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Proposed nexus to be reviewed

Airport officials OK review on hub that would connect transportation services.

May 20, 2009|By Christopher Cadelago

BURBANK — The Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority on Monday took the first step toward a possible $75-million regional transit center that would link the airport with passenger trains, shuttles, buses and taxi cabs.

The authority voted 8-0 to channel $94,450 into an initial environmental review of the proposed regional transit center that would essentially create another hub for Amtrak and Metrolink.

The project would run along Empire Avenue and connect with the Bob Hope Train Station platform. Buses and rental cars would enter the center at Hollywood Way and Avon Avenue. Departing and arriving passengers would have the option of using a covered, moving sidewalk that links the transit center and airport terminal, airport spokesman Victor Gill said.

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Still, the plan must overcome a number of roadblocks. The center would require an amendment to a 4-year-old development agreement between Burbank and the airport, which in part requires the authority to obtain city approval for large-scale ventures on various parcels of land.

“We can make that happen with this,” Commissioner Charles Lombardo said. “This is one of the nicest projects I’ve seen in a long time. And I believe it will be a testament to the partnership between the city and the airport. We’ll look back and say, ‘We’ve come a long way.’”

Alleviating congestion around the airport and consolidating transit stops has long been a goal of airport officials and the Burbank City Council. In February, then-Mayor Dave Golonski sent to Sen. Dianne Feinstein a letter endorsing the authority’s efforts to obtain earmark money.

“Finding ways to reduce the traffic at the airport has always been high on our list,” he said. “This certainly has the potential to be beneficial to our community.”

The authority continues to evaluate possible sources of revenue, which include federal appropriations, grants and bonding against an untapped fee collected from customers by rental car companies. At $10 per transaction, the airport stands to gain about $50 million, with a possible $10 million coming from a passenger facilities charge and $4 million directly from the authority.

Rep. Brad Sherman identified a potential $800,000 earmark, and the city has already received about $1.2 million for transit center related purposes, said Greg Hermann, chief assistant Community Development director.

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