Summary

Chicago is about to lose its only downtown intercity bus terminal, the Greyhound Station at 630 W. Harrison Street. If the City doesn’t act quickly, this irreplaceable transportation asset could be subject to demolition as early as this fall.

Chicago’s Plan for Intercity Buses is Unacceptable.

Two Trailways and two Greyhound buses are parked at Chicago's Intercity bus station.

Easy access is one of Chicago’s great competitive advantages. People can get to and around the city without a car. We should be doubling down on this advantage in every way possible. And one important way is to make sure that intercity bus travel is convenient and affordable.

Yet Chicago is about to lose its only downtown intercity bus terminal. The Greyhound Station at 630 W. Harrison Street could be demolished as early as this fall. If that happens, Chicago will have no suitable location for a long-distance bus terminal.

Mayor Johnson and Governor Pritzker need to hear that losing this irreplaceable transportation asset is un-acceptable.

The City (or another public entity) should buy the terminal, rehab it, and contract with a firm to manage it. As a public terminal, its future operator should work with other bus companies to expand service to and from Chicago—as is happening right now in other cities across the country.

Bus ridership could easily triple in a short period of time. For example, Indian Trails and Megabus would like to serve Chicago if they had a proper place to drop off and pick up their prospective customers.

As a backup plan, Greyhound is requesting to use part of the CTA bus station next to Union Station.

This seems like a good idea at first blush, because the location has great connections to Amtrak, Metra, and the CTA.

But in truth, it’s a really bad idea.

Ask Mayor Johnson and Governor Pritzker to save the Chicago Bus Terminal

Here is why moving Greyhound to the CTA station is unacceptable:

1) The CTA station is too small. It has only nine bays, which were designed for CTA buses and CTA customers.

2) It has no passenger facilities. There is nowhere for people with luggage to wait for their bus, no public restrooms, no protection from heat and cold and the elements, and no place to be dropped off before or picked up after a bus trip.

3) It would result in a severe reduction in Greyhound service. Greyhound will have to modify its schedule to accommodate the much smaller capacity of this terminal and avoid CTA’s rush hours.

4) There would be no capacity for connecting traffic. Half of O’Hare’s traffic is people connecting between flights, which translates into Chicago having twice the level of service it would have otherwise. The same is true at today’s Greyhound Station. But Greyhound will likely have no option but to stop selling connecting tickets at the new station.

5) There would be no room for other carriers. Greyhound isn’t the only carrier serving the Greyhound Station, but there’s no space for any other carriers to join them at the CTA station.

6) There would be no room for growth. Chicago should be working to make it easy to visit our city without a car. Intercity buses are a low-cost way to do that. But it can’t be done without a quality station.

7) There would be no room for CTA to grow its own service at Union Station, and it may even have to reduce service at this location to accommodate intercity buses.

The cost of purchasing and rehabbing the station is estimated at less than $50 million—a small fraction of what we regularly spend on major transit, airport, and highway improvements. This would be a relatively small investment with a big return for the city and region.

If the station is lost, it cannot be replaced. No other location is suitable within walking distance of downtown.

It is essential that the City of Chicago (or any other public agency) buy the station before it is too late.

Ask Mayor Johnson and Governor Pritzker to save the Chicago Bus Terminal

Learn More

The Chicago Greyhound station is in the foreground. Several high-rises are in the background, demonstrating how close the bus station is to downtown.

Could the Midwest lose its bus hub?

Chicago and the Midwest can’t afford to lose the region’s intercity bus hub. The mayor and governor must act now.

Buses from several companies are parked at Chicago's Intercity Bus Terminal.

City of Chicago failing to act to save the nation’s intercity bus hub

Pursuing such opportunities will become far more difficult if the Chicago Greyhound Station is lost and an adequate replacement near CUS cannot be found.

Passengers will roll-aboard luggage are crossing Harrison st. to enter the Chicago Greyhound station.

Save Chicago's Intercity Bus Station

Ask Mayor Johnson and Governor Pritzker to save Chicago’s Intercity Bus Station

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