Medford's new Greyhound bus station was unveiled Wednesday at the Rogue Valley Transportation District's Front Street Station, establishing an intermodal transportation hub in downtown.
"This really is a great step in the livability of our city," Mayor Gary Wheeler said during the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
With the cost of fuel and concerns about global warming, public transportation "is of paramount importance," Wheeler said.
Replacing the longtime Greyhound location at 212 N. Bartlett St., the new station is scheduled to open Oct. 1, with the first bus headed south to Sacramento at 6:15 a.m.
The central location will make transferring between the local and regional bus services easier for travelers, who previously had to walk through downtown to transfer. The site also will be a stop for a shuttle that takes Amtrak passengers to and from Klamath Falls.
"I think it's more convenient than the old station, and everyone knows where it is," said Amara Leventin, 17, of Medford, as she hopped on a RVTD bus. "It's very nice compared to the old one and a safer location for kids."
The 3,000-square-foot station was designed by architect Brian Hawkins in a style reminiscent of the 1910 railroad depot that is now Porter's Restaurant on North Front Street. It features a sloped roof and stucco, brick and tile exterior. The design is intended to enhance and preserve the historic character of the city.
It features rest rooms, a lobby, ticket counter, luggage area and space for vending machines.
RVTD and the Medford Urban Renewal Agency teamed up to build the $950,000 depot as a part of MURA's purchase of the old Bartlett station from Greyhound Lines Inc.
Construction by Adroit Construction Inc. of Ashland began at the end of April and concluded Tuesday, just in time for Wednesday's ribbon cutting by the mayor, MURA board Chairman Greg Yechout, RVTD board Chairwoman Connie Skillman and Shanna Kilpatrick, Greyhound district manager.
The new station is owned by RVTD and will be leased to Greyhound. Greyhound has taken out a 10-year lease.
The urban renewal agency bought the Bartlett station property to incorporate it into The Commons, a joint nine-block redevelopment project by MURA, the city of Medford and Lithia Motors Inc. The project has been on hold since summer because of the sputtering economy.
"The Commons was the catalyst and vehicle to get the Greyhound project completed," said Jackie Rodgers, MURA director. An intermodal transportation hub was one of MURA's goals as a part of downtown's revitalization plan as well as RVTD's master plan, Rodgers said.
About 34,000 people traveled in and out of Medford's Greyhound station last year, Kilpatrick said. The station offers 10 daily departures with connections to cities across the nation.
A round-trip ticket to Sacramento on Greyhound costs about $120 and up.
Reach reporter Paris Achen at 541-776-4459 or email@example.com.