Bobby Joslin, owner of Joslin and Son Signs on Murfreesboro Road, stands at the vacant Music City Dodge property, where Greyhound bus lines would like to relocate. Joslin says the terminal would attract more homeless people to the area. SHELLEY MAYS / THE TENNESSEAN
The possibility that Greyhound will move its Nashville bus terminal from downtown to Murfreesboro Road is upsetting merchants there, who say panhandling and crime would increase. Business owners say the prospect stings even more when they think about the strides they've made in cleaning up the South Nashville street, long a haven for prostitutes. "It doesn't bring any value back to our community," said Bobby Joslin, owner of Joslin and Son Signs. "The people who hang around a bus station are not the people anyone wants hanging around their businesses."
Greyhound's terminal on Eighth Avenue South is in the footprint of a proposed new downtown convention center. Preparing for the likelihood that it will be asked to move so the city can acquire its land, the private bus company made plans to buy the former home of Music City Dodge at 710 Murfreesboro Road. Greyhound Lines Inc. carried 151,833 riders to and from Nashville in 2008. "They have to have some place to go, especially if that acquisition is on a short timetable," said Peter Heidenreich, a lobbyist working for Greyhound. Greyhound first will need to get a special zoning exception from the Metro Board of Zoning Appeals because the new site is zoned for light manufacturing. The appeals board will hear the case at 1 p.m. March 5 after deferring it last week. Abby Wambaugh, a Greyhound spokeswoman in Dallas, said the 3.3-acre property meets the company's needs for highway access — it's close to Interstates 24 and 40 — and efficient operations. She said proximity to the interstates is more important than being downtown, where Greyhound has been since buying Trailways and taking over its terminal in 1987.