Well, we are not the only ones complaining bitterly of the terrible conditions imposed by the Bus Terminal! On June 11, Chekpeds’ special envoy to New Jersey, attended a forum held for the first time by NJ Transit and the Port Authority with the elected officials.
Approximately 200 NJTransit Bus riders who were visibly frustrated and angry at the bus commute out of the PABT were in attendance for this inaugural forum spearheaded by the local elected officials. The Electeds opened the session by saying there were many complaints and concerns brought up recently. NJTransit and PA officials then went over statistics and their future plans to alleviate problems. This was followed by heated questions from the audience. Here are a few examples : (Read the full report here)
- Building is unsafe due to massive overcrowding, locked/blocked exit doors, and numerous water leaks. Stairs going down from where passengers exit buses should always be operational. Otherwise this creates huge backups and buses can’t exit/move out.
- Unacceptable delays during PM rush hour. After 5:10pm, all bus routes are delayed and it is impossible to get home within 2 hours. A lot of people are considering leaving Bergen County because commute is becoming unbearable These are indeed the same buses that idle forever on our streets:
- Dispatchers are ineffective.Total lack of communication. Customer service ends at 6pm but most issues occur at or after that time.
- Use GWB instead of tunnels? Have NJTransit offer Secaucus stops so that passengers could switch to train .
This is excellent news. Customers give a lot of weight to our issues and will put pressure on finding long term solutions. Another bit of good news is that $90 millions have been approved for on-time performance, which will necessarily affect positively the situation in the streets. Further CB4 supported the Port Authority request for $ 300 millions in Federal sustainability funds. The funds will be granted in the fall and would go toward building a bus garage. Seems that finally buses are on people’s mind .
In another positive development, the Board of the Port Authority declined to provide credit guarantees to Larry Silverstein to build a third tower in the World Trade center. These credit guarantees could be better used to borrow money to build a bus terminal. This is a very good day when the Port Authority refocuses on its transportation mission and specifically pays attention to its bus operation.