Construction of a long-awaited transit center in Langley Park is near completion and the facility is slated to open this fall, Maryland transportation officials said.
Metro is expected to take over the management and operations of the $34.8-million Takoma-Langley Crossroads Transit Center after construction is completed this summer, and thousands of commuters could be boarding buses there as early as this fall.
The transit center, a project of the Maryland Transit Administration, is expected to improve traffic and pedestrian safety at the intersection of University Boulevard and New Hampshire Avenue in northwestern Prince George’s County, one of the busiest bus-only transfer points in the Washington region.
With 12 bus bays, the center will accommodate a dozen Metro and local bus routes. As many as 12,000 passengers are projected to use it on a typical weekday, officials say.
The transit center is also expected to be a future stop for the Purple Line, the proposed light-rail line that would run through Montgomery and Prince George’s.
The project was envisioned more than a decade ago as a central station for buses, where commuters could transfer instead of having to cross dangerous six-lane roads to catch their bus.
The project was delayed for years while the state negotiated the acquisition of the 1.2 acres of land it needed for the project. After five years of negotiations, and the state’s effort to acquire the land through eminent domain, a settlement with the land owner was reached in 2013.
During that time the cost of the project also went grew. In 2006, it was estimated that it would cost $12.31 million. In the past two years the cost went from $31 million, a pre-bid price based on the engineer’s estimate, to the current $34.8 million. The total cost includes planning, design , real estate and construction, state transportation officials said.
Although the project has had its setbacks, they appear minor compared to the ones that have stalled the massive transit center just a few miles away in downtown Silver Spring. That project is years behind the original construction schedule and already $50 million over budget.
Metro will hold a public hearing in July before it adds the center to the regional transit system. The agency is set to begin negotiations with the MTA regarding the operations and ownership of the facility, but it too expects the center will open this fall. According to Metro it will cost approximately $1.06 million annually to operate and maintain the facility.