Transportation Center Opens in Williamsport

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The city of Williamsport has seen an increase in jobs over the past few years and that means a higher demand for parking spaces downtown.

The Church Street Transportation Center in Williamsport opened Tuesday.

The $12 million project has been in the works for more than 10 years.

People who work in downtown Williamsport said it's a much-needed addition.

City officials call it the grand entrance to Williamsport. Murals decorate the walls of the new Church Street Transportation Center. The facility adds 350 parking spaces to downtown Williamsport.

"We're hoping to get a lot of traffic. We have a lot of monthly parkers already and I think it's going to be a full deck before you know it," said transportation center coordinator William Nichols. He said funding for the facility came from state and federal grants. "I guess you could say we built this in the nick of time because there is a lot of demand for parking because of additional Marcellus shale play."

In addition to providing parking for people who work and shop in downtown Williamsport, the Church Street Transportation Center will also serve as a hub for the Susquehanna Trailways Bus Company.

"At the end of the day my vehicle's here and I can take off. It's better than having to drive to Avis because that's where we keep the buses," said driver Dennis Dodson.

Another form of transportation will be stationed there in a couple of months. In the spring you will be able to rent bikes at the center to explore downtown Williamsport.

"It's just so convenient and it's only two floors so it's easy to access and the people who work here are nice and they keep it really clean," said Marcy Benson of Williamsport.

The first hour of parking at the Church Street Transportation Center will cost two dollars. It's an extra 50 cents for every hour after that.

A monthly pass goes for $60.