In just a few short years, Bob Hope Airport will go from being a bit haphazard to grown-up regional transit hub.
With the $120-million transit center given the go-ahead earlier this week by the City Council, all that stands in the way of ground breaking is some shoring of funds and environmental reviews. After that, the transformation will begin, and when it’s all said and done, there will be consolidated rental car, bus and rail line operations connected to the airport with a covered moving walkway.
In the process, a local secret — free parking at the lot for the Amtrak station — will be obliterated to make way for expanded, and controlled, parking facilities. While that may seem like something for locals to bemoan, the coming improvements will be a long-term benefit for Amtrak riders who may now opt for the more practical parking situation in Glendale.
After all, the goal here is to encourage cross pollination — instead of flying into LAX for a downtown L.A. business conference, people fly into Bob Hope Airport, skip over to the transit center and hop on a train.
The transit center may seem amorphous now, but once it’s built, we predict a sea change in the way not only residents use their own city, but how outsiders factor Burbank into their travel itinerary.