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Wilmington Transit Hub construction could be finished next summer

Sophia Schmidt, Delaware Public Media
A bus pulls up to Rodney Square in Wilmington

DART presented a new round of proposed Wilmington bus route changes last week, while advocates continue to push for a reversal of previous changes. But the much anticipated Wilmington Transit Hub still lays a bit further down the road.

The new transit hub planned for near the train station will have indoor seating, bathrooms, USB chargers, WIFI, vending machines and roughly 230 parking spaces.

Chief Executive Officer of the Delaware Transit Corporation John Sisson says it’s still in the design phase, but construction could be finished as early as next summer.

He notes any bus route adjustments to make full use of the hub will roll out in December 2019.

That timeline has some transit advocates wondering why changes were made at the city’s effective bus hub, Rodney Square, nearly a year and half before the new hub is ready.

“I think it’s a fair question that they ask. But you know, we are still serving Rodney Square …  We’re working as fast as we can to get the Wilmington transit Center done,” he said. “Rodney Square, at the end of the day, it’s really not a destination for a lot of people.”

Sisson says DART will not restore the changed routes to their original stops on the square.

But he adds that anyone struggling to make bus transfers because of last winter’s changes should contact DART, which may be able to make accomodations. He says the agency received very few specific complaints—but did reverse some changes in February based on feedback.


Sisson says the new hub will result in only slight modifications to existing bus routes, as roughly 75 percent of bus routes in the City already serve the train station area.

But Sisson says planners are considering having shuttles replace some bus service within the city.

“Do you kind of reduce the footprint of buses circulating through town at certain times of the day and maybe run a shuttle that helps people get to other areas of the city?” he said. “That’s some more work we need to do with the public. More outreach on where that would go, when it would go and how it would do that.”

The $7.8 million transit hub project is a public-private partnership, with DART contributing $4 million and the rest coming from partners EDiS, Colonial Parking and Emory Hill.


Sisson adds that DART has secured federal funding to add a south-bound bus lane and bus shelters on Orange St.— which he says lost a bus shelter as a result of Buccini/Pollin Group’s development of the new Residences at Mid-Town Park.

He says DART hopes to add several shelters on King St. in the next month or so, as well as a shelter on Market st.


Sophia Schmidt is a Delaware native. She comes to Delaware Public Media from NPR’s Weekend Edition in Washington, DC, where she produced arts, politics, science and culture interviews. She previously wrote about education and environment for The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, MA. She graduated from Williams College, where she studied environmental policy and biology, and covered environmental events and local renewable energy for the college paper.
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