Twin Cities Area Transportation Authority lands $2.4M grant
Bus transfer station proposed at old Roxy’s location in downtown BH
By LOUISE WREGE HP Staff Writer
Jun 3, 2020
Plans are being considered to create a transfer station at the former Roxy’s Hamburger restaurant, located across the street from the Dial-A-Ride offices on Main Street in downtown Benton Harbor.
The former Roxy’s Hamburger restaurant in downtown Benton Harbor has been proposed as the site of a new transfer station for Benton Harbor Dial-A-Ride.
BENTON HARBOR — The former Roxy’s Hamburgers in Benton Harbor may one day be a bus transfer station, said Executive Director Paul Gillespie of the Twin Cities Area Transportation Authority (TCATA).
TCATA board members approved a resolution last week asking Gillespie to pursue that possibility. The former Roxy’s is across the street from the Benton Harbor Dial-A-Ride building at 275 E. Wall St.
“The idea has been in the back of my mind since I first started here last summer,” he said.
He said he was initially thinking it would be nice to open the bus transfer station in 2024, when TCATA celebrates its 50th year in business.
But the COVID-19 pandemic has made him see the need to accelerate the process.
He said the current building was built in 1989, when TCATA didn’t have any fixed routes. It only provided on-demand services, so people were rarely waiting at the building to catch a bus.
Now, he said TCATA has three fixed routes. And before the pandemic, Berrien Bus had three fixed routes, which he said he assumes will come back. He said buses from all six routes converged in Benton Harbor.
“It was never designed as a place for people to wait,” he said. “We’re having issues with people waiting on the two outside benches here at the station. It’s really not an ideal situation for social distancing. We want a more suitable place for people to wait.”
He said the current building would continue to house TCATA’s administration and maintenance.
The recent announcement that TCATA is receiving $2.4 million from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act has made the possibility even more feasible, he said.
Gillespie said the possibility of turning the former Roxy’s into a bus transfer station is in its infancy. He said TCATA would need to buy the building and get all of the required permissions from the state and federal government.
“I think this is going to be a popular thing,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of positive feedback. This building has sat empty for 20-30 years.”