New "East Pointe" bus hub opens in East Moline
A $1.8 million, 4,500-square-foot bus station with high-tech amenities and a training/conference room for businesses and organizations opened in East Moline Wednesday.
Officials hope the state-of-the-art station will be a catalyst for surrounding economic growth, said Jennifer Garrity-Moody, MetroLink public relations and marketing director.
Passengers can start boarding buses at East Pointe at 6 a.m. today, MetroLink general manager Jeff Nelson said, adding that MetroLink expects 1,000 passengers a day to ride through East Moline.
U.S. Rep. Lane Evans, D-Rock Island, who did not attend Wednesday's ceremony, helped get a federal grant to pay for most of the cost.
"Let's hope East Pointe gives the same kind of spark for East Moline as Centre Station did for Moline," state Sen. Mike Jacobs, D-East Moline, said.
"This is a beautiful facility," Mayor John Thodos said. "You almost think you're at the airport."
In the station's indoor waiting area, people can look at a computerized screen on a wall to see what time buses depart. MetroLink uses a technology system called Innovations in Transportation to track buses via satellite.
MetroLink built the facility on the former John Deere Malleable Works and Fairbanks & Morris property in East Moline's Great River Industrial Park. Anchor Lumber and East Moline Glass Co. are building near the bus station.