THE PORT AUTHORITY OF NY & NJ

Press Release Article


PORT AUTHORITY BUS TERMINAL TO INITIATE GATE CHANGES EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 8 FOR MORE EFFICIENT AFTERNOON COMMUTE

Date: Aug 11, 2015
Press Release Number: 112-2015

Gate assignments for approximately 30 percent of weekday passengers at the Port Authority Bus Terminal will change effective Tuesday, September 8 – the day after Labor Day – to help reduce crowding and improve the flow of buses throughout the busy facility during the afternoon and evening commute.

As part of the agency's continued Quality of Commute program, these efforts are designed to enhance the passenger experience — for the 220,000 passengers who use the bus terminal each day — by improving commutes and providing greater flexibility to respond to traffic disruptions. The initiative also is expected to reduce crowding for commuters waiting for their buses during the afternoon and evening rush hour, and better enable passengers to find their specific bus carriers.

"By consolidating the operations of NJ TRANSIT and Coach USA into separate designated areas, we will build on the successes realized earlier this year in improving on-time performance and reliability during the afternoon rush hour," said Diannae Ehler, General Manager of the Lincoln Tunnel and Port Authority Bus Terminal. "This is an ambitious change that would not have been possible without the full cooperation of NJ TRANSIT, Coach USA, and our other carriers."

"This quality of commute initiative is great news for our customers. It will enable NJ TRANSIT to improve customer access within our own dedicated service area and — as a result — enhance our operations within PABT, shorten customers' wait time and streamline the platform queuing process," said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director Veronique "Ronnie" Hakim.

"Coach USA is pleased with the opportunity to participate in the gate realignment, knowing it will be an opportunity for us to effectively market our services and gain efficiency with all of the other carriers at the Port Authority Bus Terminal," said Coach USA Executive Vice President Don Carmichael.

The gate reassignment is part of the $90 million Quality of Commute program, which the Port Authority Board of Commissioners approved in 2014. Most notably, it follows on-time initiatives late last year that have helped reduce lines and crowding conditions, and improved bus flow during the afternoon rush hours. This in turn led to significant reductions in complaints about bus delays during the afternoon commute.

The gate reassignment will consolidate bus operations throughout the facility. Specifically, most NJ TRANSIT operations will be consolidated onto the bus terminal's third floor, while Coach USA's operations will be consolidated onto a "Coach USA Corridor" on the fourth floor. These changes will free the carriers from the traffic conflicts that can arise when multiple bus carriers, with separate dispatchers and controllers, move their fleets through common areas. The bus terminal also will assign five additional gates to NJ TRANSIT, in order to relieve congestion in gates that currently are over-utilized.

NJ TRANSIT is the bus terminal's largest operator, serving more than 60 percent of its passengers during peak periods – approximately 40,000 passengers during the afternoon and evening commute. Coach USA, which includes the Rockland, Shortline, Suburban and Community Coach lines, is the second-largest operator, serving approximately 15 percent of the bus terminal's passengers during peak periods.

Other Quality of Commute successes include the establishment of improved cell connectivity throughout the bus terminal's South Wing, prior to the installation of Wi-Fi scheduled for later this year. In addition, the Port Authority installed two sets of new restrooms on the 2nd floor of the Bus Terminal; will complete a third set of restrooms in the South Wing's lower level; and will replace the remaining five sets of public restrooms by the end of 2016. The Port Authority also is working closely with current and prospective tenants to improve the appearance of their establishments and enhance their customer services.

The Port Authority, NJ TRANSIT, and other carriers will alert commuters to these changes before they happen, and help ease their transition by disseminating information through social media, on their official websites, and through signs and brochures. Information will be available in English and Spanish.

Commuters can learn whether their specific bus routes will be assigned to new gates, at www.panynj.gov/PABTgates. The Port Authority also will display directional signs at strategic locations, and bus carriers at their gates to help direct commuters to their new gates.

The Port Authority will disseminate "Find Your New Gate Location" brochures, in English and Spanish, by providing them to bus lines, terminal shops, services and tenants, and directly to commuters at the affected gates. The Port Authority also will promote awareness of the gate changes through social media. NJ TRANSIT will make on-bus announcements about the gate changes during the days leading up to September 8. In addition, Port Authority staff and NJ TRANSIT will provide ambassadors who will be present at the bus terminal on September 8 and through the rest of that week, in order to assist commuters and direct them to their gates.

To further inform commuters about the gate changes and receive their feedback, the Port Authority and its bus carriers, including NJ TRANSIT, have scheduled this quarter's Commuter Chat for Tuesday, August 18 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on the second floor's North Wing. Commuters are encouraged 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.

(NOTE: SEE BELOW FOR TWO CHARTS ILLUSTRATING THE GATE RE-ASSIGNMENTS THAT WILL TAKE EFFECT AS OF SEPTEBER 8, 2015)

Gate Relocations: Chart 1 of 2
NJ TRANSIT
NOTE: Only gates noted in red will change from prior location as of 9/8/15. If your route is not listed, your gate has not changed.

NJ-TRANSIT Gates

Gate Relocations: Chart 2 of 2 Coach USA Carriers
(Rockland, Shortline, Community Coach) DeCamp and Lakeland
NOTE: Only gates noted in red will change from prior location as of 9/8/15. If your route is not listed, your gate has not changed.



For up-to-the-minute updates on conditions at the bus terminal and at other Port Authority facilities, travelers are encouraged to sign up for Port Authority alerts at http://www.paalerts.com/.

Contact:
The 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.