July 26, 2005

Greyhound Ends Bus Service in Morehead City, N.C.

Jul. 26--MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. -- A bus will continue to roll in and out of Morehead City for a few more weeks, but today marks the end of the line for bus station operations.

Edie Holt, who has run the station most of the time since 1996, said Carolina Trailways will continue bus service at the North 13th Street site through Aug. 16, but she will be closing down ticket sales and other operations as of today.

Until the mid-August date, a bus will stop each day in Morehead City at 5 p.m., dropping off passengers and picking up any on their way to another location. Those who don't have tickets will be able to ride to the New Bern station and purchase their ticket there.

"After (Tuesday), this will be a bus stop only until the 16th," she said.

Holt said she decided not to continue as a station agent just as Carolina Trailways, a subsidiary of Greyhound, was expected to announce its plans to eliminate some of its smaller stations as part of a systemwide improvement plan.

Morehead City is one of 31 locations in North Carolina where the bus stops are considered unprofitable or marginally profitable.

"We've revamped our entire schedule network in eastern North Carolina to make it much more efficient and much more convenient," said Carolina Trailways General Manager Elvis Latiolais.

Carolina Trailways operates in six eastern states. Through the restructuring, the bus line is eliminating smaller stations where there are few customers and operating new routes where there is greater demand, Latiolais said.

For instance, he said, there will be a greater frequency of service between Jacksonville and Raleigh. Also, service will be expanded from Wilmington to the Myrtle Beach, Charleston, S.C., and Savannah, Ga. areas.

Meanwhile, he said, customers in the areas where stations are closing will still be able to catch a bus at nearby locations. Latiolais noted that in most cases where there are closings, another station is located within 20 miles.

It is 33 miles between Morehead City and the New Bern station. For Holt, that is a concern and one of the most disappointing aspects of knowing bus service to Morehead City will be ending soon.

She said many of the passengers she's met over the years are residents on fixed incomes who have no other means of transportation to see family or make other trips out of town.

"There are some regular customers -- people on fixed incomes -- who take the bus to Raleigh, Charlotte, Fayetteville and New York," Holt said.

For those who don't drive, she said, the bus service is convenient and affordable transportation when traveling outside of the area.

Holt said business at the Morehead City station had increased since the closing of the station at Cherry Point a little more than two months ago.

She said that since then there has been an average of about five or six passengers to leave the station each day and about an equal number to arrive.


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