By Kim Glovas


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) —-  The Philadelphia Zoo held a ceremonial groundbreaking today on a $24-million transporation center and parking garage.

Work is beginning on a new 683-spot parking garage on Girard Avenue, close by the busy Schuylkill Expressway.  The four-story parking garage and transportation hub is expected to be completed by April.

Zoo president and CEO Vik Dewan says the zoo takes its role as steward of the planet and its creatures seriously.  And, he says,  the transportation center, which will have trolleys, buses, and cars coming and going, reflects that.

“The only way in which to really meet the needs of our visitors, that continue to grow every year, is by providing forms of public transportation that can scale up.  A Septa regional train stop would be one such opportunity, and those are conversations we’re continuing to have with Septa and Amtrak.”

The zoo is also building bike trails to encourage visitors to ride a bike to the zoo.

The new construction will also use sustainable landscaping, which will provide nutritious food for zoo animals as well.

The zoo says the garage will nearly double its parking and make it easier for visitors to get off the highway and inside the gates.  The project is also expected to improve traffic flow on the expressway where cars exit to reach the zoo.



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