BIRMINGHAM, ALA. – On Feb. 23, 2018, as a large crowd looked on, local and regional officials stood beneath a colorful balloon arch to cut the ribbon on the new $32 million Birmingham Intermodal Facility. The ceremony included remarks by Mayor Randall Woodfin, Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority Executive Director Barbara Murdock and others, as well as live music from the Fairfield High Preparatory School Choir and singer Taylor Hicks.
The modern intermodal station brings together Amtrak, local MAX and intercity buses and shuttles in one convenient location. Spanning the downtown blocks between the railroad viaduct and Morris Avenue from 16th to 19th Streets, the facility replaced smaller Amtrak and MAX stations in the vicinity. Two structures stand on the eastern end of the property: one houses a large waiting area for Amtrak and intercity bus passengers while the other provides space for MAX passengers; parking occupies the west end.
Abundant natural light floods the interiors of the glass-enclosed buildings designed by Giattina Aycock Architecture Studio and Hoskins Architecture. A wide, overhanging roof protects travelers and pedestrians from the hot summer sun and inclement weather. Space for retail and eateries helps generate activity throughout the day and evening. The Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority, which oversees the MAX system, also maintains offices at the station.
Amtrak moved its operations to the new facility in late January 2018. It offers customers ticketing and baggage services and has accessible seating, restrooms, and ticket counters, as well as passenger information displays in audible and visual formats.
The project was funded in part through $23.6 million in grants from the Federal Transit Administration’s Bus and Bus Facilities program and $6 million in city funds obtained through a voter-approved bond initiative.
On the south side of the railroad viaduct is Railroad Park, former industrial land transformed into a 19-acre greenspace that opened in 2010. The campus of the University of Alabama at Birmingham is also within walking distance.
In fiscal year 2017, customers began or ended more than 42,000 trips in Birmingham, which is served twice a day by the Crescent (New York-Atlanta-New Orleans).