Progress on Brooks Transit Center
By VIA on Wed, April 13, 2016
The Brooks Transit Center project, a state-of-the-art passenger facility, will support travel demands in the city’s rapidly growing Southeast Side. The transit center will be located on Brooks City-Base in the northwest quadrant of South New Braunfels and Sidney Brooks. As the site design nears completion, construction is anticipated to begin in the summer of 2017.
Similar to how the recently constructed Centro Plaza at VIA Villa incorporated elements of its historic past into the design; the Brooks Transit Center will be located within the original boundaries of Brooks Field, one of 32 training camps that were established for the Army Air Service in 1918, after the United States entered World War I. Within a few blocks of the transit center site is the only remaining structure from that era, Hangar 9, which currently houses the Edward H. White II Memorial Museum of Aerospace Medicine.
The original training aircraft on the base were Curtiss JN-4D “Jenny” bi-planes. The simple geometry and composition of these angular bi-planes provided the architectural inspiration to honor the aviation history of this military installation while “launching” its multimodal transportation future. It’s open strut and wire wing construction is reflected in the columnar supports and overarching roof. Metal wall panels reflect the early industrial aesthetic of the open seat trainers and the use of bright colors displays much of the flamboyance exhibited by those early pilots. Outside, enhanced landscaping, curvilinear benches and public art will be evocative of the air currents and eddies that are created as an aircraft moves through the sky.
The Brooks Transit Center will make transfers easier, providing more travel options, greater comfort and enhanced conveniences for riders, including an air-conditioned waiting facility with seating for 50 patrons, restrooms, and a customer information and ticket purchasing center. There will be shaded seating outside under the large roof structure for 30 additional patrons. Charging stations and Wi-Fi for phones and tablets will be available in the waiting area as at other VIA facilities as an additional convenience for VIA customers.
It will include two Primo and six standard bus bays on a central island that is easily accessible from South New Braunfels Avenue and Sidney Brooks Drive. Approximately 40 parking spaces and ten bicycle shells will be available. Express Bus service will be offered to and from the Central Business District, as well as providing connections to Elmendorf, Texas.
The Brooks Transit Center will foster and promote transit-oriented development on and around Brooks City-Base. This new transit and economic development activity will build on the past successes of this community and help chart its path to the future. Providing improved transit options and new economic development opportunities is a SmartMove! Author – Matthew Polanco
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