CAT buys $5 million terminal

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - It doesn't matter if it's hot, cold, sunny, or raining, the corner of MLK and Broughton is the downtown spot to catch the bus or transfer to a different one.

"It's bad. I have been soaking wet waiting outside. I've had to go back home and miss going to work," Ashley Crumbley said.

Other riders also don't enjoy waiting outside for the buses.

"It's awful waiting in the rain. And sometimes the bus is late or will bypass you if you aren't standing out," Ivory Bennett said.

But after 15 years of planning, the days of waiting outside are almost over.

Chatham Area Transit unveiled plans for its new transit center Jan. 17. CAT recently purchased the Greyhound station on Oglethorpe for just over $5 million. They say after construction is finished it will have an old Union Station look. Construction is expected to take just under two years.

It will be like an airport hub, completely changing the way they do business.

"There's no comparison. The idea is this makes the trip faster, more convenient, and it improves safety," CAT Director Chad Reese said.

He says ridership is already up twenty percent and the new terminal will only make things easier for customers.

"It allows passengers to transfer between buses and hopefully a future street car, taxis, and a bike share program," Reese said.

Reese says the Federal Government is picking up 80 percent of the price tag.

He says the new terminal will also be full of new safety features including around the clock guards and cameras.

They are planning to have the project finished in just under two years. Greyhound will continue to operate there and will lease space from CAT.

Copyright 2012 WTOC. All rights reserved.