Monday, April 16, 2007

Stop in the name of biz

I've inherited the Greyhound Bus ticket agency in Carbondale, since I knew the guy who was running it, and I used to work for Greyhound when it was located in the space adjacent to the Bike Surgeon, and the bus stopped in front of Amtrak.

For the past year or two, the station has been located on Washington Street, one block north of Tres Hombres, inside the Big Muddy Independent Media Center -- but the bus still stops in front of Amtrak.

Starting April 30, the ticket office will be located across the street from the BMIC, sharing the "Urban Wear" building (where the Cadillac Lounge used to be).

To better serve the customers, I'd like the bus to stop there -- which requires a "special use permit" from the City. Last week, I submitted an application, including a narrative behind the request:
The history of Greyhound bus stations and stops has been checkered, moving from spot to spot over the years. For a while it was on "the Island" where the Indian restaurant is, then it was in the Yellow Cab building, and for awhile adjacent to the Bike Surgeon, where the bus stopped across the street.

Most recently it hopped from 201 N. Washington (where Town Square Market is) to the Big Muddy Independent Media Center location.

And beginning April 30 -- and for a long, long time -- across the street from the BMIC at 215 N. Washington St. adjacent to "Urban Wear" boutique.

But the bus still stops in front of Amtrak, several blocks away, which has resulted in unwanted interactions between confused travelers and annoyed, but helpful, merchants.

The previous agent never bothered to file the necessary paperwork to move the bus stop, but doing so will help revitalize the Town Square district by bringing more people to the area. Greyhound passengers come from all walks of life, and from many distant towns. Often they will dine or shop at local stores if time permits.

Currently, Greyhound stops three times a day in Carbondale. Morning (10:40 a.m.) early evening, 8:55 p.m., and late evening 10:55 p.m.

Typically, each stop is 5-10 minutes.

Only two (possibly 3) parking spaces on the street would be temporarily occupied for no more than one-half hour total per day.
Special use permits require that a legal notice in the Southern Illinoisan (why not the Carbondale Times?) and expensive snail mail to properties within 250 feet. Plus the city filing fee.

The planning commission will consider this request on May 2. Two weeks later the City Council will vote on it on May 15. This is the same day the victors in tomorrow's election will be sworn-in.

Whoever is voted to Council will probably support this win-win-win proposal.

I could go on about the bus biz, but this is a good place to stop.


Anonymous said...

Probably because the Times doesn't publish on as regular a schedule as the Illinoisan does. The Times has shut down publication over the Christmas holidays while the Illinoisan keeps publishing day in and day out.

Regarding the bus station, I hope you get the drop off point moved up there. Ideally, the ticket office would be located close to where the drop off point is now, but, with the exception of the Varsity, there's no open space nearby.

Hey, there's an idea. Buy the Varsity and turn it into the Greyhound station with a snack bar. I hear Kearasotes is only asking $500,000 for the building now.

PeterG said...

Dave and I were informed that "The Carbondale Times" is now the paper of record in Carbondale. They took the prize from the Southern Illinoisan recently.

It is amazing how much you can learn at a Cole Victory party isn't it.