MDOT: Greyhound will stay in Detroit spot for now
Detroit — It appears that Greyhound will not have to vacate its downtown/Corktown home next month.
Officials had planned to move Greyhound to Detroit's Amtrak station in New Center after visiting the site Monday but nixed the plan on Tuesday after tests determined the move would be too complicated, said MDOT spokesman Michael Frezell.
MDOT originally requested Greyhound move out in June, providing the company with a 60-day notice and set Oct. 13 as the date for the bus company to leave its location on Howard Street near the Lodge, Frezell said.
Officials with MDOT, Greyhound, Indian Trails and Amtrak met Monday at the Detroit Amtrak station on Baltimore Avenue, Frezell said.
The following day, MDOT, which owns the property, decided it will delay selling the Greyhound station for an undetermined length of time.
"Greyhound was resistant to moving out of the station, and we had offered them to move to the New Center Amtrak Station," Frezell told The Detroit News Thursday. "When we met with them, they did present plans on how it would impact their operations and how difficult it would be."
The state conducted standard intercity coach tests, where they looped around to see how buses would maneuver and determined the New Center site did not have enough space, Frezell said.
"There are three handicap spaces in front of the station that we'd have to compromise just to back up. We didn't think it was feasible and didn't want to compromise the safety of our arriving and departing passengers," he said.
The plan was impossible if it meant reducing parking, said Marc Magliari, spokesman for Amtrak.
"There's no desire to reduce (handicap) or Amtrak customer parking," Magliari said. "We fully support multimodal facilities. That's why our Dearborn and Detroit locations have been so successful."
The ideal site would have to serve three trains each way every day, Magliari said. He attributed Amtrak's successful riding numbers to free parking for customers. Most popular stations are Dearborn (72,300 riders in 2018) and Detroit (65,500 in 2018), he said.
Frezell said the October deadline rushed all parties to the table. But MDOT will give the City of Detroit the first option to rent the site, and it will continue discussing with the city to determine if a joint project is possible.
And compared to rents in posh downtown locales, Greyhound, based out of Dallas, appears to be getting a deal.
Frezell said it only pays $700 a month for the lease.
"The money goes back into the facility for maintenance," he said. "Things take time ... but their private company can move anywhere they want. We could only provide what's available."
Greyhound did not respond to a phone call or email for comment.
The Howard Street site has been home to Greyhound since the 1990s and used to house Michigan State Police and MDOT offices upstairs, which is now vacant. It sits on about two acres and is about 31,000 square feet.
Frezell said it would cost millions to demolish or remodel the structure.
"MDOT will continue to do the necessary maintenance to the Howard Street facility to keep it safe, functional and comfortable for the intercity passengers," he said.