Greyhound has a new bus stop in Jackson. Will it last?

Published: Jan. 13, 2023 at 6:50 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - It appears that you can again catch a ride on Greyhound in the capital city.

But the bus line’s newest stop might not last long, with city leaders saying it’s likely operating out of compliance.

On Friday, WLBT learned that Greyhound was dropping off and picking up passengers at 2475 Livingston Rd., across from the Jackson Medical Mall. Three buses dropped off passengers there during our visit Friday afternoon.

“They have not gone through the proper channels. They haven’t been cleared to operate there,” said Chloe Dotson, director of Jackson Planning and Development. “That is all illegal.”

A screenshot from the Greyhound website Friday shows that Livingston Road in Jackson as a bus...
A screenshot from the Greyhound website Friday shows that Livingston Road in Jackson as a bus stop location.(WLBT)

Dotson said the company had not completed the site plan review process.

She tells WLBT the matter is currently being reviewed by the city’s legal department, but she expects that Greyhound will be forced to shut down “just like they were on Larson.”

“When they were operating on Larson Street, they got a cease-and-desist letter,” she said. “It looks like they’ve moved.”

It was not clear when Greyhound was operating a stop there.

Whether Greyhound intends for the bus stop to be permanent is unclear.

Sean Hanft, a spokesman for the company, said, “We do not yet have information available for media on Jackson locations, so we’ll reach out as soon as we have info from our operations team.”

Hanft responded prior to WLBT speaking with Dotson. Greyhound could not be reached for a follow-up comment.

This represents the latest drama surrounding the bus line and the city of Jackson. Greyhound, its parent company, Flix North America, and Jackson Redevelopment Authority are currently embroiled in a lawsuit related to back rent JRA says the company owes for its time at Union Station.

“Greyhound failed to pay $617,250 in holdover rent to JRA, the entity that owns Union Station, an amount that has been on the books since before March 2020,” the suit states.

However, officials with Greyhound say the company doesn’t owe the money because JRA had failed to maintain the facility.

In August, Greyhound began dropping off passengers at the Love’s Truck Center in Flowood.

However, the bus line had to end drop-offs there, after the city of Flowood ordered the company to cease operations, citing the site’ “unsuitability” and lack of zoning.

Greyhound resumed operations at Union Station after that but ceased operations at the downtown station again in October.

Fondren resident Scott Crawford doesn’t like the Livingston Road location but says he’d rather have that than no Greyhound stops at all. “Yeah, it’s a terrible place, but I would take a terrible place over nothing,” he said. “I’ll take anything over nothing.”

Crawford, who is wheelchair-bound, was critical of the Livingston site, in part, because of its proximity to the nearest JTRAN stop, which is on the opposite side of the Jackson Medical Mall.

“Folks who depend on JTRAN have to walk through the Medical Mall, through the parking lot [and] across the street,” he said. “There’s no crosswalk.”

Despite the Livingston location’s drawbacks, he reached out to the city about keeping it open at least on an interim basis, until a permanent stop can be found.

Crawford has to go to Birmingham later this month. If the location is shut down, Crawford will likely have to shell out hundreds of bucks to travel to Meridian, so he can access Greyhound there.

Previously getting a Greyhound was much easier. All public transit riders had to do was take JTRAN to Union Station, where they had access to both Greyhound and Amtrack.

“I’ve done that myself,” Crawford said. “It works seamlessly. That’s the point of intermodal stations. They easily connect different modes of transportation - even for folks in wheelchairs.”

He’s hopeful that Greyhound can return to Union Station, pointing to other concerns about the Livingston site, including the lack of accessible sidewalks, the lack of paved parking, and limited space for buses to maneuver.

“When it comes to safety and accessibility, Union Station is one of the best places in Jackson,” he said. “Anything else is a far less cry from that.”

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