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Joe Murray Rivers, Jr. Intermodal Transit Center
Opened on October 7, 2013, the Joe Murray Rivers, Jr. Intermodal Transit Center is the culmination of a transportation dream more than 15 years in the making. It has been named for Joe Murray Rivers, Jr., a staunch transit advocate, former Chatham County board member, CAT board member, and interim Executive Director at CAT. Click the link in the box to the right to read the full resolution naming this facility.
- Centrally located in the heart of downtown Savannah with close proximity to Hutchinson Island and the South Carolina border
- Connectivity with the free “dot” system, which provides easy access to downtown businesses, hotels, the River Street Streetcar, and the Savannah Belles Ferry all free of charge
- Capacity for fourteen (14) buses to be in the center at the same time
- Four (4) separate bays available for Greyhound buses
- Home base for our new bike share initiative
- A covered transfer platform with built-in lighting for safe, secure and efficient off-street boarding and alighting
- Climate-controlled facility open 24/7 for transit patrons, commuters and employees; cool during summer months and warm during winter months
- Indoor waiting area, ticketing, and passenger services including Wi-Fi
- Opportunity for utility companies and retail services, such as a coffee shop, bakery, etc., to be located in this facility
- Tourist information available on-site and the Visitors Information Center 3 blocks away
- Art in Transit, cultural and historic display areas
- CAT administration and meeting areas
Advantages for Customers
- Easier transfers – All buses that travel downtown go to this facility, so transfers can be made in one easy stop. This eliminates most on-street transfers while at the same time providing amenities for comfort, convenience, and safety.
- Simpler schedules – The Transit Center works on a pulse system. Pulse systems allow buses to arrive and depart at specific times on or after each hour (e.g., x:15, x:30). Pulse scheduling makes it easy to remember bus schedules and promotes on-time performance.
- State-of-the-art technology – Innovative new software and displays provide bus arrival and departure information. Click on this picture of a TFT monitor to see a sample display.
- Clearer directions – New wayfinding signs with both visual and verbal cues make navigation easier for long-time residents and brand new visitors alike. Sample signs:
Advantages for Employees & the Community
- Convenience – Routing all of the downtown buses to the Transit Center gives our operators a guaranteed safe location for restroom breaks and access to vending machines.
- Professionalism – On-site meeting rooms provide a professional atmosphere in a convenient location for easier planning and coordination with City, County, and community partners.
- Connectivity – This intermodal center links the airport with downtown Savannah in a manner befitting the Hostess City: it combines a public transportation hub with the Greyhound depot, walkers & cyclists with mobility options and information, and motorists with a convenient one-stop shop for drop-offs/pick-ups with modern amenities and historic charm.
- Environmental Sustainability – This facility has LEED Gold certification which means it is designed for healthier operating and community living: reducing waste & harmful greenhouse gas emissions and conserving energy & water.
Groundbreaking & Ribbon-cutting Ceremonies
The groundbreaking ceremony more than fifteen years in the making was held February 29, 2012, and the official benediction and ribbon-cutting took place on October 4, 2013. Both celebrations were well-attended and greatly enjoyed by all. Visit our Videos page for news coverage, or see and comment on the pictures on our Facebook page.
Chatham Area Transit engaged in an ongoing process with numerous stakeholders to develop a downtown transit center. In March of 2006, a Site Selection Study was undertaken at the request of the CAT Board in order to search for an appropriate site for the transit center.
The proposed site for the Intermodal Transit Center (ITC) has taken this project along several courses. Site selection culminated March 7, 2008, when the CAT Board designated the Greyhound property as the locally preferred site for submission to FTA. Since then, the project has focused on the Greyhound site, including revising the environmental document and seeking approval of the State Historic Preservation Office and Savannah Historic Review Board in accordance with FTA requirements. Then the FTA had to approve the environmental document and concur with the development of the project.
The ITC houses both CAT’s Executive Office and Greyhound Operations. The Transfer Canopy and resulting Platform hold 14 bays for buses and one location for steel-wheel streetcar. Greyhound continues to operate, with minimal use of the facility, out of four bays to the north of the facility.
CAT has satisfied all local stakeholder concerns and received endorsement and support for this project and location from the Historic Savannah Foundation.
Funding for this project includes several grants. The total project cost is estimated at approximately $14.5 million including land acquisition, construction cost, A&E, FF&E and technology.
The local share will come from the sale of property (approximately $2.4 million to match federal funding) and Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST).
The following information has been provided in pdf form for the public. The items are arranged in chronological order with the most recent at the top. Please visit the Federal Transit Administration’s website for additional links and information.
September 2011 – Amendment to the 2008 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed by the FTA and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Historic Preservation Division
April 2011 – Conceptual Site Design Studies for the Downtown Intermodal Transit Facility prepared by Cogdell & Mendrala Architects, PC in association with Wendel Duchscherer Architects & Engineers
September 2008 – Finding Of No Significant Impact (FONSI) signed by the FTA
Increased safety – Traveling in the downtown area means contending with high volumes of pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists looking to parallel park. Having a central location that all of our downtown buses go to allows us more freedom to create bus routes that leave higher pedestrian-volume areas uninterrupted.