NAIPTA Proposes New Transit Center


As NAIPTA has increased transit routes, frequency, and has obtained 60 ft. buses for high-occupancy routes, they are at maximum capacity for their current downtown connection center. For a new connection center, NAIPTA wants to maintain a highly accessible downtown location that is compatible with existing and future land use.
In the vision for a new downtown connection center, they are planning for 15 bus bays that can accommodate larger buses, a lost and found center, security office, restrooms, vending or concessions, a sheltered waiting area for transit, bike facilities, public parking, and a drop-off/taxi area for transit riders.
NAIPTA is also looking to expand partnerships with Flix bus, Greyhound, shuttle services, and taxi services to make the downtown connect center a hub for all forms of multi-modal transportation.
Initial site analysis has shown that the connection center would need 3/4 to a full city block to accommodate new uses. NAIPTA’s first choice for a new connection center is to expand their existing location on Phoenix Ave. from Milton to Beaver St., which would require removal of an existing storage facility owned by the City. The advantages of the Phoenix expansion is its central location and size. The expansion of the existing site also has the potential to partner with Amtrak to move pick-up/drop-off for Amtrak passengers which would no longer block Beaver St. and San Francisco in the evening and early morning hours.
The new downtown connection center is also looking for further private partnerships with retail, office, or even apartments on the upper floors for Flagstaff residents who want easy access for car-less options.
City Council approved moving forward with planning for the Phoenix Ave. site. NAIPTA did acknowledge that the site had challenges with a narrow Phoenix Ave., the future Rio De Flag project plans, and its location near the BNSF railroad. If in the planning phase, NAIPTA cannot overcome these challenges, they do have two other sites in mind for a new downtown connection center.
NAIPTA is hoping to begin construction in 2021. They are budgeted for 6.7 million, but are also seeking federal grants and partnerships to fulfill their vision for a multi-modal center that will serve the greatest number of residents and visitors possible.
Council member Odegaard mentioned improving pedestrian access to the Phoenix Ave. connection center as a part of the planning phase. Personally, as a Townsite resident who regularly uses the current connection center, I also would like to see a bike/ped tunnel or bridge to help the neighborhoods of La Plaza Vieja, Townsite, and Coconino Estates more easily and safely access the improved downtown connection center.