Woodland transit center project in the works

JEREMY DANG / AGGIE

Yolo County Transportation District joins forces with Woodland to plan for better transportation

The Yolo County Transportation District is collaborating with the City of Woodland to plan a new transit center in downtown Woodland to create a central place where people can come together, making travel more efficient. The transit center could also bring new businesses to the surrounding area.

Jose Perez, the district project manager for the Woodland Transit Center, described what the project involves.  

“It’s a multifaceted project,” Perez said. “It entails going out to the community — to the city of Woodland with our customers, riders, transits — and identifying the priorities for the community to identify a location for a future transit center in the city of Woodland.”

Xóchitl Rodriguez, the mayor pro tempore of Woodland, explained what the project’s goals are.

“The Woodland Transit Center Project is creating a center where we can bring all our buses at the same meeting point focusing on our local routes,” Rodriguez said. “The goal is to create a central location. We have a center close to the outskirts of Woodland right now, and we want it to be nearer to downtown, where folks can be connected to downtown and boost economic development while promoting alternate routes and all general modes of transportation.”

The project has been in the works through the Woodland Transit study.

“This project has been on the radar for quite some time now,” Rodriguez said. “We are focusing on how we can increase ridership to encourage businesses. Now we’re in the stage where we are trying to benefit the community to try and implement it.”

The study started in 2016 and the project soon followed, after the board’s consideration.

“Ultimately, the city and the YCTD board adopted the Woodland Transit study in 2016, and one of our recommendations was to identify a transfer location for the future buses in the city of Woodland,” Perez said. “The next adoption of that study is identifying if we do need the center and finding a right place for it.”

Because the center’s location is a priority, the board is looking to the community for inspiration.

“We’re hoping the community tells us,” Perez said. “Right now, our main goal is getting the mobility of the community in an efficient manner.”

After the community settles on a potential location, the board can start looking to modify the services and work toward a pulse network.

“One potential strategy is modifying our existing service for Woodland to be more of a pulse network,” Perez said. “To get it to work, we need a location and multiple modes and services can come in and allow access to more options. This is our key goal as a catalyst right now. We’re just reaching out to the community and identifying if we need to adjust those objectives. We want to make sure that whatever we end up accomplishing is directly beneficial, not only to our district but to the city and its residents as well. We want to hear from the community to modify and solidify the goals and objectives for this future facility.”

While the project is set, those working on its process are still looking into potential ideas.

“It’s in its initial stages right now,” Rodriguez said. “We want to make sure that we have access to bike storage, that we have charging stations for electric vehicles. In the long term, we’re looking for businesses to have around the transit center and a dimensional picture and we want to make sure that it’s a secure area [and] properly lit. We want an active transit center with constant movement.”

Furthermore, the board must also consider the feasibility regarding the cost of the transit center.

“We want to mitigate future costs for service operations and increase efficiency through a pulse network type of service for the city of Woodland, which will require a central location for that activity,” Rodriguez said.

Terry Bassett, the executive director of the Yolo County Transportation District, mentioned how planning for this project plays a part in the city’s development, according to The Davis Vanguard.

“Planning for a downtown transit center is an investment in Woodland’s future,” Bassett said. “We are looking to build a facility that will meet current and future transit riders’ needs for the next 20 years and beyond.”

Rodriguez also elaborated on how crucial this center is for transit riders.

“We went over what would work and what it would mean to put a transit center in downtown as far as congestion,” Rodriguez said. “I’m a transit rider myself, so I know how important it is to have this center and for drivers to have that feasibility.”

 

 

Written by: Stella Tran — city@theaggie.org