Greyhound officials say they are still looking at other Edmonton locations for their new bus terminal.
“Absolutely,” Greyhound regional vice president Peter Hamel told reporters after meeting with the Prince Charles community Tuesday evening. “That process doesn’t stop.”
The lease on the existing site in downtown Edmonton expires in May 2016. The land is part of a parcel purchased by Oilers’ owner Daryl Katz for development around the new downtown arena.
Greyhound has applied for a zoning change to allow construction of a new terminal at its maintenance yard north of Yellowhead Trail at 123 Street.
However, esidents and businesses in the adjacent Prince Charles neighbourhood are opposed over concerns about increased traffic, loitering and crime.
Prince Charles resident Deb Fladager said she is most concerned about traffic.
“Getting in and out of Prince Charles … 124th Street is busy,” she said. “At the peak hours, you can wait just to get out of your own neighbourhood, ten minutes.”
Proposed location not ideal
Greyhound hasn’t made a final decision on its new location but Hamel says his company is facing a time crunch. That’s why the zoning request is in now.
Building the new terminal on the Prince Charles site would the easiest option since the company already owns the land. But Hamel admits the location isn’t ideal.
“In a bus business, you’d like to be located more centrally downtown, you certainly like to be located close to LRT,” he said.
Bev Esslinger, city councillor for the area, says council will make the final decision on Greyhound’s zoning request.
She hopes what residents told officials on Tuesday will change the company’s mind.
“Kudos them for coming out and being willing to meet with the community because they didn’t have to do that," she said. "I’m hoping that we can find an alternative site for them.”
Esslinger said that city staff also attended the meeting to record what was said so it can be distributed to the rest of council.
Community members can also speak at a public hearing that council will hold on the zoning request, she said.