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'Largest bus station west of Chicago' opens Sunday in El Monte

October 10, 2012 |  2:41 pm

The new $60-million El Monte Bus Station, which Metro touts as the largest such station west of Chicago equipped to handle about 22,000 daily patrons, will officially open to the public Sunday.

Transportation leaders and elected officials dedicated the bus station at a ceremony Wednesday. The facility first opened in 1973 and officials with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority said the old station was torn down to make room for a new, modernized one.

“The opening of this new bus facility is a major milestone as we strive to improve transportation services for the region,” Metro’s Chief Executive Officer Art Leahy said in a news release. “Better connections and better bus service await passengers using this new facility.”

Officials said the new station is twice the size of the old one and includes solar panels, new elevators and escalators, bike stations and lockers and closed-circuit television, among other improvements. Construction of the new station began in September 2010.

“The new $60-million El Monte Station consists of a new two-story building that will house a public bus and terminal station with limited retail space, a customer service center and surface parking,” according to the release.

Officials said the project also increases the daily passenger capacity for the station, among other benefits.

County Supervisor Gloria Molina praised the project in the news release, saying, “El Monte is the transit hub of the San Gabriel Valley and this bus station is a major connection point for thousands of daily commuters.”

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-- Ari Bloomekatz

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