ARTIC, A Forward Looking Transportation Hub with a Climate Friendly Design
March 19, 2015.
Reinventing our transportation infrastructure is critical to reducing our collective transportation carbon footprint. This includes increasing the number of electric vehicles, moving to alternative fuels like biodiesel and importantly, reimagining our use of public transportation. On a recent visit through California, I discovered a community that was doing just this.
When the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center - ARTIC - opened in December, residents, commuters and visitors could for the first time step into a hub where 10 modes of transportation converged. These included both Metrolink and Amtrak trains, metropolitan and charter buses, shuttles, tour buses and taxis. In the future, officials hope that it will be the final stop for the state's proposed high speed bullet train.
The building itself is remarkable, a domed structure that seems to rise from the earth. Since Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) and glass cover the 68,000 square-foot steel-framed facility, sunshine can light 75 percent of the interior space. Floor to ceiling windows at the north and south ends open to provide ventilation, and there’s radiant heating in the floor for winter. More than 600 strips of LED lights provide illumination, and there are photovoltaic arrays on large carports nearby. The facility meets LEED Platinum certification.
Stepping inside, a huge open area faces the main staircase and escalator which accesses three levels. One arriving train passenger commented, "It looks like a small stadium. Where does the band play?"
On the ground floor are ticket windows and information on scrolling digital displays. Diverse shops and dining venues will open soon. Meeting rooms will be available at ARTIC to schedule business or civic gatherings. There are Wi-Fi and plug in stations. If you happen to be a member of the Anaheim Public Library, there's a box to return books, a kiosk to take out new ones, and a station to download e-books.
Outside, there’s parking for over 1000 cars, electric vehicle charging stations, both bike racks and bicycle lockers. And nearby are bike and pedestrian pathways. With all these amenities, ARTIC will likely be a destination in itself.
ARTIC is located near four California freeways (5, 22, 57 and 91). Anaheim's population is nearly 350,000, but nearly 20 million people visit the city each year. This is mostly because Disneyland, Angel Stadium, the Honda Center and the Anaheim Convention Center are located there. Also, Anaheim is part of Orange County, the fifth most densely populated county in the nation.
California has traditionally been a car-centric culture. The establishment of ARTIC makes public transportation coordinated, available, and easy. Through its forward looking design, it will have a significant climate benefit by removing gas cars from the road all while encouraging the use of electric vehicles; and this is very good news.