The Badger Bus Depot, located on South Bedford Street and West Washington Avenue, closed its doors Monday to make way for new housing and business developments.
Badger Bus owners announced their plans earlier this year to demolish the depot to construct a three-building complex which would include apartments, retail stores and a parking garage.
The city council approved the plans for demolition and zoning changes to the lot at its July 7 meeting.
According to Badger Bus President John Meier, the decision to close was made a long time ago because the depot was rapidly becoming obsolete, with most bus riders purchasing their tickets online and using Memorial Union for departures and arrivals.
“My business partners and I have been planning on new ventures to use the space for a long time,” Meier said. “The depot is just not good for business anymore.”
Meier added the Mobil station across the street will serve as a new stop for the buses, while Greyhound will have to move to a new stop near the intersection of Milwaukee Street and U.S. Highway 51.
Susan De Vos, president of the Madison Area Bus Advocates, said in an e-mail to The Badger Herald that MABA has many concerns about the legality and practicality of moving the terminal to the street outside the Mobil
“I am concerned about the legality of their policy given the winter conditions of sidewalks in Madison,” De Vos said. “I think the city may be foolishly opening itself to a very expensive lawsuit.”
De Vos said she voiced these concerns at the July city council meeting and was haughtily dismissed.
Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, said he was pleased Badger Bus, at his request, kept a stop in that neighborhood for the many people who use the service. He added the Mobil will now be an authorized ticket agent for those who do not buy tickets online.
Verveer added the city will remove four street-parking spaces in order to make room for the bus stops at the Mobil, but said traffic should not be problematic since Greyhound will not use that terminal.
“I really don’t think it will add any more traffic problems than when the depot was there before,” Verveer said. “The city made up for [the parking spaces] by adding new two-hour parking stalls where there were no parking zones and taxi stands before.”
Verveer agreed the future of Greyhound is a major concern for the city, since the new pickup location is so far from downtown. According to Verveer, Greyhound pledged they would continue service to Madison because many people use their lines.