March 27, 2014
A local bus made a new stop on Thursday.
The Starlight Express, the non-stop bus that links Charlottesville to New York City, began picking up passengers on West Main Street, in front of the Amtrak station in Charlottesville.
It kicked off its new stop with a ribbon cutting attended by Charlottesville Mayor Satyendra Huja, city councilor Bob Fenwick and Albemarle County Supervisor Jane Dittmar.
The goal of the new stop is to provide more central, connected access for customers. People can take Charlottesville Area Transit (CAT), the free trolley, the Greyhound, train, or bike or walk to the stop.
"This is the center of Charlottesville. This is the heart of Charlottesville," said Dan Goff, the general manager of Goff Limousine & Bus Company. "Also, people have been asking for what's called intermodal transit -- the ability to come on the Amtrak and leave on our bus or vice versa. The schedules are complementary."
The Starlight Express partnered with CAT, who controls the bus stop, to offer the stop.
Goff feels the addition will increase the number of riders.
"We think we will grow the business just because there's so much demand to be in this area. We think right now just to move here is going to be about a 20 percent ridership upgrade, and we've got the capacity to handle it comfortably," he said.
The stop is one of two. The second is along India Road behind K-Mart.
The Express is discontinuing the stop at the IX complex.
The Starlight Express is offering a Final Four Freebie. If the UVa men's basketball team wins their next two games and goes to the Final Four, then you can ride back to Charlottesville for free on Monday.