CARTS Eastside Bus Plaza

The Eastside Bus Plaza is a multi-modal transportation hub offering local (CapMetro), rural (CARTS), on-demand services, and most recently, intercity bus service (Greyhound, FlixBus).  This TxDOT-owned site was vacant before CARTS began to plan an intermodal station here, at the eastern gateway to Austin.  Ten bus stops are positioned along its one-way loop, allowing for seamless transfers between the various routes and operators.  Buses enter the site from nearby US 183, East Cesar Chavez, Shady Lane and East 5th Street, which required the design team to redefine the circulation patterns and traffic signals and signage to make the station work effectively for its dozens of daily trips.  The site also intercepts the Crosstown Bikeway and provides car-share, scooter rental and bike share.  Centered in the site is the passenger terminal which is circular in plan to provide easy physical and visual access to the bus platforms.  

The site design establishes a strong sense of place, transforming a fragment of public right-of-way into a performative landscape to create an oasis-like setting for both transit customers and employees, as well as for the surrounding neighborhood. The building was designed to become an iconic landmark, in terms of transit wayfinding and identity, as well as a place that is approachable and welcoming. The building and courtyard walls, clad in Pecos Red sandstone, are grounded in the earth which creates a sense of protection, permanence, and specialness - evoking an ancient Native American kiva.  Inside, the cylindrical atrium releases skyward with clerestory lighting supported by salvaged, hand-hewn wood columns that organize the radial, hand-crafted wood benches. The interior walls of the waiting area are clad with blue, mosaic glass tile, and the floor is a deep-blue stained concrete – both setting the stage for a moment of tranquil repose. The design responded to the surrounding Hispanic community’s input, with the extensive re-greening of the site and the non-institutional look of the passenger terminal building. Adjacent to the terminal building is a sunken courtyard surrounded by raingardens and native landscaping, that helped the project achieve a SITES Silver certification.

Design Architect: McCann Adams Studio  |  Architect of Record: Jackson & McElhaney Architects


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2023 Austin Green Awards

2023 Austin Energy Green Building 3-Star Rating

2023 SITES Silver

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