A new bus transfer station in Bluefield is scheduled to open in the first half of 2022, the West Virginia Department of Transportation announced.
The Bluefield Transfer Station on Bluefield Avenue is a 2,000-square-foot building where Bluefield Area Transit riders can have a warm, dry, and safe place to transfer buses. Currently bus riders must change buses on the street, exposed to the elements.
In March of 2021, Gov. Jim Justice and U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va. attended the groundbreaking of the state-of-the-art facility. The project is part of a larger program to revitalize downtown Bluefield and part of the governor's vision to improve West Virginia's communities.
“There have been a lot of people turning the wheels on this; doing amazing work to make this day a reality,” Gov. Justice said at the time. “It's unbelievable how important, how vital Bluefield Area Transit is to this community."
Bluefield Area Transit serves Mercer and McDowell counties and carries about 211,000 passengers a year. In 2019, Bluefield Area Transit buses drove nearly 800,000 miles.
Construction of the $3 million facility began in the spring of 2021. Funding is a combination of federal, state and local dollars.
The complete, official name of the facility is the Larlyn Patrick McKinney Bluefield Area Transit Regional Transfer Station, named for Bluefield Area Transit's director of more than two decades.
The Federal Transit Administration, WVDOT, West Virginia Division of Public Transit and City of Bluefield cooperated to plan and fund the facility. The transfer station is being built on a former Brownfield industrial site.
The new transfer station is currently under roof. New curbs have been completed, and the City of Bluefield recently finished paving for the facility.
The transfer station will also provide a safe place for passengers to board and disembark from Greyhound buses, which also stop in Bluefield.
The facility is expected to open in the first half of 2022.