ITHACA, N.Y. — The Ithaca Bus Terminal at 710 W. State St., originally slated to close at the end of July, will remain open another month while the city determines what to do.
Though the operators of the Greyhound bus station, David and Brenda Wallace, had originally planned to retire sometime in July, they have decided to stay until the lease on the property ends Aug. 31. The 2,200 square-foot station is owned by Tompkins Trust Company, who purchased it in the 1990s.
According to JoAnn Cornish, Director of Planning and Economic Development for the City of Ithaca, the city is trying to relocate the buses while a new station is constructed, potentially partnering with TCAT.
The city is trying to locate suitable real estate downtown for a potential new station, but there are some challenges. One idea that is being explored is consolidating TCAT operations at the Green Street Station to include Greyhound, Shortline and others.
However, Patty Poist,communications and marketing manager for TCAT, said that idea is only a suggest at this point. “Traffic is intense and there is a dearth of parking spaces, which we need for our transfer cars in addition to our buses,” she said.
Though the Ithaca Bus Terminal will be closing, TCAT will serve that stop (Routes 14 and 14S) in the future, as it is used by many non-bus terminal users, Poist said.
Cornish said the biggest challenge is working with the precious real estate available in Downtown Ithaca.
“For the long-haul buses, they have to load and unload suitcases, people have to be dropped off and picked up; we need to accommodate those people downtown,” Cornish said.
Addressing concerns about potential delays in bus schedules, Cornish said, “There shouldn’t be any delays, in any of the services. They (TCAT and Greyhound) are all working together to try and maintain the schedule. The schedule may be adjust slightly to ease up on conflicts, with buses vying for space. But otherwise we should not see any breaks in service.”
Kelsey O’Connor contributed to this report.