EL CENTRO — With the impending closure of the Greyhound bus terminal at 460 W. State St. in El Centro, city officials said a ticket kiosk will open at the El Centro intermodal transportation center at Seventh and State streets and bus service will move down the block.
“One of the models Greyhound has been using in various locations is partner up with a community to rent space. Greyhound approached El Centro about renting space from us. The city owns the piece of property where the bus transfer station is at,” El Centro City Manager Marcela Piedra said in a June 9 interview with this newspaper.
In January 2014, the city opened its transportation center, which was built by the Imperial County Transportation Commission in conjunction with the city. ICTC bus services transfer out of that location, which would now share the use of some six bus bays with Greyhound’s service.
News about Greyhound’s terminal closure was made by El Centro City Engineer Abraham Campos during a May 28 City Council meeting.
A specific date for the closure of Greyhound’s old facility was not available as of deadline, but city officials said June 8 the city did approve Greyhound’s lease of a ticket station on the town square in the 600 block of Main Street backing onto State Street, the location of the transfer station.
Greyhound will build a ticket kiosk near the already existing bus stop, Piedra said.
“The reason why the Imperial County Transportation Commission assisted with the construction of the bus station is that they also operate and maintain the city’s bus lines running out of the same location and that is why we had to have their consensus.” Piedra said.
The ICTC and Greyhound will be operating concurrently out of the same location, Piedra said, and that neither of their operations would be interrupted during the process of Greyhound’s move.
“ICTC and Greyhound will operate at the same location. We approved that lease May 19. We wanted to approve this agreement with Greyhound to avoid having an interruption of service,” said Piedra.
Within the bus transfer station in a small booth, a ticket agent will operate a small one-person ticket window, Piedra said.
“Greyhound is leasing that small ticket booth from the city. The money we will receive as a result of this lease will be used towards maintenance and operation costs from the bus stop,” said Piedra.
When asked about concerns for safety and vandalism caused by the rampant homeless problem in that part of the city, Piedra said the city has had a security guard in the park during business hours for the past two and a half years.
“Putting a security guard in that area has really helped with the homeless issue during the daytime and has really helped the operation in that area. We started the program that placed a security guard in that area as a pilot program to see if the security service would help us in that area,” said Piedra. Rental income made by the city from leasing the kiosk to Greyhound will help cover security costs and other expenses related to running the bus stop, Piedra said.
This story is featured in the Jun 11, 2020 e-Edition.