Intercity Transit plans $8.5 million expansion of downtown Olympia hub

Intercity Transit officials hope to break ground this summer on a $8.5 million expansion at the downtown Olympia Transit Center.
Intercity Transit officials hope to break ground this summer on a $8.5 million expansion at the downtown Olympia Transit Center. Intercity Transit

Intercity Transit officials plan to break ground this summer on an $8.5 million expansion of the downtown Olympia Transit Center.

Plans call for a 11,000-square-foot building, new bus bays and pedestrian plazas at Olympia Avenue and Franklin Street, a now-vacant corner of the transit system’s property. The two-story building will include a customer service area with public restrooms, a ticketing and information counter and waiting areas.

“It speaks to the need for passenger amenities,” said Rena Shawver, spokeswoman for Intercity Transit, noting the expansion would also accommodate future growth. “We assume that transit will grow as our community grows.”

The transit center is Intercity Transit’s main hub for local and commuter routes. It was built in 1993 and currently has 10 bus bays for 460 bus departures each day. The expansion would add five bays.

Buses line up at Intercity Transit’s downtown Olympia Transit Center. The agency will ask voters to approve a sales and use tax increase in November. Tony Overman Olympian file photo

The second-floor of the new building would have a conference room, offices and an employee break room. Some offices currently at Intercity Transit’s facility on Pattison Street Southeast in Olympia would move downtown.

The Pattison Street facility also is being expanded to add more parking, new fuel tanks and a new fueling station.

Once the downtown expansion is complete, according to Intercity Transit, Greyhound will move its station in Olympia to the transit center, which also serves regional bus systems from Mason and Grays Harbor counties. The Greyhound station is now on Seventh Avenue, across from Sylvester Park.

Take a ride around Olympia with a local bus driver, who takes you through a day in the life of a transit bus.

The expansion project is undergoing an environmental review by the Federal Transit Administration and still needs land use approval from the city to start construction. A public meeting of the city’s Design Review Board, which is required before a land use decision can be issued, will be held at 6:30 p.m. June 14 at City Hall.

Intercity Transit hopes to start construction in July or August and finish by fall 2019.

Seattle-based SRG Partnership is the architect on the project and Seattle-based Graham Construction is the general contractor and construction manager.

Abby Spegman: 360-704-6869, @AbbySpegman