Transportation center gets great reviews
By Maya Jarrell
The Daily Reflector
Friday, August 10, 2018
The G.K. Butterfield Transportation Center wrapped up its first day of serving Greenville commuters with rave reviews from patrons.
Rajandra Jagad, 56, has been riding GREAT buses regularly for the past three years, but with the development of this new transportation center he is even more excited about the future of public transportation in Greenville, he said.
“I switched to the bus when the gas prices were $4,” Jagad said. “I find driving a little stressful, so I only drive if I need to, but I enjoy taking buses. It’s a little bit slower pace and it takes me where I need to go. The only part that was missing was this beautiful park, so that makes it complete. I’m really tickled.”
Jagad said that with the center’s development — officials cut the ribbon on the $8.4 million facility on Wednesday — and other positive growth around the city, he is happy and excited to live in Greenville again.
“I’ve been living here for 10 years, and I personally believe that with this transportation center the value of this property has gone up,” Jagad said. “It’s very beautiful just to walk through, and you feel good about just being in the area. There are a couple coffee shops down here, the yards are beautifully laid out; it’s really pretty nice.”
Not only will the center make life easier for bus riders, but it will also make work a bit more manageable for those behind the wheel.
GREAT bus driver Brenda Best, who has been working with the city since March 13, believes that the addition will help her routes run more smoothly, as well as encourage more people to opt for public transportation to get around.
“It’s gone really smoothly,” Best said of the first day of operations. “It has been really busy because ... there have been a lot of people riding. [This is] going to make it much easier, because they have somewhere to sit in the shade and be out of the weather.”
The facility is a hub for all the Greenville Area Transit (GREAT) system routes. Riders who need to transfer to other GREAT routes or hop on an ECU transit bus to continue their commute do so at the station.
The center also has a designated area for bus drivers to get some rest. Drivers who work for ECU, Greyhound and an Amtrak shuttle to Wilson also will have access to the lounge.
The facility also has security guards from Guard One, a private security company, posted during the day.
According to Matt Johnson, a Guard One staffer permanently stationed at GTAC, Guard One secures the facility during the day and the Greenville Police Department takes over security each evening at 5 p.m.
“The best part is the [NextBus] sign,” Jagad said. “You can see all the buses, and where they are related to right here.”
NextBus is a feature on the GREAT webpage which tracks buses and allows riders to see exactly when a bus will arrive at a certain stop. The lobby of GTAC displays a television with a live NextBus feed of all GREAT bus routes. The feed also is available on smartphones.
“I wish they had those signs at each and every bus stop, because when you go to a lot of bus stops, you don’t know which bus is coming or when it is coming,” Jagad said. “I’m thinking that if there was an easy way to have a NextBus sign for each bus stop that would be very good. That would be the next step.”
Contact Maya Jarrell at firstname.lastname@example.org and 329-9590.