THE PORT AUTHORITY OF NY & NJ

Press Release Article


QUALITY OF COMMUTE PROGRAM ADVANCES AT PORT AUTHORITY BUS TERMINAL WITH ENHANCED CELL CONNECTIVITY IN SOUTH WING AND NEW BATHROOMS ON 2ND FLOOR

Date: Feb 23, 2015
Press Release Number: 29-2015

Quarterly Commuter Chat Scheduled for Tuesday, February 24 to discuss recent changes and to receive commuter feedback

Improved cell connectivity throughout the South Wing of the Port Authority Bus Terminal and new, modern men's and womenís bathrooms on the second floor are two of the most recent steps taken by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to improve the commuter experience at the Times Square station.

In September 2014, the Port Authority Board of Commissioners approved a $90 million Quality of Commute program to improve on-time performance, upgrade the customer experience and enhance the condition of the terminal. The improved cell service and new restrooms on the 2nd floor of the terminal build on recent on-time performance improvements initiated late last year that helped to reduce lines and improve bus flow during the afternoon rush hours.

The enhanced cell service provides voice and internet access to previously underserved or "dead zones" within the south wing of the bus terminal. The Port Authority and its network service provider, Boingo, recently installed repeater systems, which bring tower signals from the surrounding neighborhood into the building. Commuters are now able to use their cell phones to place calls, access the internet and use their favorite apps on smart phones, including NJ Transitís myTix to purchase tickets and myBus to check bus status and schedules.

"Improving cell connectivity and offering Wi-Fi are two of the top customer improvement requests we receive in our annual customer surveys and at our quarterly Commuter Chats," said Diannae Ehler, General Manager of the Lincoln Tunnel and Port Authority Bus Terminal. "Boosting cell connectivity and eliminating dead zones throughout the south wing will greatly improve the commuter experience at the bus terminal and allow customers to contact friends and family, connect to the internet from their smartphones and utilize myTix, myBus and other apps."

The enhanced cell service is an initial step to boost wireless service in the 64-year old Terminal prior to the installation of Wi-Fi scheduled for later this year. The bus terminal was built in 1950, with plenty of concrete and reinforced steel. This heavy duty architecture is a major reason the Terminal has lasted more than six decades, but it also makes it challenging to provide strong cellular and Wi-Fi signals. Port Authority staff, in coordination with Boingo, drilled into the concrete, installed conduit, and configured a set of repeaters to bring the signal from the city streets into the terminal. All work was done during overnight and off-peak hours, so as not to impact operations at the busiest bus terminal in the world.

Along with enhanced cell connectivity, the Port Authority has also completed Phase I of its restroom rehabilitation project with the opening of two brand new restrooms on the 2nd floor of the Bus Terminal. The completely renovated restrooms include new flooring, walls, partitions, lighting, ceilings, and plumbing fixtures. The improvements provide cleaner and more comfortable restrooms, ensure ADA compliance and decrease downtime for restroom maintenance. The Port Authority will now begin renovating the remaining restrooms on the 2nd floor.

To highlight the recent improvements and receive feedback from commuters the Port Authority and its bus carriers, including NJ Transit, have scheduled this quarter's Commuter Chat for Tuesday, February 24 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on the first floor of the south wing, opposite Au Bon Pain. We encourage commuters to stop by and speak with senior management about the recent changes, ask questions and provide feedback about additional ways to improve the Bus Terminal experience.

CONTACT:
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
212-435-7777

Founded in 1921, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey builds, operates, and maintains many of the most important transportation and trade infrastructure assets in the country. The agency's network of aviation, ground, rail, and seaport facilities is among the busiest in the country, supports more than 550,000 regional jobs, and generates more than $23 billion in annual wages and $80 billion in annual economic activity. The Port Authority also owns and manages the 16-acre World Trade Center site, where the 1,776-foot-tall One World Trade Center is now the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere. The Port Authority receives no tax revenue from either the State of New York or New Jersey or from the City of New York. The agency raises the necessary funds for the improvement, construction or acquisition of its facilities primarily on its own credit. For more information, please visit http://www.panynj.gov.