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Port Authority Bus Terminal Woes: Commuters Sound Off

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey asked commuters what they think of the facility, and the responses were not so great.

On Tuesday, commuters were sounding off, speaking with CBS 2’s Lou Young about the problems they face during their daily commute.

As Young reported, the bottleneck of buses, fumes, filth and long waits at the end of the day for Jersey-bound bus commuters are so bad, one comedian recently called it “the iconic worm in the Big Apple.”

“My bus is always late,” Montvale resident Maureen Sutton said.

“Service is lousy,” said Hortensia Mater North Bergen.

Those in charge of the “commuter chat” about the terminal set up shop during the evening rush and got an earful.

“This is unacceptable. Every single night between 4:30 and 6:30, the lines are all the way out to the front,” Frank Muller of Fairfield said.

“I’ve asked these people multiple times to come to our line and check it out, and no one has ever shown up,” Ridgewood resident Jamie Caridei said.

The lines Caridei is referring to are a result of a nightly bus traffic jam inside the terminal, CBS 2 reported.

“Buses are stopped all the way across. We get no service,” Mater said.

After hearing from disgruntled commuters, the Port Authority has come to the belated conclusion that its infamous terminal is obsolete, CBS 2 reported.

“It’s time for a new bus terminal, it is. It’s time for a new bus terminal,” Cedrik Fulton with Port Authority said. “But between now and then, we have to make sure that we do the best that we can to allow our customers to travel in comfort.”

The last major bus terminal upgrade was in 1979 – an era when the terminal and the area around it comprised a seedy district known for crime, prostitution and vagrancy.

The Port Authority is now trying to figure out how to spend $90 million to improve the old terminal including updates to air conditioning and new restrooms.

Many commuters who were asked what they think of the terminal conditions said they couldn’t spare the time to stop and chat.

“I had to get in my line or I can’t get a seat so I didn’t have time to chat with them,” Oradell resident Dan Erben said.

Commuters told Young they never see people with clipboard at the gates where the problems are most evident.

Plans on how to spend $90 million will be finalized in the fall, Young reported.

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