KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Months after Greyhound Bus line’s classic station on Magnolia Avenue was sold, the spot for passengers to catch a bus keeps changing.
The stop has moved from a gas station to a deli and now to a spot on Magnolia Avenue after worries about following city zoning rules.
100 Kirkwood Street, the newest Greyhound Bus Lines newest stop in Knoxville, coming after two previous stop locations at the Marathon gas station on North Cherry Street, and most recently the Top Market and Deli on N. Sixth Avenue. The bus stop on Kirkwood has been running for less than 24 hours.
“Greyhound had listed this Kirkwood address as their new bus stop location,” 6th District City Council Member Gwen McKenzie said. “I was totally unaware, so we did some investigating and talking to some business owners and there were a lot of complaints that Ms. Finch was receiving as well as myself.”
McKenzie says she has been talking to Greyhound about why those other locations did not work and what is needed for a better option.
“What would be needed would be an indoor facility with male and female bathrooms, a heated area and cooling in the summer,” McKenzie said. “Just a safe space like what they provided previously and what they provide in other cities.”
This new stop doesn’t have facilities and as for the zoning rules, the city wants the stop to not be near where people live. Business owner and community activist Cynthia Finch agree that a better option is needed.
“Everybody needs to be concerned about this issue as it relates to a safe place for our citizens,” Finch said. “Not only for the bus travelers but also the people who live in this neighborhood. It’s just not an ideal bus drop location for the people who are traveling to see their loved ones.”
The city did offer the use of the main KAT bus station downtown which was ultimately denied.
On Monday, November 28, Greyhound shared the following statement with WATE:
As an industry standard, bus operators conduct service from a unique mix of locations including owned stations, transit centers, gas stations, convenience stores, restaurants, community landmarks and more. This operational model holds true for Greyhound as well across our network, so we can continue to provide this essential service to the Knoxville community.Sean Hanft, PR Manager for Greyhound Lines, Inc.
Business and building owners are encouraged to reach out to Robin Neal at (865) 407-8068 to talk about the potential use of those spaces and if there are any concerns with the current bus stop.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated to include a statement from Greyhound.