KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — If you want to catch a Greyhound bus in Knoxville these days, you will have to go to a bus stop at a Cherry Street gas station.
The company sold its old terminal on Magnolia Avenue last month.
On Monday night, Ann Jefferson went by the bus stop and was concerned with the conditions people were enduring as they waited for the bus to arrive.
“There was a couple over here, right next to this little building here. Sleeping with a big blanket. Lying down on the sidewalk,” she said,
Jefferson said the couple had been waiting for hours so she decided to help.
“I ended up taking a couple of people across the street to buy them something to eat because they didn't have any money,” she said.
In past years, Jefferson and other volunteers assisted passengers by bringing them food at the old Greyhound terminal on Magnolia Avenue. That station had a waiting room. The new stop is completely outdoors and is totally self-service, and tickets must be purchased online or over the phone.
“There's no access to bathroom facilities, there's no shelter,” Jefferson said.
Jefferson said she believes conditions are not safe and that officials should be concerned.
“I mean, the city needs to be concerned about these people, and there's no security out here,” Jefferson said.
Greyhound released a statement saying their buses stop at a range of locations across the country, including gas stations. Customer safety, they said, is their primary concern.
City leaders said Greyhound talked with them a few years ago about using the Knoxville Area Transit center as a station, but those conversations did not go very far.