“We were [originally] told that they would not be opening until April of 2017,” said John Jones, CAT’s manager.
However, Jones and his staff have moved forward plans to create a new route after being told by Wegmans representatives that they plan to be open in the fall.
“Our Charlottesville store is on track to open this fall, though we have not yet announced an opening date,” said Wegmans spokeswoman Valerie Fox in an email to Charlottesville Tomorrow.
“We’ll be adding a route to service that area and we’ll be asking VDOT for more money to help us with that,” Jones told the Metropolitan Planning Organization’s policy board in December.
Jones said he had been preparing for the later opening and will need to increase his budget to begin the service earlier.
“It doesn’t come without a cost, but we have a route figured out for it,” Jones said.
Jones will present more information for the new route at the MPO meeting on Wednesday.
Both Charlottesville City Council and the Albemarle Board of Supervisors will need to contribute additional money to the expanded service.
CAT will receive some money from the new shopping center’s developer to cover part of the start-up costs.
Riverbend Development is required by a proffer from the rezoning to make a one-time payment of $100,000 for transit before the first certificate of occupancy is issued.
Another proffer requires the creation of a park-and-ride lot with at least 12 spaces.
There will be no changes to Route 3 and Route 6, both of which serve the nearby Willoughby Shopping Center.
In the planning stages the new line will be known as Route 12 but Jones pointed out there is currently no Route 2 and said that designation may be recycled.
The new route also may run on Sundays if CAT is able to secure a demonstration grant from the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation.
“For the first time we’ll also have transit service to our offices,” Jones said. CAT is located on Avon Street Extended.
Jones said the service will not stop at the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail because of timing issues and the lack of a traffic signal.
Last year, both the City Council and the Board of Supervisors approved a name change for the roadway which will connect Fifth Street Extended and Avon Street. The road will now be called the Fifth Street Station Parkway.
Wegmans is a major anchor for the new shopping center. Other tenants include a second location for the locally-owned Timberwood Grill as well as several national retailers such as Dick’s Sporting Goods, Haverty’s Furniture, AC Moore Arts & Crafts, GNC, Starbucks and Red Mango Frozen Yogurt.