The terminal closures have been accelerating as Greyhound, the largest carrier, sells its valuable terminals to investors, including hedge fund Alden Global Capital.

Last year, Alden subsidiary Twenty Lake Holdings purchased 33 Greyhound stations for $140 million. Alden is best known for buying up local newspapers like The Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News and The Baltimore Sun, cutting staff, and selling some of the iconic downtown buildings.

Alden has started to sell the Greyhound depots to real estate developers, speeding up the timetable for closures.

Gabe Cazares, the executive director of transportation advocacy group Link Houston, wants to see a publicly-owned, centralized transportation hub in Houston as a permanent replacement for the Greyhound terminal.

Greyhound bus stops are valuable assets. Here’s who’s cashing in on them

jbr's picture

It seems like there should be

It seems like there should be a single group terminal for Greyhound, Megabus, Napaway, KAT, or any other bus line that may come to exist.

And if passenger rail should come someday it should be close to that terminal.

And you should be able to get to airport somewhat easily.

bizgrrl's picture

Aren't you describing the

Aren't you describing the downtown transit center? Except it's not big enough and costs too much.

fischbobber's picture

Renting bays?

I'm wondering if they couldn't work out the logistics to rent out a bay or two to Greyhound for transfer use. That way, folks with layovers could take a bus to a final destination or at least have a dry, warm stay to exist while waiting for KAT to start running again. Greyhound could pay to staff it when the terminal was closed, we could use the rent money (on top of staffing) to improve KAT service, since an insufficient budget pretty much defines KAT's issues.

michael kaplan's picture

city response

I believe the city wanted $400,000 a year to make the transit center available to FlixBus (Greyhound). The buses could just pick up and drop off on the street next to the station, as does Megabus in most cities. What's needed is to keep the restrooms, vending machines, and waiting area open until the last Greyhound bus arrives. Instead, we get this (see attached), with waiting passengers sitting on a cold bench, a patch of grass or the pavement. Advanced capitalist solution to affordable intercity transit.

preview_bus_stop.jpg

fischbobber's picture

Thank you for your response

While I found similar info to yours (numbers were slightly different, I found a source that said 600,000 I believe), it was after I posted my last and extended one person soliloquies on any subject are hard on both reader and writer. Thank you for updating the information and helping us get the word to the general public and government that this is, indeed, an issue of great importance to the entire community.

For what it's worth, storytellers and writers who want you to take their writing seriously, who don't have at least one bus story as well as a train story, aren't really worth listening to. It's not so much a question of priviledge, but rather how far they had to remove themself from the mainstream that leads their views to be suspect.

fischbobber's picture

In fairness, Greyhound wants to profit off of public investment.

I went down to check on the paasengers the other day when Greyhound failed to show up. While it's trtue the covered stops should be expanded and have solar panels to provide fan's and heaters (hopefully) during season,m some vending and a payphone and bathrooms, these amenities would really help the whole community. This is a big bus stop that is used by a demographic that walks to this stop. Basic amenities, affordable basic amenities I might add, are both called for and doable if this stop is going to be involved in long term public transportation services for Knoxville. I don't know what our aversion to public restrooms is in this city.

michael kaplan's picture

my letter to Erin Gill

Dear Erin Gill,

I read your Memorandum re: Greyhound dated November 29, 2022, and thank you for your work on this difficult and troubling issue.

Knoxvillians, along with travelers from other cities, use Greyhound, so the question of the safety and comfort of our own travelers is a Knoxville issue, not only an issue for FlixBus.

In my opinion, the city needs to apply for a federal grant to keep the downtown bus station open for hours when Greyhound passengers might use the toilets, vending machines and heated waiting area. If Flix can't provide for the safety and comfort of its passengers, then it should not be permitted to operate within Tennessee. That's an issue that should be taken up with the state.

As I recall, MegaBus, when it was operating in Knoxville, picked up and deposited passengers along the street outside the downtown bus station. I don't know how such service six times a day would disrupt the KAT operations.

fischbobber's picture

From the Sentinel...

jbr's picture

TDOT Intercity Bus Report

A little dated but a lot of info
TDOT Intercity Bus Report

michael kaplan's picture

FTA 'oversight'

from Tennessee Intercity Bus Needs Assessment, August 2017:

Based on the input from stakeholders, the public survey, the intercity bus data and propensity analysis, and the evaluation of transportation services provided by the HRAs, the conclusion is that the intercity bus service needs across Tennessee are being adequately met. This provides the
basis for TDOT to recommend the issuance of a Governor’s certification to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).

(The Federal Transit Administration provides financial and technical assistance to local public transit systems, including buses, subways, light rail, commuter rail, trolleys and ferries. FTA also oversees safety measures and helps develop next-generation technology research.)

The assessment was written in 2017, when Knoxville still had a Greyhound bus terminal.

So, the question is, why hasn't Knoxville applied to the FTA for funds to cover the city's expense in providing access to the downtown transit facility for extended hours to protect the safety and provide for personal needs of intercity travelers?

bizgrrl's picture

TN government leaders don't

TN government leaders don't want financial help with Medicaid and schools. Certainly mass transit is not on their radar. Unless their buds can make a buck it isn't needed in Tennessee.

jbr's picture

Napaway

Not sure if they will restart the route thru Knoxville. But looks pretty good in case it does.

Napaway

10+ HOURS on this FIRST CLASS Bus from DC to Nashville

michael kaplan's picture

response from the city

While the City/KAT does apply for Federal and State funding, that funding is exclusively for KAT (i.e. public transit) purposes. The FTA and US DOT only offer local funding support for public transit agencies (sometimes non-profits, but Greyhound is for-profit), so seeking funding from them to subsidize Greyhound or their use of a public facility is not something we can pursue. Other cities such as Chattanooga are in a similar position of providing a quality public transit option within their cities, but do not/cannot offer public financial subsidy of private enterprise.

However, as mentioned, the City is aware of Greyhound seeking out a safe and accessible location for its service beyond use of the KAT Kirkwood Superstop, and we understand that they are currently in progress of securing a location.

Carter Hall

Director of Strategic Policy & Programs

jbr's picture

Community leaders say Greyhound passengers waiting in the heat

In 2022, Greyhound sold its station at the corner of East Magnolia Avenue and Central Avenue. The Knoxville stop was moved three times that year. Now, it's located at the Knoxville Area Transit Superstop on Kirkwood Street. But East Knoxville community leaders say it needs to change because there are many problems with the current stop.

East Knoxville community leaders say Greyhound passengers are waiting in the heat, sometimes overnight

DCROSS1968's picture

For the life of me I don't

For the life of me I don't understand why they can't use the terminal downtown that KAT uses. To be dropping people off or picking them up from a bench is ridiculous. You would think a private company such as Greyhound could offer a better service.

yellowdog's picture

Greyhound's purpose is to make money.

And without competition, who or what could make them do anything? Capitalism at its best.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

TN Progressive

TN Politics

Knox TN Today

Local TV News

News Sentinel

    State News

    Wire Reports

    Lost Medicaid Funding

    To date, the failure to expand Medicaid/TennCare has cost the State of Tennessee ? in lost federal funding. (Source)

    Search and Archives