The Greyhound bus station in Santa Barbara is set to move for the first time in more than 70 years.
The city landmark has adorned the familiar Greyhound neon sign at 34 W. Carrillo St. since 1940, according to a staff report. It soon will take over the former Open Air Bicycles location near the Amtrak station on lower State Street, which is owned by the city.
The Santa Barbara City Council approved the measure in October, and Greyhound expects to move to 224 Chapala St. when it finishes its improvements around January, according to Redevelopment Agency Supervisor Marck Aguilar.
Although Amtrak has its own buses, he said the Greyhound transportation will serve a different clientele.
“It will provide access for bus traffic and hopefully create a vibrant multi-modal transportation hub,” Aguilar said.
Many UCSB and international students use the Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District to get to the Greyhound station, especially during the holidays, Aguilar said, adding that MTD is working with Greyhound to determine how to accommodate those needs in terms of the new location.
Greyhound signed a 10-year lease with two five-year options at $4,000 per month and a 12 percent increase after five years, according to the report. It will lease half of the 2,800-square-foot former Open Air building; the use of the other half is to be determined.
“It’s an ideal location for them,” Aguilar said.
But UCSB international student Alejandro Vergara disagreed. He has been studying at UCSB for more than a year and uses Greyhound’s services frequently.
“This location (Chapala Street) works perfectly for people who travel like me and use the MTD and Greyhound,” he said.
Ten buses are scheduled daily with about 4,000 passengers transported to and from Santa Barbara each month, according to the staff report. Services aren’t expected to change.
Buses would exit the freeway at Garden Street, access the site from the East Montecito Street entrance and exit at State Street.
The location near Amtrak used to be a good place for a business like Open Air Bicycles, owner Ed Brown said.
“In the old days it was the place to be. There was a lot of traffic coming into the parking lot, it was a gold mine,” he said. “But since they built a parking lot and a kiosk around it, that cut off the business from foot traffic.”
Greyhound officials could not be reached Thursday for comment.