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FOX 8 Defenders follow-up:: Megabus moves to Union Passenger Terminal

Months after the FOX 8 Defenders first exposed concerns over a makeshift bus stop in the Marigny, Megabus gets a new home in New Orleans. (FOX 8 Photo) Months after the FOX 8 Defenders first exposed concerns over a makeshift bus stop in the Marigny, Megabus gets a new home in New Orleans. (FOX 8 Photo)
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -

Months after the FOX 8 Defenders first exposed concerns over a makeshift bus stop in the Marigny, Megabus gets a new home in New Orleans.

Buses began picking up and dropping off riders at Union Passenger Terminal, downtown. For the last year, it had been operating on a street corner in the Marigny. Now, many say the new location is a safer and healthier situation. 

"When I drove up this morning it was truly a beautiful sight to see," said Tracey Deroche, a Marigny business owner.  He's referring to the empty sidewalk at Elysian Fields and North Rampart Street.

For at least the past year, Megabus picked up and dropped off passengers at the Marigny corner.

"They had no facilities, no shade, no place to eat, and it really created a tremendous difference in the amount of trash along the neutral ground and along Elysian Fields Avenue," homeowner James Henry said. 

Today, that's not the case. Buses for the low-cost carrier now use Union Passenger Terminal downtown where Greyhound and Amtrak operate. 

"They were happy. People were happy to, you know, get off the curb and get in to a nice air-conditioned building with amenities," Mike Waters with Coach USA/Megabus said. 

Last month, the New Orleans Building Corporation signed a lease with Megabus to move operations to UPT. The move will cost the carrier $70,000 a year in rent. Already, more than 80 seats have been added to the terminal to accommodate extra passengers.

"We still got some things to do. We got to get our behind-the-counter desks, replace the intercom system and add signage," Waters said. 

The move couldn't come fast enough for Marigny neighbors who've been frustrated with added traffic, litter and no restroom facilities for too long. Resident Katherine Kuroczko explained it's been a long road fighting to get the bus stop moved. She says she was often told it would be gone in a couple of weeks, but she says that turned into a year-and-a-half with no changes.

Moving forward, passengers, neighbors and area business owners are relieved. 

Mayor Mitch Landrieu issued the following statement:

"This is a win-win for both the people of New Orleans and MegaBus as it helps to ensure that passengers have a safe, convenient and enjoyable experience to and from New Orleans. Union Passenger Terminal already features Amtrak, Greyhound and RTA bus and streetcar service. MegaBus is a natural fit and adds another convenient transportation option for both residents and visitors. In recent years, the New Orleans Building Corporation has invested in this growing central hub and will continue doing so as our city grows."

Copyright 2015 WVUE. All rights reserved.

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