The City of Bakersfield has approved a lease with Greyhound Lines Inc. to lease part of the Bakersfield Amtrak Station to the bus route.
In a unanimous vote as part of the approval agenda of the meeting, the council members allowed the change without comment.
The move, long sought by city officials, consolidates Bakersfield’s transportation hubs and allows for a different use of the building currently occupied by the service.
Greyhound is currently working at a station on 18th Street between F and G streets in downtown Bakersfield. However, the company has found that a building of this size is no longer needed due to an evolving business climate.
Greyhound previously moved to other Amtrak locations in California such as Fresno, San Jose, Glendale and Oxnard. The company reached out to city workers about a similar arrangement in Bakersfield.
“In evaluating this request, city officials found that moving greyhound buses to the existing Amtrak station location achieves two key goals set by the city council,” said Finance Director Randy McKeegan in a memo to the mayor and city council .
Target number one: The city says the move will build three mobility centers at the Amtrak station. In addition to Amtrak, there are stops at the station on the bus routes Kern Transit and Golden Empire Transit.
The second goal the city wants to achieve with the Amtrak move is the private redevelopment of the train station on 18th Street. In mid-July last year, local developers bought the property for around $ 1.3 million.
The developers, which include Majib Mojibi, president of the San Joaquin Refining Co., and his son Darius, plan to demolish the bus station and build a four-story, high-density residential project. In the plans announced to The Californian in October, Darius said around 100 market-level rental units would help revitalize the downtown area, which has been gaining momentum from The Padre Hotel and Bitwise Industries.
The city has determined that the Amtrak station has enough space and parking for the greyhound move. Improvements are being made to enable the additional service.
The initial term of the lease is 10 years with two extension options for five years. Rent starts at $ 2,000 per month for the first year before increasing to $ 3,000. The rent can be increased every year based on the consumer price index.
In public comments, 10 people expressed concern about the move, saying it could have a significant impact on the surrounding area and increase traffic. Some commentators asked why the city hadn’t considered alternatives for the new greyhound station, and others raised environmental concerns.
“As an Amtrak driver, I am against placing greyhounds at the Amtrak station,” wrote one commenter who was identified as Andrew May in an email to the city. “It doesn’t work in Fresno. A confusing, unsafe and chaotic situation arises. Why doesn’t the city look for other options or listen to our concerns? It’s just the same now. “
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