CUMTD considers expansion

Published 09/24 2012 06:03PM

Updated 09/24 2012 06:25PM

CHAMPAIGN -- Some bus riders could soon see their dreams come true. The Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District wants to expand the Illinois Terminal. It's right downtown on University Avenue. WCIA-3's Jessica Shaw finds out how the place plans to spread out.

Dozens of buses and trains use the terminal, but many say it's getting cramped and congested. It was built 13-years ago. Back then, there weren't as many buses coming through.

CUMTD thinks expansion will fix the problem. It's a popular stop on the daily commute.

"I work at Plastipak. I take the bus to work."

Bus and bike rider, Ken Loggins, is one of many who think bigger might be better.

"Every time I go to work, there's a lot of people out here. I think it's a great idea."

It's what CUMTD will be considering. Company leaders say the four-story, 50,000 square foot building is already at capacity.

"From a platform standpoint, we're really tight. The building's full. We have, down the road, the possibility of high-speed rail."

Talk of expanding includes making the parking lot, east of the tracks, into a residential area; maybe more space for buses and travelers; even places for offices, stores or restaurants. It's something one passenger would love to see.

"They got their Subway back there, but they should get a Burger King, because Burger King is the king!"

It's all still in the works. CUMTD plans to hire a consultant to see what would be a good fit for the area.

"We just want to take a look. Hopefully, in the next couple of years, the economy will loosen up, things will get better and we want to be prepared for that."

Whether those plans include a "Burger King, Burger King, Burger King," we'll have to wait and see. CUMTD is working to find a consultant by October. The study could take 15-months to complete.

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