Groundbreaking planned for new Winter Park transit center

A rendering of the new transit center the Town of Winter Park, partnering with The Lift, will break ground on in July.
2022-02-07- WPTF from CR5

The Town of Winter Park and The Lift will hold a groundbreaking ceremony and celebration at 4 p.m. on July 7 to celebrate the start of construction on the new Winter Park Regional Transit Center.

The new facility will provide a center for operations and maintenance of 27 Lift vehicles, providing protection for the buses and ensuring safety for operators, maintenance workers and riders. Both the Town and The Lift believe the new facility will result in more consistent and reliable services and allow for growth in the future.

“The new facility will allow for expanded service to Granby, which is already served by the Lift,” said Winter Park Town Manager Keith Riesberg. “Grand Lake has also inquired about transit service, as have some other areas in the county,” he added.

Phase 1 of the project begins with the groundbreaking this summer and will include the construction of 36,900 square feet of the facility, which will sit on 12 acres leased from Grand County facing County Road 5.

With the Town Council’s goal of global and local connectivity, the new facility shows a commitment to providing local transportation options for residents, visitors and community members, providing a more sustainable route, and connecting workforce housing to local businesses, a press release from the Town of Winter Park said.

Interim Transit Manager Michael Koch noted that the facility “opens opportunities to plan for the electrification of the fleet. By providing appropriately sized maintenance spaces, washing facilities and a modern administrative space, we can offer a higher level of reliability and consistency in service to our riders while providing a workplace that our staff can take pride in.”

As of 2022, the Town has received over $14 million in grant funding from state and federal sources to build the new facility. It plans to finance $7 million for Phase 1 of construction.

According to Riesberg, “transit and workforce housing are very closely aligned. We have received several inquiries about the potential of extending transit to housing projects that are/were being considered. As noted by (Winter Park Mayor Nick Kutrumbos), this facility will dramatically improve the quality of transit services that can be provided. This improves the experience for guests in our community as well as workforce that rely on the transit to get throughout the community.”

The public is invited to attend the groundbreaking ceremony and celebration. Those interested should meet at the Cooper Creek Transit Center — 50 Vasquez Road in Winter Park — to be bused to the groundbreaking location. Light appetizers and drinks will be provided at the Green Room in Hideaway Park from 5-6 p.m. Those interested in attending can RSVP at the Town’s website .

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