BLUEFIELD, WV (WVNS) — Sometimes, waiting is not easy but Gov. Jim Justice says that in Bluefield, it’s easier and a lot more comfortable than it used to be, with the dedication of the Larlyn Patrick McKinney Bluefield Area Transit Regional Transfer Station.

For years, local and Greyhound bus riders at the Bluefield Area Transit Regional Transfer Station (BAT) have braved the heat, the snow, the rain, and a few bugs to wait on their bus.

They had to stand under an outdoor shelter on Princeton Avenue until their bus arrived.

If they needed a restroom? Forget it. But, that is all in the past. Gov. Jim Justice rode into Bluefield to welcome the city’s new transfer station during a special dedication ceremony on Thursday, June 23, 2022.

“West Virginia’s knocking it out of the park,” said Justice. “There was a day when I walked into that first day of the state, it wasn’t very pretty. But now this is a beautiful baby now. It wasn’t a very pretty baby then.”

The 2,000-square-foot station is on Bluefield Avenue. The facility makes worries about bad weather a thing of the past. Riders have air conditioning and heat in the waiting area. They’ve also got modern restrooms for those long waits.

City officials say the $2.7 million station was years in the making. The city named the new station after longtime Bluefield Area Transit Director Patrick McKinney, who recently retired.

“BAT needed a transfer station for so long,” said McKinney, who attended and was recognized. “It was a long time coming.

“Y’all probably heard at least five years,” he added. “I’m just so happy that everything turned out the way it did.”

The new station can service natural gas vehicles. BAT also serves Mercer and McDowell counties.

About 225,000 riders a year come through the station, including around 15,000 disabled riders.

“It’s so meaningful, especially to those that are disabled,” said the Governor. “But it all boils down to what I think about all of us, you know, and I mean it when I say this.

“We owe them. We owe them.”

Riders who transfer at the new station can now enjoy both the wait and the ride.

Regular routes run from Athens through Princeton and Bluefield, to Premier, Welch, and Gary in McDowell County.