Bus station relocates|Greyhound OKs move into city

Published 8:51 pm Friday, October 2, 2009

Community Editor

Area residents may find it easier to board a Greyhound bus for Raleigh, Norfolk and other points as of today.
Greyhound’s area agency has been relocated from the Shop &Go on Clark’s Neck Road in Pitt County to B&L Properties at 914 Carolina Ave. in Washington.
The station will be open from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Mondays through Saturdays, with buses scheduled to arrive and depart at 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. each day.
Richard Brooks, owner of B&L Properties, said he hopes the new location will make it easier for area residents to catch a Greyhound bus and travel throughout the country.
“I’m happy about it,” he said. “I think it will be a good service for the people of Washington.”
He recalled the story of a local young man who didn’t have enough money to get to the former bus station on Clark’s Neck Road. The young man came to Brooks and told him about his hardship.
“I want to help people, like that young man, with their hardships,” he said.
Brooks said other locals told him of similar problems with the former station, which led him and his family to look for an ideal new location. Washington’s Human Relations Council also looked into relocating the bus depot from the Clark’s Neck Road site to somewhere in the city.
Brooks spoke with Frank Sheppard, who owned the property that’s now home to the bus depot, about the prospect of putting the depot there, and Sheppard said it was a great idea.
“I wanted to do it, but I needed some confirmation,” Brooks said.
After talking to his wife and family, Brooks went ahead with his plan. He opened his business June 27 and began lobbying Greyhound to relocate its Washington depot to its current location.
Brooks said he made several unsuccessful attempts to sway Brian Rogers, district manager for Greyhound Lines, to move the bus depot before calling on Mayor Judy Meier Jennette to help him. With Jennette’s help, Rogers agreed to relocate the bus station.
In a press release issued Wednesday, Rogers said, “With this move, customers will find it easier to travel to and from our new location.”
Brooks also expects the depot to attract more visitors to the city.
“This bus station will draw more people to Washington than where it was before,” he said.
The new station is in a location near to at least three lodging establishments, fast-food and sit-down restaurants and shopping attractions.
Customers waiting for a bus may relax in the business’ air-conditioned reception area. And Brooks assures all riders that he and his family will wait until the last scheduled bus arrives everyday before closing the depot.
Currently, tickets may be purchased at the depot only with cash. In the near future, all major credit cards may be used to by tickets, Brooks said.
Tickets also may be purchased by calling 1-800-231-2222 or online by visiting www.greyhound.com.
Brooks is glad to be of service to the community.
“It’s not about making money. It’s about helping the people of Washington,” he said.