AUGUSTA — Greyhound bus riders have a place to catch the bus again in Augusta.
Concord Coach Lines’ Augusta Transportation Center, at 9 Industrial Drive, has become an agency for Greyhound, selling tickets for two daily Greyhound runs to Boston and points in between south of the capital, and two daily runs north to Bangor.
Augusta has been without a Greyhound bus stop since its long-time Augusta agents Lynda and Mike MacFarland retired at the end of last year, closing the Augusta State Airport ticket counter they ran together.
Mike MacFarland also ran the Hertz rental car counter at the airport, so when he retired, the Hertz counter there also closed.
Hertz plans to reopen at the Augusta State Airport later this month, according to John Guimond, manager of the city-run, state-owned airport.
Guimond said a Hertz area manager told him Monday the company will move back in starting next Tuesday, and hoped to open around June 15.
The Hertz manager could not be reached for comment Monday.
The bus stop at the airport is apparently not returning, as Guimond said he has not been contacted by anyone from Greyhound about reopening at the airport. He was surprised to learn the company had reached an agreement with Concord Coach Lines for that rival bus company to serve as an agency and bus stop for Greyhound.
“We haven’t had a bus (at the airport) since Jan. 1,” Guimond said.
Concord started selling Greyhound tickets May 15 at the Augusta Transportation Center at 9 Industrial Drive in north Augusta, off Leighton Road, according to a spokeswoman for the company.
“They needed a place to go,” said Dana Knapp, Maine division manager for Concord.
He noted Greyhound is a national bus network, with more local stops, while Concord focuses on regional express service, such as runs between Augusta, Portland, Boston and Boston’s Logan International Airport
Concord has six departures and five arrivals to and from Boston each day at the Augusta Transportation Center.
Greyhound does not have its own counter in Augusta — tickets for both bus lines are sold by Concord employees.
Greyhound officials said the airport station had a low volume of travelers.
The MacFarlands sold tickets to Greyhound buses in Augusta for more than 30 years. They became agents for Greyhound in 1982, when they owned the Depot News in downtown Augusta. The staton moved from the Water Street store to the airport in 2003.
Concord’s Augusta Transportation Center opened in 2008.
Keith Edwards – 621-5647 | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter: @kedwardskj