The Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) celebrated the grand opening of its environmentally friendly Airways Transit Center, at the intersection of Airways Boulevard and Brooks Road in Memphis, TN, on Nov. 8.
The new 30,000-square-foot facility is a hub and customer center in that portion of the city for MATA buses. It also is the new Greyhound intercity bus terminal for Memphis, replacing its decades-long home downtown on Union Avenue.
Greyhound Lines Inc. has moved its entire operation from the downtown facility to the new site.
“This beautiful new facility represents a great step forward for MATA, as well as the city of Memphis,” said William Hudson, MATA president and general manager. “We are proud of the features and conveniences this building offers visitors and the enhanced routes we now can deliver to MATA customers.”
Hudson called the transit center “a plus for our ridership today and a glimpse of what is to come in the near future, with links to the Memphis International Airport nearby and intercity travel available in the same building.” In the future, MATA may add shuttle service to and from the airport, which is less than two miles away.
MATA owns the terminal. Greyhound Lines Inc. is the major tenant and will manage the facility, which also includes space for the Memphis Police Department.
The total cost of the project, including property acquisition, demolition, and design, is about $15 million. The construction cost is approximately $11.5 million.
Initially, about four routes and 200 MATA buses will enter and exit the center on a typical weekday. The site includes four canopy-covered bus berths for MATA, as well as 16 berths for Greyhound.
The facility houses a large passenger waiting lobby, restrooms, a MATA customer service center, Greyhound’s administrative offices, driver operations area, and meeting rooms. Another amenity is a food court area with both full-service and self-serve availability for customers.
MATA is seeking Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for the building through the United States Green Building Council. If successful, the project will become one of the first public LEED-certified buildings in Memphis.
Designed to be as environmentally friendly as possible, the transit center features flooring made from recycled glass, a roof designed to reflect heat during the summer, landscaping that requires small amounts of water, low-flow lavatories and water closets, and interior lighting controlled by sensors to reduce usage.
Situated on approximately nine acres, the facility offers 70 spaces of free customer and employee parking, with room for expanded parking if demand grows. Space is also provided for taxis.
The décor of the Airways Transit Center includes public art procured through a collaborative partnership with the Memphis Urban Art Commission. The art, a montage that hangs from the ceiling and features displays of unique shapes and colors, greets visitors as they enter the front.
The artwork was created by Walter Kravitz, a professor of painting and drawing at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA, who is nationally noted for his work involving public commissions and exhibitions.