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Group calls for full steam ahead to fix downtown Greyhound, Amtrak station

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Once a busy hub for rail travel, downtown’s Union Station is plagued by a number of maintenance issues.

Tod Bassler, president of the Indiana Passenger Rail Alliance, said, “I’d like to see environment be more conducive to making customers comfortable so they don’t have to sleep on the floor.”

Bassler also pointed to graffiti in the bathrooms and potholes in the pickup/drop-off lane as other issues that need to be addressed.

He said, “When we’ve approached the city with our concerns we’ve found that they’ve had plans to improve it, clean it up to get rid of the graffiti in the bathrooms, for example, but plans need to come to fruition.”

Indianapolis Department of Metropolitan Development owns Union Station, which houses both Greyhound bus lines and the Amtrak train stop.

The city government issued a statement about the issues the station faces.

“Greyhound, a tenant of the City within the space, is responsible for maintaining their space as well as the common areas in good repair and appearance. This includes janitorial and trash services, snow and ice removal, as well as property landscaping.”

City government of Indianapolis statement to News 8

Metropolitan Development said it is addressing some of the structural problems at the station.

The city government also says Metropolitan Development and its Department of Public Works are under contract for design improvements to the Illinois Street underpass near the station and the pickup/drop-off lane at the station, and has already invested $5 million in infrastructure support to the station over the past six years.

“In 2019, DMD invested $44,000 in improvements to the HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) and lighting systems at the station and in 2021 approved an additional $400,000 for restroom renovations that are currently open for bidding and due September 29. We anticipate construction on this project to start early fall.”

City government of Indianapolis statement to News 8

The Indiana Passenger Rail Alliance believes Union Station provides a vital service to people who don’t have a car or can’t afford to fly.

Bill Malcom, a spokesperson for the rail alliance, said, “We’re steps from the Colts stadium. We’re steps from the Convention Center. We’re steps from our hotels and museums. It’s a diamond in the rough.”

A view in August 2022 outside the entrance to Union Station where Greyhound buses and Amtrak trains arrive and depart in downtown Indianapolis. (WISH Photo)