UPDATE: Additional Megabus routes start on Sept. 7
The low-cost travel carrier known as Megabus unveiled a new location for customers to hop on board in Chattanooga.
UPDATE: Starting Wednesday, some additional Megabus routes will be available for commuters.
On September 7th, Megabus announced routes from Chattanooga to Knoxville, Christiansburg,VA and Washington D.C.
To purchase Megabus tickets click here.
PREVIOUS STORY: The low-cost travel carrier known as Megabus unveiled a new location for customers to hop on board.
This comes after several years of controversy the company has faced in Chattanooga. Several businesses have complained about the passengers waiting to board.
The new location is at 2020 East 23rd Street in Chattanooga. The land used to be an old gas station and will now be the main pick up spot for the company.
For the last five years, double-decker buses have brought thousands of passengers like Jennifer Carroll in and out of Chattanooga.
"It stopped in the middle of nowhere and I would feel sorry for anyone trying to find it,” Carroll said.
Hard to find for some because Megabus has had several pick-up locations over the years.
Mike Waters with Megabus said the company leased the property in May and spent about $15,000 to repair the vacant lot.
"When we look at our demographics this is probably more the neighborhood that serves our clients quite a bit better,” Waters said.
However, business owners like Karen Randall with Jason Randall transmissions say the company also has a history of complaints from local businesses.
"That there are no facilities for them, that there are no benches, don't have covered pavilions, that they're left in the rain and that they wander to neighboring businesses and disrupt business and drive away customers,” Randall added.
Randall said she learned that the company was moving in from reading about it in the paper. Now she wants to build a fence to prevent loitering and deter passengers from using her driveway to get to other stores.
"There's random people getting off buses for hours at a time just roaming around looking for bathrooms; it can be a problem,” Randall said.
Megabus tells Channel 3 that there are plans to build a waiting area at the bus stop in the near future. They hope this move will better meet the needs of their customers
The Highland Park Neighborhood Association and several other organizations pushed to keep Megabus in town.
The affordable transportation service is known for its low fares because they typically do not have bus terminals.
"For us to be in the downtown area was fairly tight, you know with people and their luggage especially if there's large crowds, it's not a real good fit,” Waters said.
Megabus says now that they have a permanent location here in Chattanooga they're expanding their services with direct rides to Knoxville beginning on September 7th.