Jan 11, 2024 - Transit

Detroit Greyhound station's move paused as others close nationwide

Detroit's Greyhound station at 1001 Howard St.

Detroit's Greyhound station at 1001 Howard St. Photo: Joe Guillen/Axios

A plan to move Detroit's old Greyhound station to a new location in New Center is on hold while other big cities are witnessing their stations close altogether.

Driving the news: MDOT has paused plans to move Greyhound bus services to a new intermodal facility at the city's Amtrak terminal in light of "recent discussion and coordination for the bus facilities within the city," spokesperson Michael Frezell wrote to Axios in an email Wednesday evening.

Why it matters: Greyhound has long been the brand most closely associated with intercity U.S. bus travel.

  • Greyhound's passengers, who tend to be younger and lower-income than travelers using other methods, now must wait at improvised outdoor pickup locations in other cities or travel to less convenient locations to catch their bus.

The big picture: An investment firm infamous for acquiring and gutting American newspapers snapped up Greyhound stations from coast to coast in 2022, Axios Cleveland reports.

  • Chicago's station, serving about a half-million travelers annually, is on the market while stations in Philadelphia, Columbus, Tampa, Fla., and other cities have closed, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Zoom in: The local station at 1001 Howard St. near the Lodge Freeway wasn't among 33 Greyhound hubs bought by Twenty Lake Holdings LLC, a subsidiary of Alden Global Capital.

  • The state has long owned the facility, which is more than 30 years old.
  • The Detroit bus station's future is uncertain. MDOT said it will not start marketing it until a new facility is up and running.

Flashback: MDOT received offers and considered selling the station in 2019 to a developer for retail, parking or housing, then announced plans in 2021 to include Greyhound bus service at the conceptual New Center facility.

What they're saying: "The building on Howard Street needs work and we don't want to invest in it anymore," Frezell told Axios a day before the agency provided an update that the New Center proposal is on hold.

Between the lines: The proposed Detroit New Center Intermodal Facility would be more centrally located and enable riders to connect to other modes of transportation, including city buses and the QLine. The design for the project was expected to be finalized this year.

Zoom out: The closure and relocation of Greyhound terminals in other cities have been problematic — the Louisville hub relocated with no notice to passengers to a temporary site in a strip mall a mile away.

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