Great Lakes Crossing Transportation Center
|Great Lakes Crossing Transportation Center|
|Address||Baldwin Road & I-75, Auburn Hills, MI 48326|
|Opening Date||November 9, 1998 (initial stops)|
September 14, 2015 (current location)
November 23, 2016 (current hub)
The Great Lakes Crossing Transportation Center is a transit hub serving SMART and the Flint MTA located in Auburn Hills, MI. It is located along a perimeter road separating two parking lots on the northwest corner of Great Lakes Crossing Outlets, nearest to the Baldwin Road interchange on Interstate 75. The nearest entry point into the mall is Entry 1, leading into a court dominated by Saks Off 5th and Bed, Bath & Beyond stores and from which two mall corridors split off, one forming District 1 and the other forming District 2.
The hub consists of a single bus bay which features a small shelter. Parking is available in the adjacent parking lots. There are currently no nearby locations from which SMART passes can be bought (although, until 2011, they were sold at a Comerica Bank branch across I-75, which to access from the hub required a long walk from the hub nearly a thousand feet west to Baldwin Road, north two thousand feet across I-75 to Brown Road, east over a thousand feet to a driveway servicing the bank and several other commercial establishments (the last intersection to the south before Brown Road ascends a large hill), then 700 feet along the driveway into the bank).
Great Lakes Crossing was the first hub to be established by SMART, all prior hubs were inherited from it's predecessors or built and shared with the Detroit Department of Transportation. It is also the northernmost hub served by SMART and one of the southernmost destinations served by the Flint MTA (it's southernmost destination is Brighton, MI).
Construction on Great Lakes Crossing began in April 1997 (although shopping developments had previously been planned for the site as far back as 1986), and it was poised to become a major outlet/entertainment destination. This was pointed out by SMART, who, on November 9, 1998, four days before the mall itself opened on November 12, extended it's route 753 north past the Pontiac city limits to three stops that were established; at entries 2, serving TJMaxx and Neiman Marcus Last Call; 4, serving Marshalls and then-Forever 21 (space now occupied by Lord & Taylor Outlet); and 6, serving what were at the time a Jeepers amusement center and an American Bandstand restaurant (now Legoland Discovery Center Michigan and Bar Louie respectively) and also close to a 25-screen movie theater then operated by Star Theaters (which is now part of AMC Theaters).
Within a year of the opening, the rural land that surrounded Great Lakes Crossing when it opened was quickly giving way to many stores, prompting SMART to further extend route 753 to serve those stores in September 2000. It wasn't long before the Flint MTA also recognized this major destination, and began a regional route service on September 4, 2000 that served the Entry 6 stop. On May 1, 2010, SMART discontinued service to entry 6, leaving the MTA to solely serve it. On September 14, 2015, the three separate stops were consolidated into a single stop shared by SMART and MTA at Entry 1. A permanent stop was subsequently established on November 23, 2016.
Great Lakes Crossing serves two routes sharing the same bay: