Yakima Greyhound Stop Being MovedPosted: February 8, 2012
Much like yesterday’s post on questions of the Yakima-Ellensburg Commuter’s legality arising, this post originates from a simple tweet.
One of the reporters for local TV station KAPP (Yakima) and KVEW (Tri-Cities), David Mance, posted a tweet about how the Greyhound station in Yakima would be moving from its current downtown location to the AM/PM gas station and convenience store at the corner of Fruitvale Blvd and 40th Ave, effective starting February 14th.
Let’s get the obvious issue out of the way first…
The current downtown location has a ticket office, passenger waiting area, bus bays, etc. It’s in a central location, near the convention center and multiple dining/shopping options. And did I mention it’s smack dab downtown? Plus, the Yakima Transit Center is just 3 blocks away, offering connections to all Yakima Transit routes (including service to Selah and Ellensburg) and the Yakima-Prosser Community Connector.
The new location has zero available passenger amenities on site (though there are several restaurants in the vicinity). Presumably, ticketing will be available inside the convenience store, though I don’t know what sort of arrangement will be in place with the store. (Possible cut of ticket sales?) Lastly, just two bus routes (Route 7 and Route 9) offer service to the location.
Suffice to say, this is a bit of a downgrade in station quality for the residents of Yakima. (…which is not to say Greyhound is a high-class monocle wearing spectacle, but you get the idea.)
There’s not much information coming out about this, so I’m left guessing the reasons behind this move. I’m sure part of it is a staffing issue. Currently, the Yakima Greyhound station is open from 9AM to 12:30PM and 2:30PM to 5:30PM daily. (Only the evening eastbound trip arrives when the station is closed.) I don’t know if the station is staffed directly by Greyhound or an agent representing them, but it’s no secret the company is looking for ways to cut costs where it can. It may have something to do with the building itself. I have never set foot in the building myself (I never stepped off the bus when riding Greyhound to/from Seattle), but it’s pretty obvious the facility is ready for a remodel. According to Greyhound spokesman Timothy Stokes in Cincinnati, Greyhound does own the station and will move to sell it after moving the stop to the AM/PM. He also said that “the move will improve service because the market offers food around the clock and the freeway is nearby.”
The thing that bugs me about this is what I see as a growing trend for Greyhound stops in this part of the country. On the Seattle-Stanfield OR route alone, only the Seattle and Pasco stops will have dedicated facilities after the Yakima stop is moved next week. In Ellensburg, Sunnyside, and Stanfield, the stops are all located at truck stops/gas stations on the fringe of town right next to an interstate exit. For intercity buses to be successful, passengers need to have easy access to them.
Curious what others thought of this move, I combed the web searching for reactions. These are just some of them:
“Too bad. My favorite part of Greyhound is unique vintage bus stops like Yakima’s.”
“All the things are use to know in Yakima are slowly going away.”
“Great…another empy building downtown!!”
“Great news for the taggers.”
“That is a better location. You could get shot waiting for a bus where it is now.”
I think I’ve made it clear what I think of this move. What do you think? Leave me a comment below, or send me a tweet to @ziggzagzac.