Megabus officials are refocusing their efforts to find a permanent drop-off and pick-up site after efforts to establish such a spot on James Robertson Parkway on the southern fringe of the Bicentennial Mall failed to materialize.
Currently, the discount bus carrier, which entered the Nashville market in November 2011, uses a Metro Transit Authority stop near the Tennessee State Fairgrounds as its main pick-up and drop-off site in Nashville. The stop is located at the Nolensville Road and Wedgewood Avenue T-intersection.
However, megabus.com has fielded some concerns from riders noting the site is not centrally located and from some motorists who feel the buses are blocking Nolensville Road’s right-hand lane for excessive time when boarding or de-boarding passengers.
“[The reception to our entering the Nashville market has gone] better than expected,” said Bryony Chamberlain, megabus.com director of operations. “In a lot of ways, we’re a victim of our own success.”
The move to the fairgrounds followed a mid-November vote of the Metro Traffic and Parking Commission that required megabus.com to cease using by Jan. 1 a space, marked by “bus parking only” signs, at the northeast corner of the Commerce Street and Fifth Avenue intersection in the central business district.
Chamberlain said megabus, which can offer low fare, in part, because it does not own, operate and maintain its own terminals, has “a couple of potential options on the table” for a permanent site.
“I’ve got three guys working on this to try to come up with a reasonable agreement,” said Chamberlain, who added the mall site option is highly unlikely to materialize. “We’re scouting out places, putting a lot of time and effort into this. But every location we come up with, there is a reason why it won’t work.”
Chamberlain said there are multiple issues at play with finding an ideal site. These include being as close to downtown as possible, easy access to the MTA bus lines and safety for both passengers and motorists
Megabus.com is run by New Jersey-based Coach USA.