After spending more than $112 million over the past five years, Bob Hope Airport and the Burbank, Glendale, Pasadena Airport Authority had the official grand opening of their Regional Intermodal Transportation Center (RITC).
The large parking structure that Burbank has watched being constructed the last several years is one of the first facilities of its kind in the Southland and looks to the future before it can fully be utilized.
Once fully completed, the structure will have access (through a yet to be constructed bridge) to the Amtrak / Metrolink Station located on Empire. Eleven rental car companies are also scheduled to move their airport operations into the structure.
RITC’s entrance is about 100 yards from the terminal and features moving sidewalks that will take customers to their rental cars in the 515,000 foot structure covering three levels. Buses from all agencies will also have stops at the structure and with the $7 million just approved, a bridge will link the train service going to and from Los Angeles and Ventura Counties.
Officials did not comment on how passengers will be transported back and forth to the new metrolink station scheduled for completion in January on San Fernando which will also link the airport the Lancaster/Palmdale area. There are also no current plans if a replacement terminal is built on the other side of the airport for how passengers will transverse the new distance.
Another side benefit of the new structure is that it is built with new technology so that it will withstand an earthquake as large as 8.5. With this strength, emergency agencies will be able to use RITC as their command post. The Los Angeles Sheriff Department’s mobile command post will be set up as well as different fire agencies.
While different speakers touted the new structure as the first in the area, it is ahead of its time when it comes to current transportation.
Many speakers spoke of different buses and rail lines that will hope to connect one day to make commuting easier, but few are still in place to serve the public.
Michael Kodama of Eco-Rapid Transit said that while most mass transit systems are not set up yet to accommodate RITC, the future is just around the corner.
“First you have to have the center and now that it is here, we can start planning on how best to make it work. We had to start somewhere and this is a great beginning,” he said. “You will start to see regional planning in the next several years that will utilize RITC to its fullest.”