Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza (Toledo)
415 Emerald Avenue|
Toledo, Ohio 43602
|Owned by||Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority|
|Platforms||3 island platforms (formerly 6 island platforms)|
|Tracks||5 (formerly 12)|
Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach
Barons Bus Lines
|Passengers (2017)||56,275 1.33%|
Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza (formerly Central Union Terminal and Central Union Plaza) is the main passenger rail and intercity bus station of Toledo, Ohio.
The original Central Union Terminal (C.U.T.) opened the week of September 17, 1950, at a cost of $5 million. It was the last of the New York Central Railroad's (NYC) great stations. The new terminal was the crown jewel of a large post-war investment by the New York Central into Toledo, which involved constructing nine buildings, as well as moving and expanding (in conjunction with the B&O) an $18.5 million coal loading facility from East Toledo to Maumee Bay. Four major railroads— the New York Central, Baltimore and Ohio, Chesapeake and Ohio, and the Wabash Railroad used the C.U.T. during the 1950s and 1960s: .
The first floor housed baggage services, while the second floor housed a YMCA for train crews. The passenger terminal and concourse were on the third floor, while the NYC Toledo division and dispatching offices were on the fourth.
Amtrak era (1971-present)
In the Amtrak era, Toledo was served by as many as six daily trains in the late 1990s. The Lake Cities stopped in Toledo from 1980 to 1995 and the Pennsylvanian operated through Toledo from 1998 to 2003. In the early 1990s, local leaders decided against moving Amtrak into smaller, less costly quarters as had been done in many other cities during the 70s and 80s. The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority purchased Union Terminal from Conrail for $20,000 in 1995. In 1996, the Port Authority completed an $8.5 million renovation of the building which included a spatial reorganization of the building along with a façade restoration, a new heating and air-conditioning system, a new roof and work on surrounding roadways and landscaping. The reorganization moved passenger areas from the third floor to the ground floor for better access to the street and platforms. The renovation also included a renaming of the building to Central Union Plaza. The former passenger waiting room on the third floor was restored but is now used for meetings and events.
The building took its current name Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza in 2001. Before Amtrak stopped carrying mail in 2005, it stored material handling cars (MHCs) at the plaza on several unused platform tracks. A small number of private cars are often stored on the platform tracks closest to the station.
Toledo has the distinction of hosting the 'first' National Train Day every year, a week before the event is held in other cities nationwide.
For the arrival of Greyhound Lines bus service in 2016, the station was remodeled again to add a ticket counter, office, freight room, a Subway restaurant and bus bays. Greyhound moved into the structure on June 23, 2016. Barons Bus Lines also began service to the station. The facility now serves as a modern, intermodal train and bus terminal and office complex.
Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza is currently served by Amtrak's Lake Shore Limited which connects to New York City, Boston and Chicago and Capitol Limited which operates between Washington D.C. and Chicago. Amtrak uses the two tracks nearest the station while freight trains roll on bypass tracks at the south edge of the railyard.
Intercity bus lines and routes
The plaza is also served by Greyhound routes connecting to Chicago; Cleveland; Charleston, West Virginia; Detroit; New York City; and Washington D.C. The plaza also serves Barons Bus Lines routes to destinations around Ohio, Indiana and Michigan. The bus berths face the Emerald Avenue façade of the building.
- "Amtrak Fact Sheet, FY2017, State of Ohio" (PDF). Amtrak. November 2017. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
- "Rail Services". Toledo Lucas County Port Authority. 2004. Archived from the original on 2007-12-12. Retrieved 2008-03-26.
- Masters, Daniel A. (2007). "Central Union Terminal, Toledo, Ohio; 1950–Present". Retrieved 2008-03-26.
- "Toledo's rail terminal reviving as it hits 65th year". The Blade. Toledo. 2015-09-21. Retrieved 2017-10-26.
- "Toledo, OH (TOL)". Great American Stations. Retrieved 2017-10-26.
- "Greyhound's move to train station nears". The Blade. 28 February 2016.
- Sanzenbacher, Dane (23 June 2016). "Greyhound, Amtrak station opens in south Toledo". WTOL News.
- "Bus Stop Locations". Barons Bus. 31 May 2016.
Media related to Martin Luther King, Jr. Plaza (Toledo) at Wikimedia Commons