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Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Mayor speaks at grand opening for new RTS station

She said it was cleaner and neater.

Shanita Ford, an SFCC sophomore, was one of many patrons at the new Regional Transit System bus station Wednesday. While there are improvements, Ford said the location of the new RTS Downtown Station, 700 SE Third St., makes some buses late because of the new routes.

RTS held a grand opening Tuesday for the new 100,000 square foot station, which includes a canopy, public restrooms and an updated ticket booth.

Mayor Pegeen Hanrahan said at the event, "When I was first elected in 1996, there was about 1.5 million people per year using the Gainesville RTS."

Now, RTS has nine million people use its transportation annually, Hanrahan said.

Hanrahan said since the institution of using the Gator 1 card as a bus pass in 1997 and 1998, the vast majority of the RTS riders have been students.

As the demand for transportation and buses increased in the Downtown Plaza, safety became an issue for the RTS riders because double-parked buses blocked traffic.

"We outgrew the Downtown Plaza, and it became necessary to find a new location," said Public Works Director Teresa Scott.

The total cost to create the station was about ,1.7 million. It was built by Scherer Construction & Engineering of North Florida.

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