The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) says its new Westfield Montgomery mall transit center will open to the public May 1.
The county partnered with the mall in a 2007 agreement to move the two existing bus bays at the Westlake Terrace entrance to a mostly unused parking lot at the property’s northeast corner. The agreement was part of Westfield’s approval for a 500,000-square-foot expansion of the mall.
The new transit center will feature six bus bays, three bus layover spaces, better traffic circulation and much more room for both buses and passengers, said Deanna Archey, senior planning specialist for the county’s Ride On bus system.
Ride On routes 6, 26, 42, 47 and 96 serve the mall as well as Metrobus routes J2 and J3. Archey said the Maryland Transit Administration will also use the new transit center to store its buses in between trips.
“There’s much more room, much more convenience for the passengers and a lot more seating areas,” Archey said.
Some of those seating areas will be enclosed and have radiant heating, another new feature the existing mall bus stop doesn’t have.
As part of the expansion approval, the mall agreed to contribute $6 million toward the cost of the design and construction of drives, ramps, platform pads and utility access at the new transit center. The county spent $1.1 million for the new center’s canopy and bus and passenger amenities.
Westfield completed part of its expansion and renovation in 2014. County officials said further expansion could mean a new parking garage next to the new transit center, though Westfield hasn’t indicated any near-term plans for construction of that facility.
Archey said the majority of riders to the existing mall transit center are mall users or employees.
Correction: Westfield contributed $6 million toward the project, not the $2 million previously reported.
The existing mall transit center (highlighted to the left) and the site of the new mall transit center (highlighted to the right), via Google Maps
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