BUS STATIONS OF BIRMINGHAM UNITE…
1. Birmingham Greyhound Station, AL
- Info - The station was constructed in a ‘moderne’ style and opened in 1950, according to BhamWiki. Opening times, location, etc, from Greyhound.com
- History - the station was a focus for the Freedom Riders in the US Civil Rights Movement when black and white activists rode together on both Greyhound and Trailways to protest against segregation on the buses. They were attacked by the KKK but ultimately prevailed (more on that in a separate future post). Here’s the 1961 timeline of Freedom Rides.
- Blogged - Bharden’s account of riding the Greyhound and getting stuck in B’ham bus station for seven hours:
"I ended up just sitting in the greyound station for 7 hours. With all the homeless people. Greyhounds are like the homeless shelters of the states, and when you have a beard and a mullet you just get mistaken for one of them. Every hour or so the police will come past and wake you up and check you have a ticket and kick the bums out for a bit. Its like school. The police are viscous. If there is no seats left and you sit in a quiet area on the ground, instead of going hey buddy you cant sit there, they go "Stand the F*(K up!" and you crap yourself."
2. Birmingham Coach Station, Digbeth
- Info - the previous dingy eyesore of a station was razed to the ground in 2007 and a shiny new intercity bus station opened in the same spot in December 2009. Here’s the National Express info on location and other details.
- Background - Birmingham is a central transport hub in the middle of the UK, linking cities throughout the UK, but from the Digbeth station it is also possible to make international connections to Dublin and Poland.
- Blogged - Digbeth blogger Nicky Getgood spent 12 hours in the bus station on New Year’s Eve 2009. Here’s the first of her 14 NYE Express posts where she writes about the staff, the cleaner, the passengers and the stories they had to tell:
"I cannot recommend enough that everyone spends a little time watching the world go by in the nearest coach or train station, to experience where you live as a traveler. You’ll see a truly different side to your area and get to talk to some very interesting people passing through it, who all have their own stories to tell."