Oklahoma City Council approves bus station move amid debate

The Oklahoma City Council voted 8-1 to approve a permit allowing Greyhound to move its bus terminal to Reno and Martin Luther King avenues east of downtown. But the debate highlighted growing divisions on the council.
BY MICHAEL KIMBALL mkimball@opubco.com Published: November 14, 2012
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But the complicated process of buying, designing and integrating the transit hub is the reason why a temporary move for Greyhound out of downtown is the best way forward, Salyer and others argued. The city and transit groups will have more time.

“I really don't think we missed an opportunity. I think we've perhaps gained one,” she said. “We are certainly eight years away from a substantial intermodal transit hub in downtown. We don't know what that looks like yet.”

Greyhound will be at the temporary site, approved in an 8-1 vote with only Shadid dissenting, for at least eight years. Company officials previously told the council they planned to stay for at least 10 years, but they shortened the low end of their estimate in a nod to the council's wishes for flexibility and the earliest possible move to the hub.

Still, Shadid contended city officials should have seen this coming and done more to hustle along the transit hub, pointing out Greyhound committed to $800,000 in improvements for the new temporary site.

“That's $800,000 that we have lost as potential investment into that site (for the MAPS 3 transit hub),” he said.

Shadid and White have been the most outspoken council members in asserting that a focus on the convention center and other development projects can result in missed opportunities for more broadly popular efforts like the transit projects.

“It isn't like we woke up this morning thinking that we were going to do a hub,” White said. “We've been talking about that for several years now, and that interstate bus transportation was going to be part of it.”