Monday, September 19, 2005

Fairfield could soon have $1 million to start designing the final phase of its transportation center - a 600-space parking garage

Article Last Updated: Saturday, Sep 17, 2005 - 11:18:26 pm PDT

MTC to vote on parking-garage funds

By Barry Eberling

- Fairfield could soon have $1 million to start designing the final phase of its transportation center - a 600-space parking garage.

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission will vote on allocating the money Sept. 21. The money is to come from tolls collected on regional bridges.

Fairfield's transportation center is located on six acres at West Texas Street and Beck Avenue. People can park there and catch buses and carpools for their commute to work.

The center has a 400-space parking garage that opened in 2001 and a 240-space parking lot that opened in January. Building a final, 600-space parking garage could cost more than $12 million.

Fairfield Transportation Manager Kevin Daughton believes the demand for the extra space will be there in the long-term. He pointed to the popularity of the transportation center.

"I'd say that on any given day, you have approximately 50 spaces available," Daughton said.

The new parking lot is full by 7:30 a.m. About the only spaces available at the center are on the top floor of the existing parking garage, he said.

Doing the environmental and design work for the proposed, additional parking garage could take a year to 18 months, Daughton said. Building it could take another year to 18 months, he said.

Fairfield already has $7 million to $8 million available for the garage from toll money, he said. That leaves another $4 million or so it needs to find.

Suisun City Mayor Jim Spering is Solano County's representative on MTC. He said in a press release the transportation center needs more spaces.

Fairfield-Suisun Transit and Vallejo Transit have express buses linking the center to BART stations and the Vallejo ferry terminal. Both bus operators are reluctant to increase service to the center because there's too little parking, Spering said.

"This project will accommodate the new commuters, and allow transit operators to expand service," Spering said.

Planned features at the new garage include more bike lockers, electronic displays with the latest bus arrival and departure information and shop space for small retailers, the MTC press release said.

The target for the new garage is 600 spaces. Daughton said the exact number won't be known until the design work is completed. Neither will the garage's precise location at the transportation center site.

Reach Barry Eberling at 425-4646 Ext. 232 or at

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