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Going Places

Oh God Yes The New Port Authority Bus Terminal Is Gonna Be ‘The Most Desirable Destination in Manhattan’

Now, a pit of despair. Soon? An inescapable and undeniable vortex of desire.

3:36 PM EDT on August 5, 2022

Commercial and office space, in Midtown?!?! I’m in absolute heaven. The delights are truly unbound from reality. (Port Authority)

It was just a normal Thursday. I was absent-mindedly clicking through a slideshow of the world's greatest bus stations. The usual stuff wasn't doing it for me. I was barely awake, let alone excited about moving people efficiently to a variety of disparate destinations.

But then I opened Twitter and something strange and new revealed itself. Gravity was acting differently with bodies, spaces, and most importantly, buses.

My lips trembled. I could not hear anything, it seemed as if a white noise engulfed my kitchen table. My dog began barking but I could only watch his mouth move. "Bark! Bark!…Bus! Bus!"

God, I want this new bus terminal now, I want it so bad. 

Sure, with 260,000 passenger trips and 8,000 bus movements every weekday (pre-pandemic), the Port Authority Bus Terminal was always necessary. Perfunctory. But I felt nothing close to longing, let alone lust. 

But this. This! A space with "three and a half additional acres of new green space in the local community between 9th and 10th Avenues created by decking over sections of the Dyer Avenue entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel." Under the design leadership of the firms Foster + Partners and Epstein, I truly started to feel desire.

I can feel my passion towards other transit hubs diminishing. I no longer crave Grand Central, that cavernous bore. I don’t lust for Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center, the big, brown, smooth turd.

No, my gaze is squarely focused on Eighth Avenue, where the world of temptation and yearning has collapsed into a single space. Or rather, a group of spaces and up to four high-rise towers.

Do these crude diagrams now haunt my every waking moment, knowing that this is still at least eight years from completion? Yes. Am I concerned that demand for bus commuting into the new terminal, projected to be 337,000 weekday trips by 2040, may be severely hampered by the work-from-home revolution? Also yes.

But the temptation to go there right now would not sate my building desire….my need to have a “customer experience that serves the region’s 21st-century public transportation needs” while, oh god, oh yes, “enhancing the surrounding community and allowing for the removal of intercity buses from local streets.”

New Port Authority Bus Terminal! I am ready for you!

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