Anchorage population growth prompts new Transit Center

The Department of Public Transportation have their hands full this year and it's all because the city of Anchorage is growing, fast.

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by Derek Smith

ANCHORAGE- The Department of Public Transportation have their hands full this year and it's all because the city of Anchorage is growing, fast.

"You got to come all the way down here, take another bus, and you got to take another bus to get to the place you need to go," says Tre Washington, one Anchorage passenger.

"You have to go downtown, all the way to Muldoon, all the way to Dimond to catch the bus," says Anchorage passenger Briana Dundes.

Public transportation Director Lance Wilber says their schedule for the new year is arduous. What's first on the list? Addressing transportation problems.

"Right now all of our users, if they are going to make a transfer, if they are coming from south Anchorage, and they want to go to east anchorage, they have to go to north anchorage to make it happen," Wilbur says.

The solution is to make the "People Mover" more efficient.

"One way would be to shorten the connection to time frame for passengers from point A to point B by putting that transfer a little bit closer to them in the heart of our operations," Wilbur declares.

Mayor Dan Sullivan is seeking eight million dollars to move and construct the city transit center to an eight acre piece of land adjacent to the Loussac Library that they are hoping will be constructed on. The Transportation director says it will make an easier commute for Anchorage residents, however the construction will take about 1-2 years to develop.

"I think it's an area of strong interest for two reasons. One it's location and the other is it's size. It provides that opportunity to provide mixed use and development for those types of transit amenities," says Wilbur.

Now transportation officials say they are just getting started with the proposal, but Anchorage passengers say it's a great idea.

"I think its a good thing since we need one on midtown anyways so its a good thing," Washington says.

"Having in one in midtown would be a little better of an idea. Gets everybody away from the alcohol that generally happens, because you see it every day here," a third Anchorage passenger suggests.