|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It is also the ugliest, of poor design, and woefully outdated, but more of that later.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.
Greyhound and Peter Pan run buses from the Port Authority Bus Terminal to New England. (Note that some of the most popular companies running buses between New York City and Boston do not use the PABT—they load and unload at other locations. More...
Companies served by the PABT include:
New York City <—> Cape Cod
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, 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 Port Authority Bus Terminal website is odd and minimally useful.
—by Tom Brosnahan