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Greyhound buses will serve St. Paul at Union Depot

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Greyhound buses are resuming service in St. Paul, after pulling out of the city for Minneapolis two years ago, MPR News reports.

Starting Tuesday, the bus company will offer six daily departures and weekend service from downtown St. Paul's Union Depot to cities such as Chicago, Madison, Milwaukee and Kansas City, the Star Tribune reports.

Greyhound also will offer two daily Express buses, the company's premium direct service between major cities. Express service offers passengers fewer stops, roomier rides, power outlets and free Wifi, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Greyhound was expected to move from its University Avenue station to the renovated Union Depot in 2012. But it changed plans and moved out of St. Paul entirely, offering service only to Minneapolis, according to the Pioneer Press. The company says it wanted to focus on establishing its new Express service to just one city in the metro area.

"Last year, Greyhound expanded its Express service to Minneapolis, and after seeing its success there, and the high demand for additional services for our customers in St. Paul, we were able to expand to the Union Depot," said Alexandra Pedrini, a spokeswoman for Greyhound, according to the Pioneer Press.

The remodeled Union Depot has been open for well over a year, but the transportation services based there are just beginning to ramp up.

Jefferson Bus Lines, another intercity bus carrier, began service from the Union Depot in January 2013, and discount bus carrier Megabus moved its St. Paul stop to the depot a few weeks ago.

Metro Transit's Green Line light rail service linking downtown St. Paul and Minneapolis will begin operating there in mid-June. Amtrak is expected to begin twice-daily service to the depot sometime this year.

Union Depot officials say ridership has picked up in the Twin Cities, and travelers are attracted to the renovated depot.

"The bus companies are finding that the waiting room is just really nice for their passengers," said Deborah Carter McCoy, a spokeswoman for the Ramsey County Regional Rail Authority, which owns and operates Union Depot. "So it's something that they're encouraging their passengers to use, and we certainly are as well."

Greyhound will share ticketing and service facilities with Jefferson Lines at the depot. The lease agreement calls for Greyhound to provide service at the depot through 2022, according to the Pioneer Press.

The railroad authority has been looking for additional tenants, and recently signed a lease for office space with an advertising and marketing firm based on Grand Avenue, the Pioneer Press reports.

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