Midlands Regional Intermodal Transportation Center Study 

Central Midlands Council of Governments (CMCOG) is conducting a study to assess the feasibility of building a Regional Intermodal Transportation Center in Columbia, S.C. Below are some details and frequently asked questions.

Q: What is an Intermodal Transportation Center?

A: An Intermodal Transportation Center is a multi-purpose building located within a designated area of a city, in which several types of transportation come together to create a hub of accessible, connected transportation.

Q: What areas or regions might the Regional Intermodal Transportation Center cover?

A: Much like the MARTA in Atlanta and CATS in Charlotte, Columbia’s center will combine several transportation modes radiating from one location to several other locations across the city of Columbia, S.C. – as well as the region, with modes potentially reaching as far as New York.

Q: What types of transportation modes are connected in an Intermodal Transportation Center?

A: Depending on the modes of transportation that are in use in a region, the following may be brought together at a single location: local bus service, paratransit, intercity bus service, taxis, Uber service, rail connections, automobile parking, flex car or rental car service, bicycles, pedestrian walkways and more.

Q: What amenities come with an Intermodal Transportation Center?

A: In an Intermodal Transportation Center, travelers will find comfortable passenger waiting areas, restrooms, vending machines, and ticketing and travel information – often including real-time information on the arrival and departure of buses. The center may also include many other spaces such as storage areas for bicycles, meeting rooms for community functions, administrative offices for the transit system, a small public library branch, a police substation, break areas for transit drivers, and retail spaces for the likes of coffee shops, bank branches, dry cleaners and more. Intermodal Transportation Centers become activity centers for their community and usually attract other development around or nearby them.

Q: What might the center look like?

A: There are several different layouts for Intermodal Transportation Centers. See examples at the bottom of this page

Q: How are we determining the specifics for the potential center?

A: Central Midlands Council of Government (CMCOG) is launching a feasibility study, taking place from October 2016-April 2017, to identify the following:

1)    Viable locations for the center

2)    What features and transportation modes the center might include

3)    How the center might serve various modes of transportation and impact development

 This is only a first step in the process set out by the Federal Transit Administration for advancing public transportation facility projects.

Q: Why is CMCOG doing this study?

A: CMCOG is pursuing this study in order to examine the opportunities that a Regional Intermodal Transportation Center located in or around downtown Columbia, S.C., would bring to the Central Midlands area. It is expected that such a facility would not only enhance the traveler experience and the efficiency of transportation service operators but also would attract development that would be drawn to the location because of its transportation advantages. Such development would be supportive of the transportation services found at the center. Transit oriented design and joint development will be key components of the study. 

Q: What does CMCOG’s study consist of?

A: The feasibility study will be conducted in sequential steps of analysis from start to finish over a 7-month timeline, including:

1)   A public involvement meeting on November 2, 2017.

2) User surveys

3)    Internal meetings with Steering Committee

4)    Processing of Data

5) Recommendation(s)

Q: Why are we considering building an Intermodal Transportation Center?

A: Bringing these modes of transportation together creates an opportunity for people to more easily travel and connect to destinations both near and far through a variety of transportation choices. Bringing these modes together also increases their efficiency and effectiveness and improves mobility and accessibility within the community.

Q: How long might it take to complete the center?

A: If the project is found to be feasible, the actual design and construction of a Regional Intermodal Transportation Center is at least several years away and subject to future funding and approval by local, regional, state, and federal agencies. Projects like this often take five or more years to complete.  

See below for photos from past projects.