STANFIELD - If you're planning on going Greyhound from the west end of Umatilla County, you'll have to go to Stanfield first.
After rearranging routes and closing the bus stop in Hermiston last month, Greyhound simultaneously opened a new agency at the Pilot Travel Center, a truck stop and gas station at the junction of U.S. Highway 395 and Interstate 84. There, travelers will be able to purchase tickets and send packages.
A spokeswoman for the company said Greyhound eliminated 269 stops in the region between Chicago and Seattle, including Hermiston.
Debbie Hannah of Boardman made the trip to Stanfield Monday to buy a ticket to Tennessee for her son, Wesley Reed. The Greyhound used to stop in her town, but hasn't since the route and stop changes took effect Aug. 18.
"You used to be able to catch a bus there and buy the ticket in Hermiston," she said. "I didn't know anything about (the changes) until I called."
The new stop has eight departures a day, four going west and four going east, said Jason Coleman, a Greyhound contractor from Everett, Wash., in town to set up the new stop.
Josie Medley from Umatilla will be working at the Greyhound desk. Although the stop isn't selling many more tickets than the Hermiston stop, she is hopeful business will pick up.
"Hopefully, they will be advertising more," she said.
Kim Plaskett, a spokeswoman for Greyhound, said the sites to be shuttered were selected because the number of people buying outbound tickets was too low. Hermiston was one of them.
"There weren't that many" tickets being sold, Plaskett said. "We had to shut it down due to it being an unprofitable location."
Greyhound buses still roll through the city, they just won't be stopping, she said.
The closing of the Hermiston stop and opening of the new Stanfield stop is also part of a larger effort by the company to focus more on short-distance travelers, rather than those heading across the country.
Nearly 75 percent of Greyhound riders travel 450 miles or less, Plaskett said.
"We're transforming the network to be smaller and simpler," she said. "We'll still provide long distance service, just with more connections."