NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — More than 30,000 weekday commuters have to change their routines on where they get dropped off and picked up for the ride home at the Port Authority Bus Terminal.
Beginning Tuesday, 40 gates at the 65-year-old bus terminal in Manhattan have been reassigned in a bid to reduce delays and overcrowding for the thousands of passengers who use it daily.
Most gates for NJ 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.
“We’re really trying to improve the quality of customers’ commutes, so these changes should reduce the queueing in the terminal and the crowding conditions as well as improve their on-time performance of the buses,” PABT General Manager Diannae Ehler told CBS2’s Ilana Gold.
Crews have posted 500 signs and banners and have handed out 75,000 flyers explaining the changes. Port Authority employees are also helping customers all week because most commuters have used the same gate for years to get home.
“I was stressed. I was like, ‘What’s going on?’ I ain’t know which way to go because I’ve got to be somewhere at 9 o’clock,” said Luke Isha, of Brooklyn, who was catching a bus to work in Carlstadt, New Jersey.
The Port Authority said the changes could cause the most confusion during the evening rush hours.
When asked what he expects then, one commuter said, “Chaos.”
“It’s just a matter of remembering where to go at the end of the day,” one woman said.
The gate reconfiguration is part of a $90 million quality-of-life commute effort at the bus terminal, but it’s a temporary solution while the agency figures out how to pay for a $10 billion terminal replacement project.
Commuters can learn whether their bus routes are assigned to new gates by visiting www.panynj.gov/PABTgates.
(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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