Friday, February 23 , 2018, 2:23 am | Fair 47º



Greyhound Shifts Gears in Move to New Bus Station on Chapala Street

After more than 70 years on Carrillo Street, the company will operate out of its new location beginning Thursday

UCSB junior Cristal Chavez was patiently waiting Wednesday for one of the last Greyhound buses to ever depart from the station at 34 W. Carrillo St. station in Santa Barbara.

To get back home to Corona, Chavez said she usually takes the Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District’s Line 24x rather than the 6 or 11 from UCSB to the Transit Center because it’s about 40 minutes faster. Then, she hops onto a bus at the Greyhound station next to the Transit Center that takes her to North Hollywood, then to a connector bus to Union Station and another bus to Corona.

The sociology major used to take an Amtrak train, but she said it was about $10 more expensive, and getting to lower State Street was more stressful.

“It’s kind of a hike to get down there, and I know there’s the trolley but I have all my luggage with me,” Chavez said. “With the Greyhound, the MTD is right here, so if the MTD was late and it’s dark outside, hiking down there would be more stressful. But if the MTD is late, I know I can pop on the Greyhound next door.”

But Wednesday was the last day Greyhound will operate on the corner of Chapala and Carrillo streets. For the first time in more than 70 years, the bus station is moving.

The city landmark has adorned the familiar Greyhound neon sign at 34 W. Carrillo St. since 1940, according to a staff report. On Thursday, it will take over the former Open Air Bicycles location near the Amtrak station on lower State Street at 224 Chapala St., which is owned by the city. Services aren’t expected to change.

Although Amtrak has its own buses, Redevelopment Agency Supervisor Marck Aguilar previously told Noozhawk that Greyhound will serve a different clientele.

“It will provide access for bus traffic and hopefully create a vibrant multi-modal transportation hub,” Aguilar said.

At the current location, according to Goleta resident Henry Massy, it would take some buses up to 10 minutes just to leave the station during peak driving hours. He said the new location makes sense.

“If they provide some kind of a shuttle from the Greyhound station near Amtrak to the Transit Center, it should be easy,” Massy said.

The familiar Greyhound neon sign at 34 W. Carrillo St. will be destroyed to protect the company's trademark.
The familiar Greyhound neon sign at 34 W. Carrillo St. will be destroyed to protect the company’s trademark. (Alex Kacik / Noozhawk photo)

Many UCSB students like Chavez use MTD to get to the Greyhound station, especially during the holidays.

In December, Aguilar said MTD is working with Greyhound to determine how to accommodate those needs in terms of the new location. Aguilar said Wednesday that there are no further updates at this point, and neither MTD nor Greyhound officials returned Noozhawk’s requests for comment.

MTD’s Web site hosts a list of proposed changes, but it doesn’t include line 24x, and the changes to 6 and 11 do not include a route to lower State Street.

“If they do have an MTD bus that goes down there, it would make it easier. If the 24x could have that route it would only feel like one trip from school to the Greyhound,” Chavez said. “If they don’t add another route, it will be very inconvenient.”

But even with an additional MTD route, traveling to lower State Street instead of popping next door will still take more time, Chavez said.

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 staff 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. Greyhound owned its station until a 1983 strike set it back; it then sold the property and leased part of it back.

It’s not known what will happen to the Greyhound location at 34 W. Carrillo St.; the building also hosts an art gallery and a food commissary. Aguilar said the neon sign will be destroyed to protect Greyhound’s trademark.

MTD will hold a series of public meetings at the Goleta Valley Community Center, 5679 Hollister Ave., to gather feedback regarding proposed changes to routes and schedules set to take effect Aug. 27.

Chavez said she hopes MTD values its riders’ needs.

“It’s not just about money, energy and time; it’s mentally stressful,” she said. “I hope they respect the students’ needs.”

Noozhawk business writer Alex Kacik can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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