Summit County prepares to replace Frisco Transit Center
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to remove a reference to the commuter route from Park County, which does not go through the Frisco Transit Center.
Summit County is set to begin construction on a new Frisco Transit Center building this year, and officials are hopeful the building will better facilitate the future growth of ridership in the area and encourage new users to try out the county’s public transportation for the first time.
The county recently completed a request for bids on the second phase of the project. The first phase began in 2019 and has already been completed, according to Summit County Transit Director Chris Lubbers, who characterized the initial phase as the civil engineering side of the project that included new bus shelters, street lights, wayfinding, parking upgrades and new drainage, plumbing and electric infrastructure on site.
Phase 2 will include the demolition of the existing Frisco Transit Center building at 1010 Meadow Drive and the construction of a new 3,600-square-foot facility at the same site.
“I believe the desire and the intent for this project was to first and foremost enhance access to transit, and build in the ability for transit to grow and for ridership to grow,” Lubbers said. “The current building served its purpose. It had limited space for passenger queuing, fairly limited space for all the different routes, including private sector, Bustang as well as Greyhound.”
The county received a pair of qualified bids on the project, including a $5.1 million bid from MW Golden Constructors and a $4.9 million bid from Saunders Heath. Both bids came in above the county’s cost estimate of about $4.4 million. The project is being funded via an 80-20 split between the state and Summit County government, according to Lubbers.
Lubbers said county officials haven’t yet signed anyone on to complete the work but that the project could begin soon. Lubbers said demolition of the existing building could start within the next 60 days. The county hoped to have the new structure erected sometime in November, though Lubbers noted there was a chance construction could move deeper into the winter if necessary. While construction is ongoing, Lubbers said a temporary building would be set up to create a safe place for passengers to wait.
The transit center facilitates normal routes for the Summit Stage, along with the commuter route from Leadville. The center also serves as a hub for the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Bustang service, Greyhound buses, private shuttle services and a Hertz rental car service. Once completed, the new building should provide additional space to accommodate ridership growth and any changes to the larger transit landscape over the coming decades.
“A recently completed short-range transit plan stated that post-COVID, we could expect 15% transit growth annually moving forward,” Lubbers said. “…The very detailed and lengthy planning that went into this looked carefully at potential transit growth and wanted a facility that could accommodate this portal to transit easily for the next 20-plus years. …
“I think as new modes of transit are developed over the decades, this space will adequately serve them. Whether it’s autonomous vehicles, bike-share, ride-sharing services, we’re looking forward to serving all the different modes of transportation that will present themselves.”
Lubbers said officials also plan on expanding the number of electric vehicle charging stations at the site over the coming years. The new station is also expected to help convert “choice riders” to frequent users of public transportation.
“It has exceeded its ability to provide a safe and comfortable and attractive place for transit users to access transit,” Lubbers said. “Being an attractive place would help us gain what we call ‘choice riders’ in the industry. … We do that through placemaking. So we’re killing two birds with one stone, the other bird being that the space was just not adequate for current ridership, as well.”
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