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New Greyhound Station in Seattle


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#1 rickycourtney

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 02:03 AM

A new Greyhound station is starting to take shape here in Seattle.
It's located on S Royal Brougham Way near 6th Ave S... in a little sliver of land next to a giant parking structure for King County Metro. But the location isn't bad, it's in a part of town that is being redeveloped and it's right next to the Link Light Rail Stadium station and the SODO busway and an easy walk to Safeco Field and CenturyLink Field. There is a small loading zone and handicapped parking spot in front of the station, across the street there is a larger parking lot with a cab stand. But perhaps most importantly for Greyhound there is easy access to both I-90 and I-5.

According to some newspaper articles on the internet, Greyhound was in a time crunch to get out of their 85 year old Stewart Street building (that's going to be replaced by a 43-story high-rise) so they opted for a modular building.

The building appears to have 2 or 3 doors to serve as boarding gates and the boarding area appears to have 4 berths. Very small for a city of Seattle's size but I assume that like the current station, no buses will be maintained or stored at this location.

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#2 third rail 1200

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 11:44 AM

Can you post a photo of the old one?



#3 fairviewroad

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 11:48 AM

Ah, the romance of bus travel. This looks especially bad given the newly renovated Amtrak station in SEA.

 

That said, Boltbus seems to do okay in SEA with no station at all, so I suppose a roof over your head is an

upgrade over that.



#4 rickycourtney

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 12:57 PM

Can you post a photo of the old one?

Personally, I can't because I haven't taken any good ones. But the Seattle PI has some nice pictures of the station (old, new and what will replace it in the future).

 

The Seattle Greyhound station was formally a railroad station and in its heyday it was a nice looking place (brick walls and wooden benches) but somewhere along the way it was "modernized" and the brick walls were covered up and the wooden benches replaced by metal benches. Changes like that made it ineligible for historic status.

If you saw the area, you'd understand why this station is going away... It's the shortest building in a neighborhood of high-rises. The real estate is probably worth a fortune.
 

Ah, the romance of bus travel. This looks especially bad given the newly renovated Amtrak station in SEA.

Unlike the old Greyhound station... there is certainly no romance to this one. It's very utilitarian and located in the shadow of several freeway off ramps. I also feel like the design is nice and modern now, it'll feel very dated in 10 years (which is also my biggest complaint about Amtrak stations from the 70's).

But that being said... there's a lot going for this new location. The old location was 5 blocks away from Westlake station (Convention Place is closer but has no Link Light Rail service and will also be demolished soon.) This location is just steps away from the Stadium station and the SODO busway. That should make it really easy for people to make connections to other cities in the region.
 

That said, Boltbus seems to do okay in SEA with no station at all, so I suppose a roof over your head is an
upgrade over that.

In San Francisco and Las Vegas, BoltBus service runs out of the Greyhound station. I could see that possibly happening here. As you said, it would put a roof over passengers heads in a town known for rain.



#5 Swadian Hardcore

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 07:16 PM

Spending money on fancy stations is about the worst thing Greyhound can do. Focus on the bus, not the station. You only spend 30 minutes in the station anyway. As long as they go through with the G4500 rebuilds, there's no way I'm riding Amtrak again after the debacle with the San Joaquin.


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#6 rickycourtney

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 12:28 AM

Spending money on fancy stations is about the worst thing Greyhound can do. Focus on the bus, not the station. You only spend 30 minutes in the station anyway.


Agreed. I think one of the most important things for any station (be it Greyhound or Amtrak) is that it is close to connecting transportation. This area has plenty of bus routes (including regional routes), connection with light rail to downtown and the airport and there's a Hertz office across the street. Doesn't get much better than that.

#7 fairviewroad

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 11:15 AM

 You only spend 30 minutes in the station anyway.

 

That's probably true for most travelers these days, now that Greyhound has de-emphasized long-haul bus travel.

I can remember long-haul trips on Greyhound when I was younger that had 5-6 hour layovers in connecting cities

(which I will grant you does not describe Seattle, for the most part). Thank goodness for all-night diners next to

Greyhound stations, which themselves typically offered nothing more than vending machine fare.



#8 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 11:35 AM

I would love to see Megabus Gold over here.
Travelled: Broadway Limited (1), Lake Shore Limited (6), Capitol Limited (7), Empire Builder (1), Southwest Chief (2), Sunset Limited (1), California Zephyr (3), Coast Starlight (2), Silver Meteor (5), Silver Star (5), Silver Palm (2), Crescent (1), Cardinal (4), Auto Train (4), Pennsylvanian (2), Palmetto (1), Acela Express (1), Empire Service (1), Northeast Regional (11), Keystone Service (1) --- Total Miles: 50,144 --- Total Trains: 61
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#9 Swadian Hardcore

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 07:15 PM

 

 You only spend 30 minutes in the station anyway.

 

That's probably true for most travelers these days, now that Greyhound has de-emphasized long-haul bus travel.

I can remember long-haul trips on Greyhound when I was younger that had 5-6 hour layovers in connecting cities

(which I will grant you does not describe Seattle, for the most part). Thank goodness for all-night diners next to

Greyhound stations, which themselves typically offered nothing more than vending machine fare.

 

 

You could not be more wrong on that, Greyhound is re-focusing on long-distance trips again, precisely to compete against LD car-trippers. Greyhound has reintroduced many long-distance routes, like New York-Miami, New York-Atlanta, Chicago-Dallas, Amarillo-San Antonio, etc.

 

The different is that Greyhound no longer does 5-6 hour layovers, most layovers now are 30-60 minutes. For example, if travelling from Portland to Vancouver, the layover is Seattle is only 30 minutes, so a fancy station would be useless. If you're riding from Denver to San Francisco, the layover at Reno is 45 minutes. Of course they will usually hold the bus if the previous one is late.

 

I would love to see Megabus Gold over here.

 

LOL, with their fractured management and drivers whining about Van Hools, and there goes the $1 fares! Megabus is known for low-cost service, that's what they need to focus on.

 

As far as more comfortable buses, I'm pretty sure Greyhound VIP could do a lot better: http://cptdb.ca/wiki...nada_1118-a.jpg.


Edited by Swadian Hardcore, 29 April 2014 - 07:26 PM.

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#10 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 08:22 PM

When Greyhound starts offering Sleeper busses with actual bunks and blankets, we can compare it to the same farchakta image of what appears to be a rebuilt 102D3 you've shown in the past three links.

In the meanwhile, I, with my bad back, will refuse to compare a greyhound seat, even if it is an Amaya VIP, with a berth.

Edited by Green Maned Lion, 29 April 2014 - 08:24 PM.

Travelled: Broadway Limited (1), Lake Shore Limited (6), Capitol Limited (7), Empire Builder (1), Southwest Chief (2), Sunset Limited (1), California Zephyr (3), Coast Starlight (2), Silver Meteor (5), Silver Star (5), Silver Palm (2), Crescent (1), Cardinal (4), Auto Train (4), Pennsylvanian (2), Palmetto (1), Acela Express (1), Empire Service (1), Northeast Regional (11), Keystone Service (1) --- Total Miles: 50,144 --- Total Trains: 61
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#11 railiner

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 08:33 PM

Thanks, rickycourtney for the photo's and the story.  I agree that it seems surprising that Seattle will manage with only 4 loading platforms....I have been in cities a small fraction of Seattles size that have twice that number.  It will certainly hamper operations during peak periods.... :unsure:

 

A special thanks for including that nostalgic link to the historic photo's of the old terminal! :hi:


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#12 Swadian Hardcore

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 11:06 PM

When Greyhound starts offering Sleeper busses with actual bunks and blankets, we can compare it to the same farchakta image of what appears to be a rebuilt 102D3 you've shown in the past three links.

In the meanwhile, I, with my bad back, will refuse to compare a greyhound seat, even if it is an Amaya VIP, with a berth.

 

I actually don't like sleeping fully-flat sometimes, I would rather sleep in a seat, that's in a bus, not a train.

 

I've slept on sleeper buses in China, oh you don't want to ride in those! Would rather ride a seated bus even though the King Long and Yaxing coaches have terrible legroom and ride rough.

 

BTW, you can make a DL3 sleeper bus: http://tulsaskiclub....leeperbuses.htm. The design isn't that great I think, that one can only sleep 20 pax comfortably but thay want to squeeze in 40? And they need bigger dividers. But since the DL3 has the more spacious cross-section in bus history, it's not a bad idea.

 

Of course Greyhound wouldn't do that, because buses are not good at sleeper ops, they earn much more money with no more than 2-2 VIP seats. And VIP or PT seats should be fine for a 12-hour daytime ride. If you're toruing, you're supposed to sleep in a hotel every 12 hours! That way you miss no scenery!


Edited by Swadian Hardcore, 29 April 2014 - 11:21 PM.

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#13 rickycourtney

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 12:34 AM

Thanks, rickycourtney for the photo's and the story.  I agree that it seems surprising that Seattle will manage with only 4 loading platforms....I have been in cities a small fraction of Seattles size that have twice that number.  It will certainly hamper operations during peak periods.... :unsure:
 
A special thanks for including that nostalgic link to the historic photo's of the old terminal! :hi:

 
You got it Mr. Railiner! Back in its heyday that station really was a nice place (although not quite as grand as King Street Station or Union Station) it's sad to see it go, but that's the price of progress.

As far as operations go... I think Greyhound will make it work. Unlike other stations they don't do any maintenance at the current Seattle station. Buses pull in, drop off/pick up passengers and pull out. I think all the maintenance and refueling will be done at the yard in West Seattle.

#14 Swadian Hardcore

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 01:00 AM

 

Thanks, rickycourtney for the photo's and the story.  I agree that it seems surprising that Seattle will manage with only 4 loading platforms....I have been in cities a small fraction of Seattles size that have twice that number.  It will certainly hamper operations during peak periods.... :unsure:
 
A special thanks for including that nostalgic link to the historic photo's of the old terminal! :hi:

 
You got it Mr. Railiner! Back in its heyday that station really was a nice place (although not quite as grand as King Street Station or Union Station) it's sad to see it go, but that's the price of progress.

As far as operations go... I think Greyhound will make it work. Unlike other stations they don't do any maintenance at the current Seattle station. Buses pull in, drop off/pick up passengers and pull out. I think all the maintenance and refueling will be done at the yard in West Seattle.

 

 

I heard that all the heavy maintainence is done in Vancouver, and with all those G4500's, they would need a lot of heavy maint. Vancouver is pretty much the biggest Greyhound garage in the area, the next closest is Edmonton.

 

Denver and Los Angeles are both far from Seattle and I don't know if Denver can do heavy maint.


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#15 rickycourtney

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 01:04 AM

 

When Greyhound starts offering Sleeper busses with actual bunks and blankets, we can compare it to the same farchakta image of what appears to be a rebuilt 102D3 you've shown in the past three links.

In the meanwhile, I, with my bad back, will refuse to compare a greyhound seat, even if it is an Amaya VIP, with a berth.

 
I actually don't like sleeping fully-flat sometimes, I would rather sleep in a seat, that's in a bus, not a train.
 
I've slept on sleeper buses in China, oh you don't want to ride in those! Would rather ride a seated bus even though the King Long and Yaxing coaches have terrible legroom and ride rough.
 
BTW, you can make a DL3 sleeper bus: http://tulsaskiclub....leeperbuses.htm. The design isn't that great I think, that one can only sleep 20 pax comfortably but thay want to squeeze in 40? And they need bigger dividers. But since the DL3 has the more spacious cross-section in bus history, it's not a bad idea.
 
Of course Greyhound wouldn't do that, because buses are not good at sleeper ops, they earn much more money with no more than 2-2 VIP seats. And VIP or PT seats should be fine for a 12-hour daytime ride. If you're toruing, you're supposed to sleep in a hotel every 12 hours! That way you miss no scenery!

 


Well since my thread is going completely off topic I guess I'll join in the madness.

Swadian, you and I must have very different backs... I HATE sleeping in a chair. At best I can only grab a short nap in a chair... ANY chair be it on a plane, bus, train, car or even in my living room.

That's why when I take the train overnight... I get a sleeper car. If I can't afford that, I get a plane ticket and a hotel room.

I could see overnight sleeper buses being successful here in the US... in the right market. It has to be a long, boring drive between two major metropolitan areas. One that comes to mind is LA to San Francisco. I wouldn't mind jumping on a bus in LA around 11pm, sleeping in a bed and arriving in San Francisco just after 7am. My only thought is that it would be better for sleeping if the driver drove at a slower speed. That would also save on fuel and allow time to offer passengers coffee and a pastry for breakfast. Sounds much nicer for business travel than waking up early for the first flight from LAX-SFO.

 

Also I don't really get the excitement over these few Greyhound's with "VIP" seats... they have a bigger headrest and maybe a bit plusher fabric... but they're still the same as a regular seat where it counts... width. They are 17.5-18.5 inches across... that's barely wider than a coach seat on an airplane. 



#16 rickycourtney

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 01:10 AM

 

 

Thanks, rickycourtney for the photo's and the story.  I agree that it seems surprising that Seattle will manage with only 4 loading platforms....I have been in cities a small fraction of Seattles size that have twice that number.  It will certainly hamper operations during peak periods.... :unsure:
 
A special thanks for including that nostalgic link to the historic photo's of the old terminal! :hi:

 
You got it Mr. Railiner! Back in its heyday that station really was a nice place (although not quite as grand as King Street Station or Union Station) it's sad to see it go, but that's the price of progress.

As far as operations go... I think Greyhound will make it work. Unlike other stations they don't do any maintenance at the current Seattle station. Buses pull in, drop off/pick up passengers and pull out. I think all the maintenance and refueling will be done at the yard in West Seattle.

 

 

I heard that all the heavy maintainence is done in Vancouver, and with all those G4500's, they would need a lot of heavy maint. Vancouver is pretty much the biggest Greyhound garage in the area, the next closest is Edmonton.

 

Denver and Los Angeles are both far from Seattle and I don't know if Denver can do heavy maint.

 

I more meant for servicing and light maintenance... things like refueling, topping off engine fluids, emptying the trashcans, pumping the lavatory and maybe sending it through a wash bay. The normal stuff you need to do between runs.

 

That stuff (I assume) is normally done *at* the larger stations... but Seattle sends their buses over to the yard in West Seattle for servicing.



#17 Swadian Hardcore

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 01:16 AM

I don't know, the seat width is fine for me. 17" is actually fine for me. I don't really know what other people like, I mean, I'm below average size but not very small either. Sleeping on a King Long is uncomfortable, sleeping on a DL3 might not be, since sitting on a DL3 is a lot better than sitting on a King Long. Driving at slow speeds actually makes it worse IMO.

 

As I said, talking about buses, not about trains. Trains, yes, Sleeper. Buses, no.

 

Overnight sleeper buses, I still think they're pointless in the US. And the Greyhound's with "VIP" seats are just a bit better, I know that, but as long as it's a bunch more comfy than a car, that's good enough already, considering Greyhound is apparently trying to bash long car trips.

 

BTW, my car smells very bad, even though I try to keep it as clean as possible, like not eating in it, picking up trash, etc. That's why I always ask what this bus or that train smells like.

 

I don't know what those "VIP" things are like anyway, why don't you go to Canada and ride one? Like a hop to Whistler. Sure you might get a PT DL3, but you've never taken a PT, either. With the PT, I know it's the overall design that does it, not the seat width, or seat pitch, I was thinking the "VIP" probably does it even better. You want a big seat, Amtrak's got plenty of them, but they ain't designed very well.


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#18 Swadian Hardcore

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 01:19 AM

 

 

 

Thanks, rickycourtney for the photo's and the story.  I agree that it seems surprising that Seattle will manage with only 4 loading platforms....I have been in cities a small fraction of Seattles size that have twice that number.  It will certainly hamper operations during peak periods.... :unsure:
 
A special thanks for including that nostalgic link to the historic photo's of the old terminal! :hi:

 
You got it Mr. Railiner! Back in its heyday that station really was a nice place (although not quite as grand as King Street Station or Union Station) it's sad to see it go, but that's the price of progress.

As far as operations go... I think Greyhound will make it work. Unlike other stations they don't do any maintenance at the current Seattle station. Buses pull in, drop off/pick up passengers and pull out. I think all the maintenance and refueling will be done at the yard in West Seattle.

 

 

I heard that all the heavy maintainence is done in Vancouver, and with all those G4500's, they would need a lot of heavy maint. Vancouver is pretty much the biggest Greyhound garage in the area, the next closest is Edmonton.

 

Denver and Los Angeles are both far from Seattle and I don't know if Denver can do heavy maint.

 

I more meant for servicing and light maintenance... things like refueling, topping off engine fluids, emptying the trashcans, pumping the lavatory and maybe sending it through a wash bay. The normal stuff you need to do between runs.

 

That stuff (I assume) is normally done *at* the larger stations... but Seattle sends their buses over to the yard in West Seattle for servicing.

 

 

I don't know what they do at Sacramento, that station has no servicing or light maint facilities, Reno actually has a shed and a fueling facility. But I heard Gray Line of Seattle is in big trouble, I can't even search their tours anymore, and tons of their buses are for sale at Northwest Bus Sales.

 

Last time I saw #86516 in SAC coming from Portland, that thing proceeded to pull out empty to some unknown place. I assume it was deadheading to Oakland for refueling. That's very inefficient. And I'm surprised the Oakland station isn't besieged by crooks.

 

Anyway, Vancouver seems to make way more money for Greyhound than Seattle right now, don't know why.


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#19 rickycourtney

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 01:39 AM

Just as I wrote that Greyhound's servicing/light maintenance is done in West Seattle I watched a Greyhound bus come off the Alaskan Way Viaduct making its way from West Seattle to the station in Downtown Seattle.

 

It was a refurbished G4500 (#7202) and the headsign said Missoula, MT. So doing a little research that means it's schedule 1276 which departs Seattle at 23:30. That bus I just saw would arrive at the Seattle Greyhound station at 23:15... so just 15 minutes to pick up passengers and go. That is an impressively short dwell time!

 

There's plenty of room to store buses at the Greyhound station in Downtown Seattle so maybe they're testing out these short dwells to prepare drivers for operations at the new station in SODO.

 

Also it wouldn't be "Grey Line of Seattle" anymore.... the name was changed to Horizon Coach Lines of Seattle back in 2009. But it seems Horizon has pulled out of Seattle (the city is no longer listed on the companies website, except for a dead link).

 

Greyhound may have bought the lot from Horizon in preparation for this move to SODO.



#20 rickycourtney

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 01:45 AM

Actually come to think of it... Greyhound never did any servicing or maintenance at the Downtown Seattle station. I've seen pictures of a huge garage they used to own a couple of blocks away on Denny near Stewart. It got demolished a couple months ago to make room for a new power substation for Seattle City Light.






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