CITY OF ATLANTA, GEORGIA
A partnership formed in the fall of 1995 by the City of Atlanta and Greyhound Lines, Inc. has been responsible for several short term and long term benefits for residents of the City. Among these are improvement of property and the environment in Atlanta's Central Business District, improvement of connections for passengers traveling on the Greyhound system and the City's light rail system, and the prospect of further development of property and jobs.
The primary goal of the public/private partnership between Atlanta and Greyhound was the redevelopment of an existing City-owned parking lot located adjacent to the City's Garnett MARTA (Metropolitan Atlanta Regional Transit Authority) light rail station so that Greyhound could relocate its passenger terminal there. Moving the Greyhound terminal from its International Boulevard location near the City's Centennial Olympic Park to the property adjacent to the Garnett station would facilitate passenger connections between MARTA and Greyhound and would satisfy the City's desire to have the Greyhound terminal within the Central Business District.
Another City goal was to remove a liquor store operating on property near City Hall, the School Board offices and the Municipal Court complex; the store had long contributed to problems . petty crime and others . which detracted from the quality of life for office workers and others using the area.
To achieve all of these goals, the City proposed that the parties negotiate a lease purchase on the property owned by the City adjacent to the Garnett MARTA passenger station, and that Greyhound acquire and swap the liquor store property for the City-owned property . a transaction permitted under an existing City ordinance. Also proposed was that Brotherton Street, running beneath the MARTA station, be redesignated as a Transportation Mall for the exclusive use of Greyhound and MARTA buses connecting with the trains there.
To make all of this possible, Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell supported the fast-tracking of appraisals, real estate agreements and adoption of City ordinances which resulted in the construction of a new temporary facility for Greyhound within 120 days of its approval by the City.
The cooperative efforts of Atlanta and Greyhound to move the terminal have benefitted MARTA patrons wishing to access the Greyhound system and also have resulted in increased ridership on the federally-supported MARTA system. In addition, as part of the lease agreement between the City and Greyhound, at least one Atlanta police officer is assigned to the Greyhound terminal, increasing the feeling of security for passengers and others in the area, and access to food services in the terminal is limited to ticketed passengers.
The Atlanta/Greyhound partnership has resulted in a much better use of property heretofore used for City employee parking, has removed a blight (i.e., the liquor store) from the area and, with the demolition of that store, has improved the quality of life for area workers and visitors. The result, overall, is a cleaner and safer environment and increased real estate values surrounding the station and terminal.
The improvements made in conjunction with the relocation of its terminal also have produced a new neighbor for Greyhound: The General Services Administration is supporting a new 120,000-square-foot Immigration and Naturalization Service regional office to be developed immediately across the street from the Greyhound facility.
With the temporary terminal in place and operating successfully for the past few years, City officials and Greyhound executives now are considering an application for federal transportation funding for a permanent terminal; a design plan for the permanent facility already has been completed. In the application, Greyhound would provide the 20 percent local match required for the federal funding.
The United States Conference of Mayors
J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
Copyright © 1999, US Conference of Mayors, All rights reserved.