Posts Tagged ‘Greyhound’

Greyound to Use Ann Arbor Amtrak Station

September 28, 2016

Greyhound buses serving Ann Arbor, Michigan, will soon be stopping outside the Amtrak station.

GreyhoundBoarding will be on Depot Street. City officials have removed two metered parking spots to make room for the buses to load and unload.

Currently, Greyhound’s Ann Arbor stop is at a makeshift ticket office inside a parking garage along Fourth Avenue across from the Blake Transit Center.

That move came in 2014 after the bus line was forced to move from Huron Street when the bus station there was razed to make way for a hotel.

Downtown Development Authority Executive Director Susan Pollay said Greyhound passengers will enjoy a comfortable waiting area and the ability to transfer to Amtrak trains and Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority buses operating every 30 minutes between downtown and the Amtrak station.

No date has been announced for the move, but Greyhound’s lease for its Fourth Avenue space expires on Dec. 31.

Greyhound Moving to Toledo CUT on June 15

June 7, 2016

Greyhound will begin using Toledo Central Union Terminal on June 15. It won’t be the first bus service at the facility, which is also served by four daily Amtrak trains.

Amtrak Thruway buGreyhoundses have been using the station for several years.

The Port Authority is undertaking a $500 million renovation to accommodate Greyhound at the now named Martin Luther King, Jr. Plaza.

Amtrak’s Capitol Limited (Chicago-Washington) and Lake Shore Limited (Chicago-New York) stop at the station, which opened in 1950.

When Low Bus Fares Clash With Low Gasoline Prices, Place Your Money on Low Gas Winning

February 15, 2016

When it comes to riding the bus for a low fare versus driving your car when gasoline prices are low, the latter is going to win most of the time.

That was one of the takeaways from the recent news that Megabus has ended service between Cleveland and Columbus.

On TransportationNot only has Amtrak ridership suffered from falling gasoline prices over the past year, but so has a bus company that sells tickets for as low as $1.

Joseph Schwieterman, a professor at DePaul University in Chicago who studies intercity bus transportation, told The Plain Dealer that the intercity bus industry is contracting after several years of rapid growth.

“Gas prices are raining on the parade of bus companies in a big way,” Schwieterman said. “It’s surprising how quickly people change their habits when fuel is cheap.”

It was also surprising that Megabus passengers tend generally to be more affluent, younger and more likely to own cars.

So when gas prices drop, they are inclined to drive rather than take public transportation.

That is not necessarily good news for advocates of public transportation, particularly those who favor free enterprise rather than government intervention to meet transportation needs.

Why? Because it means that if you need to take public transportation as opposed to want to take public transportation then your ability to travel hinges on the whims of the market.

And the market seeks to make money, not provide a social service or assure uninterrupted access to public transportation.

The decline of intercity rail passenger service in the 1960s received a lot of publicity and ultimately led to the creation of Amtrak.

The intercity bus industry experienced a similar decline, which also began in the 1960s, but accelerated in 1982 after the deregulation of the intercity bus industry.

In 1982, there were 11,820 places in America where you could board an intercity bus. By 2008 that had fallen to 2,423, a 20 percent decline.

A 2014 paper published by the AARP cited U.S. Department of Transportation Bureau of Transportation figures showing that 8.4 million rural residents lost access to intercity bus service between 2005 and 2010.

Megabus has never been a viable public transportation option in rural and small town America. Since starting service in April 2006, Megabus has operated much like an airline.

You won’t find Megabus stopping in small towns or even small cities unless they happen to have a large state university.

That is why the only place that Megabus serves in largely rural West Virginia is Morgantown, the home of West Virginia University. In Ohio, Megabus serves Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Toledo.

Megabus cited low ridership for ending its route linking Cleveland and Cincinnati.

But a Megabus spokesman told The Plain Dealer that the company had done well on the Cleveland-Columbus leg and might reinstate that service down the road.

In the meantime, Greyhound continues to serve the Cleveland-Columbus market, so those wishing or needing public transportation between the two cities still have it.

I am reminded of a report by the Interstate Commerce Commission of its investigation of plans by the Erie Lackawanna to discontinue a passenger train between Chicago and New York in the 1960s.

Although a number of people opposed the discontinuance, many of them had either never ridden the train or rode it infrequently.

That led the Commission to conclude that many who opposed ending the train wanted it as a standby service during, for example, inclement weather.

And for that they wanted the EL to continue losing money providing a service that few of them used.

It was true then and it remains true now. For all of the talk about the need for public transportation or even the desire for it, the private motor vehicle remains the first choice of most Americans so long as they can afford it.

It might seem that there are a lot of people wanting or willing to take public transportation between Cleveland and Columbus. There are, but so long as they see it as affordable most of them would rather drive than buy a low fare ticket on the bus.

Megabus Cuts Cleveland-Columbus Route

February 4, 2016

Megabus has quietly dropped its Cleveland-Columbus route due to declining ridership.

Also ended was service between Cleveland and Cincinnati. The route had operated twice daily between Cleveland and Atlanta with intermediate stops in Columbus, Cincinnati and points in Kentucky and Tennessee.

MegabusSean Hughes, director of corporate affairs for Megabus North America, told The Plain Dealer that the route was discontinued in early January.

“It wasn’t performing to expectations,” he said. “We had to make a change.”

Hughes said the Cleveland-Columbus leg did well and may be reinstated in the future. “If we choose to expand at some point, that route will be one we’ll look at,” he said.

Greyhound also operates a route linking Cleveland and Columbus.

Megabus has one route left in Cleveland, which runs westbound to Toledo and Chicago, and eastbound to State College, Pennsylvania, and New York City.

In mid-2013, Megabus served 15 cities from Cleveland, including Ann Arbor, Michigan; Pittsburgh; Detroit; and Buffalo, New York.

Megabus is noted for low fares with some as low as $1 one way.

Greyhound Move to Toledo CUT Gets OK

December 22, 2015

Greyhound will move into the former Central Union Terminal, now used by Amtrak, under a lease agreement approved by the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority last week.

The board also approved the lease for a Subway restaurant franchise to be located in the terminal.

Buses will load and unload under a canopy at the terminal, which now known as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Plaza.

The current Greyhound station is located on Jefferson Avenue in downtown Toledo adjacent to the Pythian Castle, a long-vacant building now owned by the Lucas County Land Bank, which is trying to find a developer for the site.

“Every developer that we have ever talked with about the Pythian Castle has always said that the Greyound station is an impediment to its development,” said Lucas County Treasurer Wade Kapszukiewicz, chairman of the land bank board. “If the Greyhound really is moving that could be a game-changer for developing that building.”

Toledo officials have long wanted to move the Greyhound station.

Greyhound buses and Amtrak trains will not be using CUT at the same time.

The 24 scheduled Greyhound buses leave Toledo between 6:20 a.m. and midnight while Amtrak’s Capitol Limited and Lake Shore Limited are scheduled to call in Toledo between 11:39 p.m. and 6:15 a.m.

Paul Toth, Jr., port authority president, said the new plaza for bus service along with the Subway store will open next May or June after renovations are complete.

He said the port authority is spending up to $500,000 for improvements to make space in the MLK Plaza building for Greyhound and Subway.

Amtrak will occupy 4,560 square feet of exclusive space at $18 per square foot and share 7,385 square feet of space with other tenants at $5 per square foot. The railroad will also pay $31,500 a year for exterior lighting.

Greyhound will rent 750 square feet for its own use and share the 7,385 square feet of common space at the same rates charged to Amtrak.

The bus company will pay $212,000 for its share of the capital improvements being made.

Greyhound spokesperson Lanesha Gipson said the current bus station is up for sale. She said Greyhound is expecting ridership to increase once the company begins using CUT.

Cleveland Intermodal Hub Idea Revived

February 3, 2015

An intermodal facility that serves Amtrak in Cleveland will be discussed today by the planning and development committee of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority.

The location of the proposed center has yet to determined other than it would be near Lake Erie and adjacent to the Cleveland Line of Norfolk Southern.

Although an intermodal center has been discussed for years, the idea faltered due to the declining fortunes of the Flats entertainment district along the Cuyahoga River.

But activity in Flats is picking up and Greyhound will soon need a new home after it vacates its station on Chester Avenue on the east edge of downtown.

The Amtrak station, which was built in the late 1970s, needs work to bring it into compliance with the federal Americans with Disability law.

RTA officials said these development have created a new opportunity to pursue the intermodal transportation hub idea.

The city of Cleveland has been eying the art deco style Greyhound station, which was built in 1948, for repurposing as part of an effort to build retail operations in the neighborhoods flanking Cleveland’s Playhouse Square and Cleveland State University.

Greyhound confirmed that it’s investigating a new and modern location for its Cleveland operations.

The next step in the development is to conduct a study of combining Greyhound, Amtrak and transit operations in one place.

Before joining RTA, General Manager Joe Calabrese oversaw the development of the Walsh Regional Transportation Center in Syracuse, N.Y.

Boardings on all transportation modes in Syracuse grew 20 percent after the center opened in 1999.

The rail advocacy group All Aboard Ohio estimates that 1 million people a year would use a multimodal center in Cleveland if RTA, Greyhound, Amtrak and transit operations could serve an intermodal terminal.

Aside from RTA, the facility could serve Laketran, Akron Metro RTA, Megabus, taxi operations, and transit routes from Portage and Stark counties.

“That’s more than what occurs at the Akron-Canton Regional Airport. That’s enough to support spin-off retail, restaurants, rental car counters, car sharing and bike sharing services at the center. This would be like having an airport in downtown Cleveland,” said All Aboard Ohio Executive Director Ken Prendergast.

All Aboard Ohio favors putting the transit hub just north of the convention center and linking it to renovation of the Amtrak station along the lakefront tracks between West 3rd and East 9th streets.

The city of Cleveland had that location in mind in 2010 when it announced plans for a multimodal center north of the east edge of Mall C, possibly extending over railroad tracks to just south of the Shoreway, with walkways to the mall and North Coast Harbor.

Then-city planning director Bob Brown said the station, which would also include a parking deck and bicycle connectors, could be one of the most complete multimodal centers in the United States.

Brown said the facility would help link the new medical mart, convention center and Flats east bank redevelopment.

That idea foundered, though, due to the estimated $50 million price tag of the project. Much of the funding was expected to come from state and federal sources.

More recently, Prendergast said, there’s been “some pretty underwhelming discussion” about locating a hub at the far east end of the Cleveland Muni Lot on Marginal Road.

“As far as I’m concerned, that’s Siberia,” he said. “If you’re a low-income Cleveland resident and trying to get to the Greyhound station, how do you get there?”





SARTA Launches Canton-Cleveland Route

March 3, 2013

The Stark Area Regional Transit Authority will launch a route from Canton to Cleveland on Monday that at 63 miles may be Ohio’s longest transit service.

The weekday SARTA route will serve the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center’s Wade Park campus and downtown Cleveland three times a day.

Veterans traveling to Cleveland for a medical appointment can ride for free if they schedule their trip through the Stark County Veterans Service Commission.

The fare for other passengers will be $2.50 one way and $5 round trip.
The route originates at the Canton Cornerstone Transit Station at 112 Cherry Ave. SE, leaving each weekday at 6:50 a.m., 10:50 a.m. and 2:50 p.m.

It then will travel north to the American Legion Post 44 at 1633 Cleveland Ave. NW to pick up or drop off the veterans associated with the Veterans Commission and then to Wade Park in Cleveland, arriving at 8:40 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 4:20 p.m.

The bus also will stop at West Prospect and West Superior avenues (near the Tower City Center) before it returns to Canton.

Each bus can accommodate 32 seated passengers and two wheelchairs. Priority seating will be given to veterans who schedule their trip through the Veterans Commission.

Groups larger than four people and riders with mobility devices not associated with the Veterans Commission should call SARTA to reserve a seat.

SARTA also offers hourly bus service to Akron-Canton Regional Airport and downtown Akron’s Pfaff Transit Center, which has Greyhound intercity bus service. Greyhound bus service to Canton ended nearly a decade ago.

Akron Metro RTA offers 11 weekday round trips between Akron and Cleveland. Also serving downtown Cleveland are routes of Laketran (Lake County) and the Portage Area Regional Transportation Authority.