SCRANTON — The County of Lackawanna Transit System, or COLTS as it’s called, took a major step this week toward building a new transportation hub in downtown Scranton.
Officials are now set to break ground later this summer on Lackawanna Avenue.
Whether the sun is beating down on the 100-block of Wyoming Avenue in Scranton, or the snow, places of shelter are a hot commodity for folks waiting for a COLTS bus.
“Horrible, it’s awful because you’re freezing. In the summer it’s hot too, so you can’t win,” said Chelsey Vinciguerra of Carbondale.
This week it’s been one extreme in particular, the heat, making the waiting game a bit miserable.
“It’s pretty bad when it’s hot out like yesterday, I was sweating, I couldn’t stand outside it was pretty bad,” added Kimberlee Shimo of Scranton.
For decades, the 100-block of Wyoming Avenue has been the place to catch a COLTS bus downtown, but officials have plans to build more permanent and predictable shelter for waiting passengers.
COLTS Executive Director Bob Fiume showed Newswatch 16 plans to build an intermodal hub for their public buses, along with private ones including Martz.
“It will be one center for all modes of transportation and in the future, we’ll be prepared for future rail,” Fiume said.
The new hub planned for Lackawanna Avenue will meet up with train tracks near the entrance to The Mall at Steamtown, but train service is just a hope for the future.
COLTS plans to break ground in the parking lot in August. The parking reserved for state employees will move across Lackawanna Avenue where the Martz bus hub and Tom Hesser Nissan are now.
COLTS officials said when the winter weather hits, their passengers will have a seat inside while they wait.
“It will help a lot too, not just for me but for other people too, especially the elderly. They won’t have to be standing waiting for the bus sometimes there’s no seats. It will be a better change for them,” said Ricardo Rivera of Jessup.
COLTS plans to start building the new bus hub in August with plans for it to open in the fall of 2015. Until then, the Martz bus hub across the street will remain open and you will still be able to catch a COLTS bus on Wyoming Avenue.