LTU shares plans for temporary StarTran Transfer Center location

Feb. 21, 2024, 6 p.m. ·

Elizabeth Elliott, director of Lincoln Transportation and Utilities, speaks with a member of the public about plans for a new multi-model transportation center at an open house Wednesday. (Photo by Brian Beach/Nebraska Public Media News)

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The hub of Lincoln’s bus system may be getting a new temporary location until the completion of a multi-modal transportation center in 2027.

Lincoln Transportation and Utilities shared plans at a public open house Wednesday morning for a new transfer center location at 11th and L Streets, two blocks south of its current location next to the Gold’s Building construction site.

The project would include the removal of on street parking along 11th Street and the addition of benches and bump curbs.

Kathy Ashley, a longtime StarTran rider and former member of the StarTran Advisory Board, said concerns over rider safety led the board to pursue a temporary transfer station site until the new multi-modal transportation center is completed in 3 years.

She urged the public to avoid partisan politics and support public transit in Lincoln.

“It's been very complicated, because other local businesses have this attitude that they don't want the bus stop near them,” she said. “They want the benefit of the low-income workers, but they don't want the issue of the riders having to change buses near them.”

Nick Maestas is the owner of Muchacho’s, a restaurant on 11th Street across from the project.

He said the temporary transfer center location will impact traffic and safety in the area, but his biggest issue with the project has been a lack of upfront communication from the city.

“We found out about this six days before they voted in January, and now they're doing an open house a week before they vote again,” he said. “That lack of transparency, the lack of communication has been extremely frustrating, not just for myself, but for a lot of people on 11th Street,."

Lincoln Transportation and Utilities Director Elizabeth Elliott said the city could still adjust the proposal as it takes in public comments at open house events.

“Nothing is ever set in stone,” she said. “And maybe it's temporary. Maybe we find something different six months from now. We have to be flexible.”

The StarTran Advisory Board will vote on the temporary transfer center location at its next meeting Thursday, Feb. 29.