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Joe Murray Rivers, Jr. Intermodal Transit Center
Opened on Oct. 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 was named for Joe Murray Rivers, Jr., a staunch transit advocate, former Chatham County commissioner, 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
- Capacity for fourteen buses to be at the center at the same time
- Four separate bays available for Greyhound buses
- 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
- Indoor waiting area, ticketing, and passenger services such as Wi-Fi
- Tourist information available on-site and the Visitors Information Center is three 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.
- 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 and the community
- Convenience – Routing all of the downtown buses to the transit center gives our operators a 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, provides walkers and cyclists with mobility options and information, and serves motorists with a convenient one-stop shop for drop-offs and pick-ups with modern amenities and historic charm.
- 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 for downtown buses to go to provides more freedom to create bus routes that leave higher pedestrian-volume areas uninterrupted.
- Environmental Sustainability – This LEED Gold certified facility was designed to operate in a more environmentally friendly manner by reducing waste and harmful greenhouse gas emissions and conserving energy and water.
Groundbreaking and ribbon-cutting ceremonies
More than fifteen years in the making, the center’s groundbreaking ceremony was held Feb. 29, 2012 and the official benediction and ribbon-cutting took place on Oct. 4, 2013. Both celebrations were well-attended and greatly enjoyed by all.
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 to search for an appropriate site for the transit center.
On March 7, 2008, the CAT board designated the Greyhound property as the locally preferred site for submission to FTA. The process involved environmental reviews and seeking approval of the State Historic Preservation Office and Savannah Historic District Board of Review in accordance with FTA requirements. The FTA had to approve the environmental document and concur with the development of the project.
The transit center houses CAT offices and Greyhound operations. The transfer canopy and platform hold 14 bays for buses. Greyhound continues to operate out of four separate bays at the facility.
CAT received endorsement and support for the project and location from the Historic Savannah Foundation.
Funding for the project included several grants. The total project cost was about $14.5 million, which included property acquisition.
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.
December 2011 – Revised Finding Of No Significant Impact (FONSI) signed by the FTA with Attachment 1: Environmental Commitments Table
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