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Jenita Maldonado waited in Terminal Station early afternoon Wednesday, ready to leave town with two fully packed rolling suitcases, a backpack and her purse.
A Greyhound bus expected in a few hours would take her to family near Montgomery, Alabama.
“I’m just trying to move on with my life,” she said, adding she was homeless for a brief time recently. “I’m fixing to be getting out of here. Today is my last day here.”
Maldonado, who walked to Terminal Station from Salvation Army on Broadway, said she was familiar with waiting there for Macon Transit Authority buses, but Tuesday was the first time she boarded a Greyhound bus there.
Greyhound Lines Inc. opened its terminal at 65 Spring S. in 1973, according to Telegraph archives. Before that, the Texas-based company had, since 1928, operated bus terminals at locations including 355 Cherry St. and 353 Cherry St. and, at some point, 466 Broadway.
On Aug. 1, after closing the Spring Street terminal, Greyhound bus routes began arriving and departing from 200 Cherry St.
“It’s a convenience because you have everything coming from the same spot,” Maldonado said. “I think they just need to let everybody know it’s here now because apparently a lot of people still think that Greyhound is down the road.”
The bus company signed a two-year lease on a 10 by 10-foot space in the MTA bus terminal, transit authority CEO Craig Ross said.
Ross did not disclose the amount Greyhound is paying for the lease and directed The Telegraph to file an open records request for the information.
Greyhound has its own kiosk and ticket desk inside the building, an arrangement Ross said he expects will be permanent.
Amanda Miles, a spokeswoman for Greyhound, told The Telegraph there are no changes in fares as a result of the move. Asked what led to the decision to move the location of the terminal, Miles said it was to integrate “connectivity with transit and a better location for an improved customer experience.”
Weston Stroud, transit planner for MTA, said he expects it will be easier for travelers from out of town to get their bearings downtown because there is more signage, making it easier for people to navigate.
Stroud also noted that Terminal Station has become what it was always meant to be: a transportation hub.
“Now that we have all this new technology and new ways for mobility, it’s in everyone’s best interest to kind of act together and figure out innovative solutions to provide mobility,” he said.