Greyhound & Ginther Dump on the Hilltop and Put Out the Welcome Mat to Bus Riders
Updated: Jul 7
COLUMBUS, OH - Several of Columbus' major news outlets reported this past week that Greyhound buses are leaving their central location from downtown Columbus and are opening a new terminal at 845 North Wilson Road in the Hilltop neighborhood.
A June 27 Dispatch story stated, “Greyhound’s new terminal, in the site of a former Shell station, features indoor and outdoor seating, ADA accessible restrooms, a ticket kiosk, and round-the-clock live ticket sales. The new site doesn’t offer food but is within walking distance of a Waffle House, Wendy's and McDonald’s… The Greyhound station Downtown has moved nearly 10 miles west of the city’s center.”
The decision to move the Greyhound terminal drew harsh criticism from numerous transit advocates. One stated, “Columbus is a joke of a city. The new location is wildly inaccessible without a car. Just getting to the new station via COTA will add an hour to any trip I take.”
Several Hilltop residents tell me the neighborhood was never informed that Greyhound was relocating to the former gas station, and that a zoning variance was required due to the change of use from a gas station to a bus terminal. But no zoning variance was ever brought to the attention of the Greater Hilltop Area Commission, yet zoning clearance was approved by the City of Columbus.
On Saturday July 1 and Sunday July 2, I visited the newly renovated Greyhound terminal. On Saturday afternoon about 15-20 people waited for a bus. Trash was everywhere on the parking lot and all around the outside seating area. Broken glass was on the parking lot. The one trash receptacle on site was overflowing. Small, galvanized buckets with sand in them were placed 75 feet away from the building for people’s cigarette butts. There was an out of service Greyhound bus with two broken windows parked on the edge of the grass along the street to the south of the terminal.
There is no indoor plumbing, nowhere to wash your hands, or get water to drink. There are no vending machine or Wi-Fi, and the seating is bare metal benches. The ADA accessible restrooms mentioned in the Dispatch story are actually two outdoor porta-toilets, both in deplorable condition. They obviously had not been serviced in some time, and the station just opened. There are no lockers. If a traveler needs to get something to eat at one of the three nearby fast-food restaurants, they must carry their personal belongings with them. To get to the Waffle House, one needs to cross four lanes of heavy traffic on North Wilson Road.
There is an unsheltered COTA bus stop next to the terminal. I was told that COTA stops once every hour.
On Sunday around 1pm, I talked to an older gentleman who traveled from Montreal, Canada since 5am Saturday morning. I asked him how many Greyhound stations he had stopped at and he replied, “more than 10.” When I asked him how he would rate this Greyhound terminal, he said “it is the worst.”
This is how our city welcomes those who travel by bus. This is failure in redeveloping the central downtown area for mass transit and lack of leadership and thoughtful planning that has plagued City Hall for years under Ginther's leadership. And this is how Andy Ginther fails a poor-middle class neighborhood. This is yet another example of how Andy Ginther fails to lead Columbus into an equitably developed 21st century city of accessible mobility for all.
As Mayor, my administration will work with Greyhound and COTA to correct this and other inequitable mobility solutions and properly welcome those who travel by bus to Columbus.
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