Friday, October 9, 2009

Philadelphia Intermodal Transportation Center

Just kidding. But how cool would that be?

In 2008, Pittsburgh's Port Authority of Allegheny County (PAT) opened the Pittsburgh Intermodal Transportation Center. PAT serves bus routes, the Monongahela Incline funicular railway, and the light rail or subway lines. The Pittsburgh Intermodal Transportation Center at Grant Street houses the Greyhound terminal and 991 parking spaces in this new complex in downtown

San Francisco has been trying to organize something similar - albeit more ambitious - in an attempt to organize its downtown transportation systems in the form of the Transbay Terminal with a tower designed by Cira Centre's Cesar Pelli.

And even car-crazy Anaheim County in Southern California is ambitiously launching the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC), designed by HOK Los Angeles and Parsons Brinkerhoff, to serve as the hub for commuter rails and two new high speed lines.

Philadelphia has the perfect location to unify our transportation facilities almost completely built for us in the form of Market East Station and the Gallery at Market East. The Gallery - which I previously professed is not as ugly (or as useless) as everyone claims it to be - could easily serve as our intermodal transportation center. Sitting atop a regional rail hub and subway stop, near the Market Street trolley, and with a Patco station at 8th and Market, all directly next to the Greyhound terminal. These facilities could be streamlined into one, relocating SEPTA's headquarters to the Strawbridges building offering officials an eagle's eye view into their product, and seamlessly merging the Greyhound and Patco facilities thus offering riders easy and clean access to various modes of public transportation.

Add to these facilities a clean and revitalized Market East, we may someday see a tourist trolley taking riders through Old City towards a newly planned historic waterfront where the could catch a Delaware Avenue light rail to one of the casinos.

One can dream, can't he?

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