New bus terminal in sight for Sarnia’s Clearwater Arena hub

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A new bus terminal could be built at Clearwater Arena next year.

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Sarnia City Council recently voted in favor of public engagement on the possibility of building a replacement for the existing crowded transfer hub near Murphy and London Roads.

“It’s a very cramped place, so we have safety issues with the way the buses come in and out of there,” Engineering and Operations General Manager David Jackson said of the terminal. current Real Canadian Superstore.

The modernization and relocation of the hub in the eastern part of the city has been considered a project since the Sarnia Transportation Master Plan was developed in 2014.

Clearwater is the proposed location as the routes would not have to be altered, there is space for restrooms and shelter for drivers and passengers, and it has recently been designated as the site for a new community center , including the new location of the Mallroad Library.

With Lambton College nearby, as well as space for electric bus infrastructure, this is the best solution, city officials said in a recent report to the council.

The city plans to start asking people what they think over the next two weeks, posting polls and feedback forms on speakupsarnia.ca, and surveying riders at existing bus stops, Jackson said.

Building in Clearwater is also expected to be cheaper than the estimate of $ 1.8 million to build a new one somewhere in the Lambton Mall area, he said.

The high-level estimate was submitted as part of the grant application process for the city to use federal and provincial funding in a $ 27.7 million transit spending plan approved earlier this year, which includes new bus shelters, bus stopping areas, terminals, new buses, various sidewalk improvements and improvements to the Sarnia Transit garage.

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Sarnia’s share of the $ 1.8 million cost for a transit terminal would have been approximately $ 500,000.

“So this site would be significantly cheaper,” Jackson said.

“The main cost would be the type of hard surface and shelter area outside in front of Clearwater” facing Wellington Street, he said, “and then there would be the cost of renovating the building for the people. driver and passenger areas inside. “

The existing Murphy Road terminal would continue to be used as a bus stop, he added.

Upgrades to another city bus terminal on George and Vidal streets are pending the Bayside Center redevelopment project by Seasons Retirement Communities.

“Our goal was to build our transit terminal this year,” he said. “At this time, we are not sure that will happen.”

The project could go ahead in the fall but could also wait until next year, depending on the progress of Seasons’ work, he said.

Seasons is also building toilets for drivers which the city will rent.

The current location of the terminal is essentially just a roadside space, he said.

The approximately $ 1 million redevelopment – also 73.3% covered by the same federal and provincial grant program – would allow the city to use more land around the corner.

“To have a kind of central island and a much nicer amenity space with much nicer shelters,” Jackson said.

As it exists, “it’s hardly a terminal,” he said. “We kind of stop around the corner. “

tkula@postmedia.com

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