Ginther Takes No Accountability For Greyhound Relocation, Unsupportive of Union Bus Drivers
COLUMBUS, OH – When Andy Ginther’s office was asked by WSYX-TV on July 3rd to respond to the deplorable conditions of the new Greyhound bus terminal on North Wilson Road, his office stated, “ Greyhound is private property and that issue should be brought to the Greyhound company.”
That statement couldn’t be further from the truth. Officials of Ginther’s Development Department signed off on a Zoning Clearance and allowed this facility to open and operate without plumbing, one trash receptacle, improper maneuverability for buses, no lockers for passengers baggage, no vending machines, and no on-site security.
A lack of indoor plumbing means there is nowhere to wash your hands, or to get water to drink. There are no vending machines, no Wi-Fi, and the seating is bare metal benches. The ADA accessible restrooms mentioned in a Columbus Dispatch story are actually two outdoor porta-toilets, both in deplorable condition and have not been serviced in some time. 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. It's no wonder that Ginther continues to address our homeless crisis by bulldozing encampments and creating virtually no transitional housing.
Residents of the Hilltop were informed prior to the terminal being constructed, that it would serve as “overflow” for Barons Bus Incorporated. According to the Franklin County Auditors website, the terminal's parcel is owned by Wilson 845 LLC who purchased it in April 2023 for $650,000. Wilson 845 LLC is Baron’s Bus Inc. Greyhound does not own the terminal as was incorrectly reported by some of the local media.
There is an unsheltered COTA bus stop next to the terminal. COTA stops once every hour. Local residents have reported that bus passengers have been seen sleeping in a nearby vacant lot while waiting for their bus. This is how our city welcomes those who travel by bus.
A petition has been circulating on social media urging COTA to lease the former Greyhound terminal once again at 111 East Town Street to Greyhound. The petition reads in part: “Greyhound's presence in downtown Columbus not only served as a vital transportation hub but also contributed significantly to our local economy by creating jobs within the community. The sudden displacement of Greyhound has resulted in job losses for many individuals who relied on employment opportunities provided by the company.”
Greyhound is signatory with the Amalgamated Transit Union. Ginther, who claims to be pro-union, apparently could care less about union bus drivers and a union that doesn’t fill his campaign coffers.
Allowing this bus terminal to operate in these conditions, let alone in this location, is failure in redeveloping the central downtown area for mass transit and shows a clear lack of leadership or thoughtful planning, and has plagued City Hall for years under Ginther’s leadership. 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.