Greyhound, transit may build joint station
Grand Valley Transit and Greyhound Lines Inc. are exploring the possibility of building and operating a joint bus station on vacant land north of Mesa Mall.
Todd Hollenbeck, transit coordinator with the Mesa County Regional Transportation Planning Office, which operates Grand Valley Transit, said officials are looking at a roughly two-acre site near 24 1/2 and F 1/2 roads.
Should the project move forward, the new station would replace Grand Valley Transit’s transfer station at Mesa Mall and Greyhound’s longtime station at 230 S. Fifth St. in downtown Grand Junction.
The Regional Transportation Planning Office is applying for a Federal Transit Administration grant that would cover about 75 percent of the estimated $6 million cost to purchase land and design and build the station.
Hollenbeck said the joint station would benefit both agencies.
For Grand Valley Transit, it would enhance access to routes. Hollenbeck said the city of Grand Junction intends in the future to build F 1/2 Road Parkway, which would connect Patterson Road to U.S. Highway 6&50.
Grand Valley Transit buses currently have to navigate Mesa Mall’s ring road and parking lots to pick up and drop off passengers at the mall transfer station.
“Obviously it’s worked well for a number of years, but I think it’s time to look beyond that as a temporary solution, and if we can coordinate services and build a facility long term, then we should be doing that,” Hollenbeck said.
He also pointed to the advantage of owning property.
“We don’t stand a chance of getting run out of a site because we don’t own it, and we don’t fit into someone’s long-term plans,” he said.
Grand Valley Transit was forced a few years ago to move its transfer station away from Mesa State College property at 12th Street and Orchard Avenue to accommodate construction of the college’s soccer stadium and parking garage.
For Greyhound, the new station would be more convenient because of its proximity to Interstate 70.
Greyhound passengers who are visiting Grand Junction could then hop on a Grand Valley Transit bus to get elsewhere in the valley.
The new station would move Greyhound buses out of the downtown area.
Buses have been running out of the station on Fifth Street for more than 60 years, but as the city has grown and traffic increased, maneuvering buses in and out of the station has become more difficult.
“It’s not just a great location for running those size of buses through,” Hollenbeck said.
County officials don’t know when they will learn whether they have obtained the federal grant, which could amount to $4.8 million. The balance of the money would come from local sources.
Michael Timlin, district manager for Greyhound in Denver, couldn’t be reached for comment.