Rearrangement of bus gates at Port Authority Bus Terminal

Rearrangement of bus gates at Port Authority Bus TerminalIn order to fight congestion, New York City’s central bus station, Port Authority, will be subject to structural changes. It is a fact that everyday there are more than 190,000 passengers arriving and departing from this bus terminal, with many of them being commuters on cross-Hudson bus routes. The bus station is especially crowded during rush-hour traffic – a situation, which is supposed to improve following the rearrangement of bus gates. A negative consequence caused by rush-hour congestion is, indeed, the decrease in punctuality: While about 92 percent of the buses arrived on time in 2012, only 85 percent of the buses were punctual in the first quarter of 2014. The changes of the Bus gates will come into operation on September 8 and are expected to affect roughly 30 percent of the weekday travelers. Despite being part of a $90 million Quality of Commute upgrade program, bus passengers remain sceptical in view of the upcoming alterations.

A shortage of staff, as well as insufficient information options are the main root of the passengers’ concerns. The lack of electronic information displays and live-update countdown clocks, in particular, is regarded as archaic . If travelers at Port Authority want to inquire about departure or arrival times or have questions regarding bus schedules, they have to find their way to information booths or visit one of the Greyhound Bus or Trailways counters. Further causes for complaint consist in out-of-order elevators and insufficient warnings, whenever the gates change on short notice. With 223 gates available at Port Authority, spontaneous alterations of points of departure can cause considerable trouble for commuters and travelers, who expect a convenient and hassle-free bus trip.

In the past, plans for more thorough reconstruction of Port Authority in New York have been proposed, but have ultimately been put on hold. Even a whole new building has been considered. However, this endeavour would have amounted to an estimated total of $90 billion and approximately 15 years of construction work, forcing commuters to resort to interim solutions in the meantime. The rebuilding of Port Authority, however, is still considered necessary by many given the expected rise in ridership. Taking general population growth and the increasing popularity of bus travel into account, experts predict that ridership will rise by up to 51 percent by 2020.

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