Statement before                 Glenn A. Walsh

  Pittsburgh City Council:           P.O. Box 1041

        Construction of                     Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15230-1041 U.S.A.

   Intermodal Terminal           Telephone: 412-561-7876

        Including New                Electronic Mail: < >

Greyhound Bus Station          Internet Web Site: < >

                                                             2004 July 13


Good morning. I am Glenn A. Walsh of 633 Royce Avenue, Mount Lebanon. Today, I am representing no formal organization. I was happy to see the near-unanimous vote, last Wednesday, for the historic designation of five Carnegie Libraries. I look forward to the positive final vote, today.


Today, I want to comment on Bills 342 and 343, regarding the TIF for construction of an intermodal terminal, including a new Greyhound Bus Station. Like Mr. Ricciardi, I use Greyhound buses, from time-to-time.


I am sorry I missed the June 22 public hearing. The title of the public hearing, regarding the “Penn Liberty Plaza Tax Increment Financing District” made no reference to the “Grant Street Transportation Center” project. Hence, I did not realize this TIF was for the Greyhound project until I heard the news report on KQV after the hearing.


However, yesterday I did meet with Catherine M. Floyd, Director of Project Management for the Parking Authority, who briefed me on the construction plans. I am, now, very happy to be able to wholeheartedly endorse this project.


From the plans shown to me yesterday, there is no doubt that, when completed, Pittsburgh will have one of the finest intercity bus stations in the country—much better than the combined bus/train station proposed for 21st Street, 20 years ago. I am pleased that Pittsburgh’s new 15-gate bus station will be more spacious than recently built bus stations in Washington, D.C. or Philadelphia. In fact, during some busy times, the Philadelphia station is so small, buses have to park out on the street! Incidentally, the architect of this project, IKM Incorporated, is the successor to the Ingham and Boyd architectural firm which designed Buhl Planetarium in 1937!


Pittsburgh’s Greyhound Bus Station is one of the busiest in the nation. As Mr. Ricciardi pointed-out, last week, Pittsburgh is a “choke-point” for intercity bus traffic between major cities of the East and Midwest. And, not only is Pittsburgh the major gateway for bus traffic to western and central Pennsylvania, our city is also the major gateway for bus traffic to the state of West Virginia!


I was concerned about Greyhound bus service during construction. Ms. Floyd indicated that bus passengers may be able to use the Parking Authority’s free shuttle, between Downtown and the temporary bus station site on Second Avenue. I urge you to ensure that this free shuttle can be used by bus passengers, during the construction phase.


Ms. Floyd mentioned that the entrance to the proposed Convention Center Subway Station was originally planned for inside the bus station concourse, but has been moved to the corner of 11th Street and Penn Avenue, which does not have an inside connection to the bus station concourse. I would like to see the subway entrance returned to the bus station concourse. And, as I heard on Wednesday, I hope that the subway station is built in such a way as to allow underground access from the bus station to the Convention Center. Originally, I had also heard that there would be a pedestrian bridge, across Liberty Avenue, between Greyhound and Amtrak. I hope that money could be found for such additional access.


Since this new facility is not actually on Grant Street, a new name would probably be appropriate. However, I do fully approve of the Grant Street Transportation Center project.