Greyhound hopes to create hub

URBAN LANDSCAPE

Transportation: A proposal for a new terminal near Penn Station would put buses, trains, light rail and parking together.

September 23, 1999|By Edward Gunts | Edward Gunts,SUN STAFF

BALTIMORE will have a $14.5 million Greyhound Lines bus terminal and garage next to Penn Station by mid-2002, if financing and design arrangements can be firmed up this fall.

The city's Design Advisory Panel approved preliminary plans last week that call for the bus terminal to be constructed on a triangle of land north of the train station at Charles and Lanvale streets.

The bus terminal would occupy the first level of a five-story building and be linked to the train station by a pedestrian sky bridge. Upper levels of the Greyhound building would contain parking for about 350 cars.

The bus terminal is being designed by Design Collective Inc. of Baltimore to replace Greyhound's terminal at 210 W. Fayette St., part of an area that has been targeted for redevelopment.

It is one of a new breed of "intermodal" terminals around the nation that are bringing several forms of transportation to one location.

The terminal would be connected to the train station and light rail line by the bridge over the train tracks, allowing passengers to ride local and intercity buses, Amtrak and Maryland Rail Commuter service trains, light rail, taxis and private cars to and from it. The garage could be used by bus or rail travelers or people headed to other destinations along the Charles Street corridor.

Mark Fallis, senior manager of real estate for Greyhound, said the building would be constructed with public and private funds and would be one of the most sophisticated intermodal facilities of its kind because of the combination of bus, train, light rail and taxi services.

At this point, he said, state Mass Transit Administration officials have agreed to spend $6 million from a federal transportation program. The rest of the money, he said, would come from the city and from Greyhound. He said Baltimore's Board of Estimates still must approve funds to cover the city's share, and that all parties must enter into a "memorandum of understanding" that spells out how the facility would operate.

Amtrak owns the land and plans to lease it to the city, which would own the facility and operate the garage, Fallis said. Greyhound would be a tenant, and another street-level space would be available for a cafe. The bus terminal would be open 24 hours a day.

Luis Bernardo, senior designer and project manager for Design Collective, said Greyhound considered constructing a small hotel or office space on the St. Paul Street side of the property but is no longer planning to do so.

Instead, the design team has proposed putting a work of environmental art along St. Paul Street -- a "water wall" representing the East Coast of the United States and the cities served by Amtrak and Greyhound.

Other sides of the building will have forms that pay homage to the art moderne Greyhound stations of the 1930s and 1940s, Bernardo said.

The Rev. Dale Dusman, pastor of St. Mark's Lutheran Church and a representative of the Charles-North Community Association, said members of the neighborhood organization are pleased with the plans.

"We were very concerned, because it's the last vacant lot in the neighborhood," he said. But, "what we see now is something we're very happy with. It doesn't look like a parking garage."

Pub Date: 9/23/99

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