Fayetteville to build new bus station

July 26, 2012 2:55:31 PM PDT
Fayetteville will soon see a dramatic change in public transportation. City buses will have a new $8 million hub to call home, thanks to a federal grant.

The new transit center will be located on a lot surrounded by Franklin, Winslow, and Russell Streets in downtown Fayetteville.

The project has been in the developmental stage for the past six years. On Thursday, Federal Transportation Commissioner Peter Rogoff visited Fayetteville to make the project official.

"A good strong transit system is going to make for a stronger economy in this area. The construction of this new facility is going to mean hundreds of jobs. It's an $8 million facility," Rogoff said.

Fayetteville Mayor Tony Chavonne said ridership on city buses is up and the new downtown hub will make it easier for people to get around.

"80 percent of the people riding the bus are just trying to get to work. So it's an economic development component for that, a large one in fact for our community. I think that the connection that we'll be able to do by bringing everyone together here with Amtrak and our transit system and the cabs, it's a very positive move for the community and one that's long overdue, to be honest with you," Chavonne said.

Not everyone share's the mayor's sentiments over the new bus terminal. Jackie Pfendler is president of JP Electric, and her business sits on the site of the proposed transportation hub. Under current plans, all of those business will be torn down to make room for the new development.

During Thursday's ceremony, JP Electric employees draped a sign off the roof of the building that said, "IF OBAMA HELPED BUILD OUR BUSINESS, WHY IS HE LETTING THE CITY OF FAYETTEVILLE TAKE OUR BUSINESS."

Pfendler said the city is offering her $200,000 less than she has put into the business to get it up and running.

"My husband and I built this building. We employee over 60 employees. We bring revenue in. And nobody wants to discuss anything. We're in limbo until they take it from us," Pfendler said.

Pfendler said she plans to fight until the city forces her to move. Meanwhile, demolition of all the buildings on the property is set to begin in September.  

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