Is starting a stop the beginning of the end for Greyhound service in Charlottesville? Not quite yet
Over the past couple of weeks, community members have been surprised and befuddled to see groups of luggage-toting people on the Ridge Street sidewalk near the Music Resource Center.
Recently — though it is not clear exactly when — the Greyhound bus station on West Main Street closed, and the company replaced it with a bus stop. Both the West Main exit and Ridge Street entrance to the station are fenced off. The stop, which is indicated by a sign on a lamppost, offers no shelter from the elements, no restroom, no ticket counter or kiosk, no opportunities for food or water, no on-site employees to offer help or answer questions.
On recent hot days, folks waiting for their buses have been standing in a sliver of tree shade near the stop, hoping to find respite from the hot air and the heat radiating off the concrete parking lot.
In early December, NBC29 reported that the Greyhound station building and parking lot were up for sale, and CBRE real estate agent Jason Hetherington told them that a deal was in the works at the time, estimating that the property would sell for “somewhere slightly under $4 million.”
Seven months later, the “For Sale” banner is still on the building, visible from West Main Street. Charlottesville Tomorrow has reached out to Hetherington (whose name is on the banner) about the status of any sale, as well as a market price, and at publication time had not received a reply.
A number of community members have reached out to Charlottesville Tomorrow asking if Greyhound might use the city’s Downtown Transit Station, which currently only serves Charlottesville Area Transit buses. We have reached out to the city to ask but have not yet heard back.
Crystal Booker, a senior communications specialist with Greyhound Lines Inc., who responded to Charlottesville Tomorrow’s inquiry about the future of a Greyhound station — not a stop — in Charlottesville, wrote in an email, “While we are unable to share details at this time, we can confirm Greyhound is currently exploring options to relocate its Charlottesville terminal.” She offered for us to “check back at a later date for updates on this potential move.”
But until then, here’s what folks should know about the Greyhound bus stop:
- It’s located at 105 Ridge St., Charlottesville, VA 22902. That’s the address for the Music Resource Center, but the stop is technically at the edge of the parking lot that serves the MRC;
- Tickets are not sold at this location and must be purchased online, via the Greyhound mobile app, or at a full-service terminal (the closest ones are in Lynchburg and Richmond). Customers can also purchase a ticket via phone for a $20 fee;
- Customers with disabilities can call 1-800-752-4841 with questions; this number leads to an ADA travel assistance group;
- A call to the customer service number that pops up in a web search for “Greyhound customer service,” (214) 849-8966, goes to an automated message saying this number is no longer in service and instead directs callers to the Greyhound website;
- Instead, passengers can call 1-800-231-2222 for information (in English and Spanish) on schedules, tracking a bus, checking fares, finding stops and stations, etc.
Community members who don’t have access to a personal computer or smartphone, the internet or a printer can use computers to purchase and print tickets at any of the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library branches, a JMRL librarian confirmed. Printing at the library costs $ a page for black and white, which is suitable for a ticket printout, and $ for color. The library branches are currently open and, while masks are requested, they are not required for entry.