OH: Greyhound, Barons likely relocating to RTA’s Stephanie Tubbs Jones Transit Center, following sale of historic station

April 12, 2024
The transit center is just over half a mile from the existing Greyhound station, 1465 Chester Ave., which was purchased by Playhouse Square last week.

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Bus passengers displaced by the sale of Cleveland’s historic Greyhound bus station shouldn’t have to move too far, according to a deal under consideration by the bus company and Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority.

Cleveland-based Barons Bus, which operates in partnership with Greyhound, is in discussions with RTA to lease a portion of the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Transit Center, at East 21st Street and Prospect Avenue, on the campus of Cleveland State University.

The transit center is just over half a mile from the existing Greyhound station, 1465 Chester Ave., which was purchased by Playhouse Square last week.

RTA spokesman Robert Fleig said Barons, in partnership with Greyhound, “is completing due diligence” on a deal that would allow the bus companies to use a portion of the transit center for intercity bus passengers.

RTA’s Puritas Station on Cleveland’s West Side, also discussed as a possible alternate Greyhound station, is no longer under consideration, he said.

Fleig added that he was unaware of any of the potential deal’s details, nor when any relocation of passengers might occur.

John Goebel, vice president of Barons Bus, declined to comment on any pending deal. A spokesperson for Greyhound also declined to provide details “as conversations are still in progress.” She added, “We extend our appreciation to Playhouse Square, as the new owners of the property, for their partnership as we solidify our future plans.”

Greyhound’s parent company sold the Cleveland landmark in early 2023 to a real estate investment firm, which sold it to Playhouse Square earlier this month.

The sleek station, a striking Streamline Moderne design, opened in 1948 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.

Playhouse Square has not said what it intends to do with the building, although the most-discussed option includes some kind of mixed-use development, with a combination of housing, dining, entertainment, retail and other components.

“We look forward to sharing our plans for the space when they are solidified,” said Cindi Szymanski, Playhouse Square’s director of communications. “In the meantime, we are committed to respecting the historic integrity of the building and to working with the city of Cleveland and Greyhound to ensure the transition to Greyhound’s new base of operations occurs on a timetable that works for all parties.”

Cleveland City Council member Brian Kazy, who represents Ward 16 on the city’s West Side, said it makes sense to keep the bus station downtown.

The Puritas Station, located just north of Cleveland Hopkins International Airport at W. 150 Street and I-71, is in Kazy’s ward. It doesn’t have public restrooms and isn’t close to amenities that waiting passengers might want or need, he said.

“It makes more sense to put it in the central business district as opposed to so far away from the hub of the city,” he said.

The Stephanie Tubbs Jones Transit Center, which opened in 2010, features 12 bus bays and a 2,000-square-foot waiting area for riders, including restrooms. Two bus routes originate at the center, including the Cleveland State Line, which travels from downtown to the western suburbs, and the Strongsville Park-N-Ride line.

In addition, the center is relatively close to restaurants and other businesses along nearby Euclid Avenue.

Megabus, the discount intercity bus company, used the transit center for passenger drop-offs and pickups for several years before exiting the Cleveland market in 2020.

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