Images courtesy Don Wilson/Port of Seattle.
The Port of Seattle, community and industry officials watched a brand new shuttle bus break the inaugural ribbon today for the Rental Car Facility (RCF) about to open at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
The five-storey, 2.1 million-square-foot, LEED Silver certified $419 million project is on track to come in some $20 million under budget.
“Building this facility created 3,900 construction jobs and generated $25 million in local taxes when the economy was desperate for good news,” said Port of Seattle Commission President Gael Tarleton.
“This project looks to the future to meet our region’s growing needs and does it in a way that is economically and environmentally sound.”
The project includes the rental car facility, a bus maintenance facility, off-site road improvements, main terminal improvements and the initial purchase of compressed natural gas (CNG) shuttle buses.
It is scheduled to officially open for business on May 17 and will support all airport-related rental car operations at the gateway where passenger traffic is expected to reach 45mppa passengers by 2025.
“With this beautiful, new facility, we will be able to offer a more efficient customer experience, and a much more pleasant work environment to our employees," said Lorie Tallarico, director of properties, Avis/Budget Rental Car Group.
“Gone are the days of traffic jams in and out of the garage trying to replenish our stalls during peak summer-time hours.”
And the praise didn't end there, as SeaTac City Council member, Barry Ladenburg, enthused: “The new rental car facility will provide yet another amenity to emphasise the city’s focus on the leisure and business traveller by increasing customer service in and around the airport.
"It should reduce traffic congestion on airport as rental cars will no longer share the same roads with passengers being dropped off or picked up and the shuttle bus system will also reduce congestion on city streets.
”And with LEED certification, the city of SeaTac has yet another example of partnership efforts with the Port of Seattle to increase efforts toward more sustainable development”.
It is currently the largest consolidated rental car facility in the US to be certified Silver by the US Green Build Council (USGBC), the nation’s pre-eminent programme for high performance green buildings.
Two art projects give dramatic visual enhancement to the RCF. The two exterior helices (circular return and exit ramps) are covered with a stainless steel mesh fabric that is illuminated in multiple random colours by 60 LED lights at night. The project is by local artist Buster Simpson.
And at the return shuttle location on the 5th floor, artist Linda Beaumont has created 'Spinning Our Wheels' WHERE `id` = a composition of 91 six-foot tall steel discs in a mesmerising array of brilliant colours and designs.
She hopes that the wheels will create a playful narrative for travellers as they await the shuttle bus back to the terminal.