News Flash

City of Ithaca News

Posted on: September 7, 2018

The City Welcomes the Relocation of Intercity Buses to Downtown Ithaca

The City Welcomes the Relocation of Intercity Buses to Downtown Ithaca.

Ithaca Common Council voted Wednesday, September 5, 2018, to pass a resolution allowing the soon-to-be-displaced intercity buses to relocate operations to Green Street in the core of downtown. The decision came as the operators of the existing bus station, David and Brenda Wallace, announced their well-deserved retirement in July of this year. The station will close its doors at the end of September after the Wallace’s delayed their retirement date to accommodate the necessary planning involved in such a change of operations. Although no plans for the building have been announced, the City has been told by the building's owners, Tompkins Trust Company, that they do not wish to continue operating the space as a bus terminal.

Stakeholder meetings have been occurring since the July announcement under the facilitation of City of Ithaca Planning Director JoAnn Cornish. At the table have been members of City Staff, the Tompkins County Public Library, Tompkins County Mental Health, TCAT, the Green Street Pharmacy, and other downtown businesses, - all working to keep an open dialogue regarding the challenges and benefits of the anticipated new boon in activity on Green Street. The relocation serves to benefit travelers, providing a direct connection to TCAT services, closer access to lodging, and direct access to the downtown commercial core.  TCAT, Tompkins County Public Library, Ithaca City Planning and Engineering Departments, and representatives from the intercity buses will remain in regular contact and have an official six-month look back to evaluate conditions and make any necessary changes to address concerns that are raised in this period.

Members of Common Council, - which voted unanimously to approve the resolution, spoke to the reassurance they gained in seeing how forthcoming and collaborative all parties involved in the bus relocation have been. The shift in services, beginning October 1st, will involve ongoing open communication and planning. Anticipated changes to the current operations of Green Street include the relocation of three short-term parking spaces, used primarily by library patrons, from their present location on Green Street to Cayuga Street and the possible removal of metered parking spots to create short-term spots that can be used for pick-up/ drop-off of intercity bus customers. Over the long term, Green Street could see additional lighting and a shelter in the existing bus waiting area, and the potential to work with whoever is chosen for the Green Street garage redevelopment project to offer amenities to service the bus hub. Intercity bus operators Shortline/ Cach USA, New York Trailways,  and Greyhound are working with the Green Street Pharmacy and TCAT to negotiate amenities, such as ticket sales, that would service the bus customers.

“The bus terminal's closing on the West End was not something that any of us planned or initially wanted, but after working with all the concerned parties, we believe there will be many benefits to the move,” said Mayor Svante Myrick “Moving these intercity buses downtown creates opportunities for those who get off  those buses to board TCAT buses directly or walk to hotels."  He added that as the buses already travel up Green Street to Route 79, there should not be a lot of additional traffic and that “the loading and unloading issues will be worked out between intercity buses and City of Ithaca Planning and Engineering."

Any questions or concerns please contact City of Ithaca Public Information Specialist Melody Faraday mfaraday@cityofithaca.org