What used to be an empty lot is now a nearly complete bus station in the City of Utica. Located on 15 Elizabeth Street, the facility will be a hub for all Centro bus riders.
Officials say they'll be getting rid of five stops in Downtown Utica the first Monday of February. And for the rest of the winter season, bus riders no longer have to wait outside in the cold to get to their next destination.
Passengers of Centro say they're looking forward to staying warm and dry while waiting to catch the bus. It's expected to open in a few weeks. Not only will the new station benefit bus riders, it's expected to help drivers out on the road.
"We actually are congesting downtown Genesee Street with a lot of buses," said General Manager of Centro of Oneida, Ronald Bucciero.
And with the new hub, it will be safer for passengers crossing four lanes of traffic to catch their next bus.
"I guess I'm looking forward to not having to dodge across the street. Because sometimes when I transfer buses from a shopping trip and imp burdened down, we cross in the middle of the street. So, I'm looking forward to the safety," said one frequent bus rider, Kathryn Nikodem.
Bus stops at Franklin Square, Lafayette Street, Elizabeth Street and stops in front of APEC and the Radisson Hotel will be no more.
Instead, commuters who usually would get on at those five stops will be getting on at the new transportation center.
"It's going to be a well-lit facility and have security in it," said Bucciero.
And officials say it will be a big convenience all around. Commuters will have access to a ticket vending machine, customer service and a place to do "business."
"Right now currently in downtown waiting for our bus I know customers have knocked on private businesses to use their facilities. This facility will have public bathrooms. It's actually for our bus operators who are out to even use the rest room facilities," said Bucciero.
Eyewitness News did not hear from any bus riders who are not in favor of this facility.