The Burbank Bob Hope Airport on Friday opened its $82 million Regional Intermodal Transportation Center built to improve ground access to the terminal.

The 520,000 square-foot, five-story structure on the Empire Avenue side of the airport is adjacent to the Metrolink and Amtrak stations on the Ventura County line. It also includes a bus transit station, rental car facilities and a moving walkway to the terminal. Construction started two years ago.

Dan Feger, executive director of the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority, told the Business Journal that other airports may follow in the footsteps of Burbank, which has placed a high priority on improving access to the facility.

“This is the showpiece of that effort,” he said.

Funding for the project came from an airport authority bond issue, in addition to a $1 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration and $600,000 from the L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Measure R funds.

The transportation center is the first stop the authority plans to take to improve mass transit options at the airport. A new Metrolink station will open next year north of the airport at San Fernando Road and Hollywood Way on the rail line serving the Santa Clarita and Antelope valleys.

Additionally, the state has pledged money to build a pedestrian bridge to link the Ventura County line Metrolink station directly with the transportation center, Feger said.

Congressman Brad Sherman, D- Sherman Oaks, who helped secure about $1.5 million in federal funds for the project, said the facility will change the Valley.

“This transportations center has the ability to transform San Fernando Valley transit, linking travelers to car, rail, bus, bike and plane,” he said, in a statement.