shortly after its completion, the developer drew up plans for potential expansion, said transit director Jim Andrew.
Given increased development in the area — the transfer center is located behind the Safeway store on Summit Boulevard — and population increases since the 1990s, transit officials said during the board’s monthly meeting Wednesday, July 30, that it might be time to explore ways to upgrade and expand what has become a busy hub for travelers.
“Now that we have Whole Foods there, maybe it’s time to get rid of the jail-style toilets and make that a nicer facility,” said Summit County assistant manager Thad Noll.
Among other sought-after improvements are dedicated parking spots for Greyhound buses and airport shuttles, improved drainage, more bike racks, better indoor facilities and additional parking for the general public, Noll said.
The grant is offered through the new “Ladders of Opportunity Initiative,” which was created by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration.
The Transit Administration announced in June it was making available $100 million in competitive grants for the purchase, replacement or rehabilitation of transit buses and vans, and for the modernization or construction of bus facilities in urban, suburban and rural communities.
Funding for the Ladders of Opportunity Initiative is drawn from leftover grant funds originally available under the Transit Administration’s Bus and Bus Facilities Program, according to an agency news release.
“Originally, we were thinking it would be two or three years down the road before we could tackle a project at the Frisco Transfer Center,” Andrew said. “Then this opportunity came up, which doesn’t happen often, so we decided to take advantage of it.”
Although final plans have not yet been determined, Andrew said the transit board is estimating improvements at the Frisco Transfer Center would cost in the neighborhood of $600,000. If Summit County is successful in its bid, the Transit Administration would cover up to 80 percent of the total project cost. Summit would be responsible for 20 percent in matching funds.
With $100 million available nationwide, Andrew said he expects the grant approval process to be competitive, but he also likes Summit County’s chances.
“The FTA gives preference to projects that are shovel ready,” Andrew said. “These plans were first drawn up more than 15 years ago.
“If we’re successful, we’d likely begin and finish construction next summer.”
The Transit Administration is expected to announce grant winners before the end of the year, Andrew said.
“Originally, we were thinking it would be two or three years down the road before we could tackle a project at the Frisco Transfer Center. Then this opportunity came up, which doesn’t happen often, so we decided to take advantage of it.”
Summit County transit director