SPI updates park & ride

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — Visitors to the Island now have more room to park, and more reason to ride The Wave.

The Island Metro, known as The Wave, is a free, fixed-route bus system that operates within the city and connects to an expanded parking area near the end/entrance of the causeway.

The new parking area can accommodate 125 cars. It is the first phase of a new multimodal facility that will serve as a one-stop transportation hub for the Island.

“It’s a great addition for the city,” said Bill DiLibero, SPI city manager. “It gives visitors the opportunity to leave their vehicle and take public transportation to the beach or visit the city without having to drive.”

Its location at the end of the causeway ensures visibility to travelers coming off the causeway and onto the Island.

Construction of the facility is scheduled to begin this fall and should be completed in 2017. It will be located between the access road and Padre Boulevard in front of the Pearl South Padre.

“It’s (parking lot) a great start to having the facility that we’re working on,” DiLibero said.

The recent improvements to the Multimodal Park & Ride area are benefitting users with more available parking and a central transfer point for the metro busses, Island officials said.

The park and ride area has continued to remain at capacity as drivers have chosen to avoid traffic congestion and park their vehicles.

The South Padre Island Transit Department recently secured $3.5 million in grant funds for the second phase of the multimodal hub. The hub will include a transfer station used by regional transit systems and charter buses.

Additional passenger amenities, driver amenities, administrative offices, the city’s Visitors Center and Chamber of Commerce also will be included within the facility.

In its entirety, the project supports the connection of the Rio Grande Valley’s commercial areas and addresses passenger services and amenities for residents needing to access intercity travel.

The project will complete the transportation network in the Lower Rio Grande Valley and ensure that all transit users in the area have safe and efficient transportation.