MEMPHIS (Nov. 8, 2011) – The sparkling new, environmentally friendly Airways Transit Center at the intersection of Airways Boulevard and Brooks Road that will serve as a terminal for both the Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) and Greyhound celebrated its grand opening at 10 this morning.
MATA is running fully from the Airways Transit Center, effective today and Greyhound will begin operations on Wednesday, November 9, with its first arrival at 6:40 a.m.
“This beautiful new facility represents a great step forward for MATA, as well as the City of Memphis,” said William Hudson, MATA president and general manager. “We are proud of the features and conveniences this building offers visitors and the enhanced routes we now can deliver to MATA customers.
“This new Airways Transit Facility is a plus for our ridership today and a glimpse of what is to come in the near future, with links to the Memphis International Airport nearby and intercity travel available in the same building.”
The 30,000-square-foot facility not only will serve as a hub and customer center for MATA buses, but also is the new Greyhound terminal, replacing its decades-old home on Union Avenue in downtown Memphis. Greyhound Lines Inc. has moved its entire operation from the downtown facility to this new site at 3033 Airways Boulevard.
MATA will own and operate the terminal; Greyhound Lines Inc. is the major tenant. Space also has been provided for the Memphis Police Department.
“We are so pleased to be a part of the Airways Transit Center,” said Myron Watkins, Greyhound vice president of Customer Experience. “Joining MATA in the intermodal facility opens up additional transportation options for our passengers, which is a true benefit. We look forward to serving as good community partners for many years to come.”
The total cost of the project, including property acquisition demolition and design is about $15 million. The construction cost is about $11.5 million. The terminal will employee between 30 and 40, which will include people from MATA, Greyhound and other tenants.
The new Airways Transit Center is now the major focal point for local transit service in the Whitehaven area. It will improve MATA’s ability to make efficient connections to Greyhound’s intercity bus services and serve as a major connection for bus passengers traveling east and west in the southern part of Memphis.
It also provides better connections to the Memphis International Airport which is less than two miles away. Bus activity may be expanded in the future with the addition of shuttle service to and from the airport.
Initially, about four routes and 200 MATA buses will enter and exit on a typical weekday. There are four canopy-covered bus berths on the site, allowing customers to exit the terminal and board a bus without getting wet during rainy weather.
There will be no bus maintenance or bus storage for MATA or Greyhound on the property. Refueling and washing Greyhound busses will take place in designated areas on the property .
It is estimated that Greyhound will have about 60 buses entering and exiting the terminal on a normal day. There are 16 canopy-covered bus berths, allowing passengers to move from inside the terminal to a bus completely under roof.
Greyhound Package Express will operate from this location as well, offering shipping services for Memphis-area residents.
There will be a food court area with both full-service and self-serve availability for customers. Hot food and beverages will be available, as well as vending machines.
The facility also houses a large passenger waiting lobby, restrooms, a MATA customer service center, Greyhound’s administrative offices, driver operations area and meeting rooms.
The project is seeking Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification through the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). If successful, the project will become one of the first public LEED certified buildings in Memphis one of the first and nationally for Greyhound.
Designed to be as environmentally friendly as possible, the project features flooring made from recycled glass, a roof designed to reflect heat during the summer, landscaping that requires small amounts of water, low-flow lavatories and waster closets, and interior lighting controlled by sensors to reduce usage.
Situated on about nine acres, the facility will offer 70 spaces of free customer and employee parking. There is room for expanded parking, if the demand grows. Space is also provided for taxis.
The project was designed by brg3s architects and built by Zellner Construction Services. The City of Memphis and SSR Engineers provided construction management services.
The project includes public art that was procured through a collaborative partnership with the Memphis Urban Art Commission. The art is a montage that hangs from the ceiling and features displays of unique shapes and colors and greets visitors as they enter the front entrance. The artwork was created by Walter Kravitz, the Professor of Painting and Drawing at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Kravitz is nationally noted for his work involving public commissions and exhibitions.
The Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) is largest transit operator in the state of Tennessee, and is fully committed to providing top customer service in every aspect of its operation from trolleys to regular fixed route service. Its web site is designed to provide more in-depth information on MATA and its services. Each weekday, MATA transports nearly 40,000 riders throughout Memphis and the surrounding areas on 244 transit vehicles including paratransit vans, vintage rail trolleys and conventional accessible buses. MATA serves four cities in Shelby County and West Memphis in Arkansas.
Greyhound is the largest North American provider of intercity bus transportation, serving more than 3,800 destinations across the continent. The company also provides Greyhound PackageXpress (GPX) and charter services. For fare and schedule information and to buy tickets, call 1-800-231-2222 or visit the Web site at www.greyhound.com. Follow Greyhound on Twitter for the latest news and travel deals - http://twitter.com/GreyhoundBus.