Bus terminal gate changes for New York, New Jersey commuters
NEW YORK (AP) — More than 30,000 weekday commuters have had to change their routines on where they get dropped off and picked up for the ride home at the nation’s busiest bus terminal.
Beginning Tuesday, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey reassigned gates at its 65-year-old bus terminal in Manhattan in a bid to reduce delays and overcrowding for the 110,000 passengers who use it daily.
Most gates for the bus terminal’s largest operator, New Jersey Transit, are consolidated on the third floor. NJ Transit buses serve more than 60 percent of the terminal’s passengers during peak periods.
Coach USA, which includes the Rockland, Shortline, Suburban and Community Coach lines, now has most of its gates on the fourth floor. The changes also affect DeCamp and Lakeland riders.
Despite the changes, commuters bustled through the terminal Tuesday afternoon seemingly unfazed.
“It’s pretty simple if you just follow the signs,” said Alexander Sinoli as he prepared to board a bus to Pennsylvania.
Signs warning of the changes were affixed to the doors of the bus terminal, and more than a dozen workers wearing bright yellow vests stood by on each level to help commuters who couldn’t find their way.
Other travelers, like Jessica Casey, who commutes daily from New Jersey, were unaffected.
“It didn’t change, but I wanted to check and make sure,” she said of her gate number as she waited to board the NJ Transit bus on the terminal’s second floor.
Commuters can learn whether their bus routes are assigned to new gates on the Port Authority’s website, at http://www.panynj.gov/PABTgates.
The gate realignment continues efforts begun last fall to streamline bus operations to reduce congestion in the terminal, which can stretch out into the inbound Lincoln Tunnel and beyond.
The gate reassignment is part of the $90 million quality of commute initiative, which the Port Authority’s board approved last year.
The Port Authority, which also operates New York-area bridges, tunnels, ports, airports and the World Trade Center, has heard criticism over the state of the bus terminal.
Earlier this year, a group of proposals to build a new terminal was panned by Port Authority commissioners as too expensive or not feasible.