|Port Authority Bus Terminal, NYC|
|On a typical weekday, 8000 buses come and go, carrying 225,000 passengers to and from America's busiest bus terminal. Too bad the terminal sucks....|
New York City's Port Authority Bus Terminal (PABT), a block west of Times Square at 625 Eighth Avenue, bounded by 40th and 42nd Streets and 8th and 9th Avenues (map), is the busiest bus terminal in the USA, and perhaps in the world.
It is also the ugliest, of poor design, and woefully outdated, but more of that later.
With 223 gates serving 8000 buses daily, it sees 225,000 commuters pass through on any weekday, and serves about 2.3 million bus departures each year.
Companies served by the PABT include:
New York City <—> Cape Cod
New York City <—> New Hampshire
Concord Coach operates buses between New York City and Nashua and Concord, New Hampshire. The New York bus stop is at 373 East 42nd Street, between 1st and 2nd Avenue, next to the Tudor City Place overpass, just off United Nation Plaza. You must buy your tickets online in advance. More...
The Bus Terminal
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, owner of the PABT, knows that the terminal needs to be replaced, but claims this could cost $10 billion which it does not have. It will be years before there is a better terminal. In the meantime, the PABT, originally built in 1950, expanded in 1981, is immensely ugly, and not easy to use, a tribute to the triumph of private wealth over public services. Some examples:
—Boarding gates could have illuminated signs giving bus lines and destinations, but they don't.
—The PABT itself admits that serving bus passengers is secondary: dining, shopping and games are more important than transport...in a bus terminal?
—Location directories (plans) inside the terminal do not include "You are Here" marks, so you may use the directory to find your destination within the terminal, but you may not know where you're starting from.
—If the Information booth is closed, there will most likely be a man waiting around it to "help" you by convincing you, one way or another, to part with some or all of your money for no good reason.
—Signage is often inadequate and poorly designed: the South terminal doesn't even have the name or identity of the building on or above its doors. At the North terminal, identification is minimal, and only visible if you're close.
—When you arrive at the PABT after a long trip, sleepy-eyed and a bit groggy, do you see the name of the terminal on the door to let you know you've arrived? No! This is what you see:
A symbol of the ugly building itself. Helpful!
—The present Port Authority Bus Terminal website is odd and minimally useful, but fear not: planning is underway to replace it with a new brand-facility to be completed (with luck) by 2030. Yeah, 2030.
—by Tom Brosnahan