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Union Station master plan to prioritize transit over development

By Hayley Fox
Published: Thursday, March 21, 2013, at 11:31AM
Courtesy of Metro

According to a recent update from metro, the transit officials will be prioritizing transit over development in Union Station's "master plan."

Metro has released an update on the long-term plans for Union Station and has begun the process of prioritizing — putting transit function ahead of new developments.

According to the report from the Planning and Programming Committee, making Union Station an easy-to-maneuver, effective transportation hub will be the number one priority.

The report explains that the station, which was built in 1939, isn't equipped to handle the amount of traffic it receives — not to mention, the array of transit modes that use Union Station as a hub. So Metro officials are using this "master plan" to improve the transportation systems and map movement patterns to better accommodate current needs.

And plan for future growth of the station such as when a possible high-speed rail is built.

Metro's The Source reports that by 2020 an estimated 100,000 people will be using Union Station on a daily basis, travelling on systems including the Expo Line, the Gold Line Extension and the Regional Connector.

Prior plans for Union Station focused more on real estate development: a facet that officials say will take a backseat to public transit.

"We will plan for new development, public spaces and programming that will create an iconic destination, however we must be prepared to made trade-offs and compromises. For example, the Master Plan is likely to recommend less new development than had been considered by the previous owner in order to accommodate transit needs," said the report.

Metro purchased Union Station in 2011 for $75 million from Catellus Operating Limited Partnership. The sale included 38 acres of land and 5.9 million square-feet of entitlements.

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