Bakersfield Downtown Bus Transit

The Golden Empire Transit (GET) District provides public transportation to the greater Bakersfield area with a total service area 110 square miles. Assembledge+ was selected by the District to create a concept design for the upgrade and remodel of the Downtown Bus Center to meet current functional requirements of the existing center, built in the early 1980s.

One of several goals for the facility remodel and upgrade was to enhance the facility’s image within the community and thereby help to attract additional ridership. The design involved not only analyzing the condition of the facility, but also observing the variety of users who patronize the center on a daily basis. The public nature of the facility tends to attract a number of the homeless transients in the area, who make use of these public areas, often creating tensions with bus passengers. This has required GET to provide a full time 24/7 contingent of on-site staff to address problems as they arise.

The redevelopment concept is designed to address physical issues within the existing terminal, including material choices, layouts of places to provide durability, maintenance visibility, control, security and accessibility, and to create a new downtown landmark and identity for the transit district. The concept has been split into three phases to allow flexibility in the implementation to match funding availability.

Phase A delivers a New Customer Service Center; Phase B includes Bus-Bay Canopy Enhancement, and Phase C will focus on Site and Pedestrian Improvements.

Phase A provides a New Customer Service Center, a low horizontal structure with large overhangs to provide shade for bus patrons and help energy performance of the new building envelope. Clerestory windows provide light and privacy for drivers’ lounge.  The new building’s flat roof can be easily fitted with solar panels at a future date. In addition to providing work stations, a covered waiting area for bus patrons ­­and restrooms for the drivers and employees. Public restrooms will be provided by a free-standing modular unit that is self-cleaning. The design also provides a widened open passageway that will offer an improved visual connection from Chester Avenue to the bus-bays and passenger waiting for concourse. The exterior walls will be constructed of concrete masonry faced with a glazed brick tile on the exterior and large window areas for visibility and control. Utilizing glazed tile on the exterior allows the use of more intense colors that will not be adversely affected by ultraviolet light in the intense Bakersfield climate.

Phase B calls for the removal of the existing canopy roof and structure, replacing it with a larger lightweight metal structure covered with a lightweight inflatable fabric membrane to expand significantly the shaded areas for bus patrons. The new concourse roof will consist of a light-weight steel frame attached to the existing concrete columns and foundations. The in-fill panels within the steel frame provide insulation and reduce wind loads on the existing foundation. The shading coefficient can be customized to increase density by adding layers of the UV stable copolymer ETFE.

Phase C calls for Site and Pedestrian Improvements including: new paving, lighting, digital signage, benches, and landscape.

Location: Bakersfield, California

Size: 1.2 acres

Project Team: Richard Thompson, FAIA (Principal-in-Charge), Michael Sweeney (Project Architect), Jooyoung Chung (Designer)