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Port Authority seeks commuter input on making its bus terminal better

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A council of commuters and those living near the Midtown hub would offer regular feedback

Port Authority Bust Terminal in Midtown, Manhattan.
Max Touhey

If you’ve ever had a burning desire to weigh in on operations at the Port Authority Bus Terminal, now’s your chance.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is looking to create an advisory council made up of those who regularly commute through or live near the Midtown transit hub, which straddles 41st Street between Eighth and Ninth avenues.

The panel would launch in July as a 12-month pilot program tasked with providing input on the terminal’s facility management and operations, customer service issues, and the hub’s impacts on surrounding neighborhoods. Transit officials hope to glean input from those who known the terminal best, especially as the Port Authority gears up for an overhaul of the little-loved bus terminal—an effort that has plodded along for years.

“We’re about to embark on a rebuild of the Port Authority Bus Terminal and we thought it would be a good time to have folks who use that terminal on a regular basis to provide input regularly,” said Port Authority spokesperson Steve Coleman.

Plans to renovate the transit center are trudging through the bureaucratic process as the authority determines the best way to upgrade the overwhelmed bus terminal, which is projected to see up to a 50 percent increase in passengers during evening peak hours or 337,000 passengers daily by 2040, according to the authority’s estimates.

The advisory council would be another mechanism for locals and regular commuters to weigh in on that process as it moves forward. The panel is based off of a similar program for the PATH system that has been in effect since 2015, said Coleman. Members of the bus terminal council would be required to meet every two months either in person or through a teleconference. Those interested in applying must submit an application by June 7.

Applications can be found on the Port Authority’s website, picked up at a bus terminal information booth, or at the Port Authority Bus Terminal Replacement Center located just inside the terminal’s Ninth Avenue entrance between 40th and 41st streets. Those forms can be either be submitted to PABTAC@panynj.gov, mailed to the PABT Advisory Council (at B&T Customer Programs and Services, 4 World Trade Center, 150 Greenwich Street, 22nd Floor, New York, N.Y. 10007), or hand delivered to a bus terminal information booth or at the Port Authority Bus Terminal Replacement Center.