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StarMetro and City of Tallahassee are bridging the transportation gap on the Southside

A new transit center is coming to the Southside
StarMetro Tallahassee Southside Transit Center.jpeg
Posted at 7:19 PM, Feb 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-14 19:45:07-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — StarMetro is working to fill the gaps in transportation across the underserved communities of Tallahassee.

Right now, they're constructing a long-term strategy with a goal to help increase access to jobs, school, and recreation, where need for transportation is highest.

"A lot of improvements can be made with the bus transit system."

Jesus Villa is homeless and frequently rides the bus. He knows firsthand the struggles of depending on public transportation.

StarMetro and the City of Tallahassee are working to increase bus access where demand for transportation is high, but access is low.

One of the areas they identified in their State of the System Report is south of downtown.

To help meet that need, the city is planning to build a new transit center.

Angela Baldwin, the Chief Transit Officer of StarMetro, says they're already in Phase 2 of a massive overhaul.

"Multi-year coordinated effort in providing efficient, accessible, and effective transportation."

The report by StarMetro shows that 58 percent of riders are African-American.

The new Southside Transit Center will be located at the intersection of Orange Avenue and Meridian Street…close to high-ridership corridors based on race, poverty status, and other socioeconomic features.

Griffin Heights, Frenchtown, Greater Bond, South City, and Oak Ridge are some of the neighborhoods with the highest demand for transit.

The new center will make it safer and more comfortable when connecting riders to several key routes like downtown and around Florida State University where there are a high number of jobs.

For riders like Jesus these changes are much needed.

"If they can build the Southside and connect them together and it will make a quicker transit that would be fantastic."

StarMetro is hosting several meetings with different organizations over the next few weeks for community input on the design of the new transit center.

The next meeting is the Florida A&M Student Forum on Transportation Equity happening Tuesday at 6:30PM.

Click here for more on the transit plan, to get more info on how to attend that meeting, plus check out more upcoming meetings happening later this month.

StarMetro will use this community input as part of Phase 2 of 4 of the transit center design process. Phase 2 will be complete by June 2022 and Phase 4 by September 2022.