In December 2014, the Anaheim Regional Intermodal Transportation Center, known as ARTIC, opened as a 21st century vision for new transportation options for the car-reliant Southern California region.
The $180 million center features a modern, open design and energy-efficient panels and has terminals for buses, taxis and trains. As part of an ongoing personal project to document the building, one of Orange County’s most ambitious architectural projects, I ventured to the station over four days between September 2014 and February 2015 to film the above video, “Exploring ARTIC.”
On Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014, as an unusually-strong storm swept through Orange County, I ventured to the station in the early evening hours. Despite the downpour, welding sparks twinkled in the night as workers bustled around, patching up any last-minute needs before the station would open a few days later. Then, on the weekend of Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 6 and 7, I stopped by as the ARTIC officially opened. The smell of fresh paint was in the air. Angel, the Anaheim Police Department’s tactical helicopter, circled low around the building, perhaps for a giddy officer or passenger to snap an aerial photo of the station’s first day. Bus and railway passengers lounged at space age silver benches, meant to complement the building’s sci-fi polymer exterior. Blue-shirt- and orange safety vest-clad security guards, some on bikes, scoured the campus. And meanwhile, the station’s energy-efficient LED lights flashed blue, then purple, then red, then orange, then yellow, then green. And in the evening, the station adorned itself with a rainbow pastel-hued display of aquas, magentas and blues.
But the ARTIC’s “glitter” may not be translating into “ridership gold,” the Voice of Orange County reported, as the station’s ridership numbers in its first month lagged far below estimates. Joining the Voice of OC is the Orange County Register, which criticized the costly station as not living up to its hype. However, several officials are said to have a positive outlook for the station as it establishes itself in the long-run, as it has allured itself as a stop for the proposed California High-Speed Rail system. “We still anticipate significant growth of services and ridership in the future,” Anaheim spokeswoman Ruth Ruiz told the Voice of OC.