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What does the future hold for the PABT?
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 11021
Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Sat Dec 14, 2019 5:44 pm    Post subject: What does the future hold for the PABT? Reply with quote

All:

From time to time, we hear of monumental and ambitious plans to "improve" the overwhelmed PABT (or, as we used to say in "Joisey", back in the day, "Port-of-Authority).......what do you see for the future?

It's sad that what was once hailed as the "Most Beautiful Bus Terminal In The World", has now been called one of the UGLIEST buildings in the city!

I grew up with the original, and still have so many great memories of that grand terminal in all of its sleek chrome and "Moderne" glory.....that was a LONG time ago ("improvement" began in 1980, which I recall all too well during my commuting days)

What are your ideas of what might be ahead for the PABT?

Do you see the areas around the terminal being condemned so and expanded terminal can be built?

Do you see an entirely new terminal being built?

Too, with the Lincoln Tunnel now light-years beyond gridlock at rush hours (and many other times as well) how do you see this problem being handled, if a new/expanded PABT should become a reality?

Look forward to your comments........

"NYO"
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N4 Jamaica




Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 767
Location: Long Island

PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2019 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whatever the solution, I may not be around for it. Unanswered to me is whether (at the height of rush hour) the twin rail tunnels under the Hudson near 33rd Street handle more or fewer passengers that the six lanes of the Lincoln Tunnel. If the efficiency is overwhelming to either rail or Lincoln Tunnel, I'd say the clearly more efficient side deserves prime money.
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2019 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

N4 Jamaica wrote:
Whatever the solution, I may not be around for it. Unanswered to me is whether (at the height of rush hour) the twin rail tunnels under the Hudson near 33rd Street handle more or fewer passengers that the six lanes of the Lincoln Tunnel. If the efficiency is overwhelming to either rail or Lincoln Tunnel, I'd say the clearly more efficient side deserves prime money.


Joe:

Interesting comments; thanks for sharing here.

The "Gateway" rail tunnel project has been on-again/off-again for so many years now, that I've lost track (pun intended!)

Long ago, I thought of making the Lincoln Tunnel a bus corridor ONLY (at least during the rush hours); here again, with vehicular traffic always increasing, in all honesty, I doubt that we'll ever catch up to a sensible solution that might at least alleviate a portion of the tremendous gridlock that affects the Lincoln today.

Recall, also, how, prior to the opening of the first tube of the Lincoln Tunnel (in 1937), the Holland was a busy bus corridor from the time it opened in 1927.

A number of private NJ companies (including PSNJ and DE CAMP) took full advantage of the Holland Tunnel's convenient access into lower Manhattan after its opening.

Getting back to the present (as well as the future)....even IF a new PABT terminal is built, OR the present terminal (originally opened in 1950) is rebuilt and enlarged, IMHO, I think it's all going to pretty much end up as a VERY expensive "catch as catch can" situation.

The Lincoln Tunnel itself is at strangulation level during the rush hours, and, that alone, is another serious issue that must be dealt with, in some form or fashion.

We can only wait and see what transpires in the near-term future......

"NYO"
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N4 Jamaica




Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 767
Location: Long Island

PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2019 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pardon my tale, if this is a repeat. Dad chose to visit relatives at night, after supper. We four would take the Tubes from Hudson Terminal to Journal Square and ride the magnificent Jackson Avenue car south past doleful 223 Martin Luther King Drive, across the street from Sacred Heart school. Two extremely fun-loving cousins lived on Winfield Avenue. Janice was my age, but her older brother rode the Ocean Avenue bus to St. Peter's Prep.
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Coming home, we had to make a doorstep decision, east to Old Bergen Road or west to Hudson Blvd. It would be very late at night, and on either street we took the first transit vehicle to show up. I have zero memory of entering Manhattan via the Holland Tunnel. One midtown route was, I think, the 99S, and this was before the Port of Authority opened in December, 1950. If we headed for Old Bergen Road, the choice was the Jackson car or the Bergen Avenue bus, and the bus ran more frequently. Then it was into the Tubes at Journal Square, and the Interborough north to West 225th Street.
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There may have been an interstate bus on each, Hudson Blvd and Old Bergen Road. You probably recall the era when interstate and intracounty riders did not ride the same vehicle.
---
I recommend Thomas Fleming, Mysteries of My Father, for Jersey City in the Frank Hague era, although there is little about transit.
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2019 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joe:

Great reminisces of a long-gone and more innocent era!

Growing up in Union City, during the 1960's, I remember that no "local" riders could board the PABT-bound NHBL #5 (JSQ-PABT); Mom and I often rode this route; the NHBL buses ran just feet from our old apartment building on 13th St.

The PABT-bound #5 (both Old Looks and WHITES in my day!) would pick up passengers along Hudson (now Kennedy) Boulevard, but, again, would not allow any "local" riders to board.

I also remember on the JSQ-bound #5's, they would drop off passengers heading home from New York, but would not allow "local" passengers to board for any point along the Boulevard (they had to wait for a #1, which, in those days, pretty much went by every time you blinked your eye!)

The "JACKSON" and "OAKLAND: streetcars were all based at the GREENVILLE car house in Jersey City; PSNJ then eliminated the last four streetcar routes on the HUDSON Division ("UNION CITY", "SUMMIT", "JACKSON", and OAKLAND) in August of 1949.

I also remember local folks calling the MONTGOMERY & WEST SIDE the "Red Bus".......

"NYO"


Last edited by NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 on Sun Dec 15, 2019 9:56 pm; edited 1 time in total
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N4 Jamaica




Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 767
Location: Long Island

PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2019 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@NYO
"Great reminiscenses of a long-gone and more innocent era!"
I beg to differ. I don't know the Jersey City murder rate over the decades, but the book I referred to narrates assaults and unbearable injustices under the Hague machine. There were differences, such as a politician never insulting an ethnic group, as you wanted 100% of their straight tickets. Yes, your house did not need window bars, and weapons were used outside your peaceful circle, but I am uncertain about the "more innocent times."
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 11021
Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2019 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

N4 Jamaica wrote:
@NYO
"Great reminiscenses of a long-gone and more innocent era!"
I beg to differ. I don't know the Jersey City murder rate over the decades, but the book I referred to narrates assaults and unbearable injustices under the Hague machine. There were differences, such as a politician never insulting an ethnic group, as you wanted 100% of their straight tickets. Yes, your house did not need window bars, and weapons were used outside your peaceful circle, but I am uncertain about the "more innocent times."


Joe:

Hey, if we all had the SAME opinions, we'd be in a VERY boring world! Wink

Allow me, if you will, to recommend an excellent book, "ON THE IRISH WATERFRONT", by James T. Fisher.

This in-depth and fascinating book deals with both Hudson County and New York politics, the waterfront, and the New York and New Jersey archdiocese (there is also much her ion the famed "Waterfront Priest" who inspired Karl Malden's priest character in 1954's "ON THE WATERFRONT".

Also, much mention on the railroads that then dominated the waterfront areas

There is also much here on "The Hague Machine"; without a doubt, there were many not-so-innocent political cronies and "goon squads" out and about (especially in Jersey City and Hoboken, during the years of the bustling waterfront)

Indeed, NONE of these characters were "choir boys", in any sense of the word.......

"NYO"


Last edited by NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 on Mon Dec 16, 2019 12:18 am; edited 1 time in total
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2019 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Getting back to the PABT:

In my area, back in the 60's, I recall people referring to the PABT facility as the "Port Of Authority"; a good (late) friend of mine, who grew up in Bayonne during the late 40's and 50's, also heard the same nomeclature used.

Recall, also, that when the PABT opened in 1950, the Lincoln Tunnel only had two tubes; it would not be until about 1957 that the third tube was finally opened.

Today, one cannot wonder what bus/traffic patterns would be like today, had a fourth tube of the Lincoln Tunnel been built.....

"NYO"


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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2019 10:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From:

"THE PORT OF NEW YORK AUTHORITY 1969 ANNUAL REPORT"

".......the bus terminal serves more than 220,000 people on the average weekday. There were 1,235,000 bus departures at the Terminal in 1969. This figure, comprised of 851,000 short haul and 384 long-haul departures, is slightly below that of 1968, and reflects the strikes by several bus companies' drivers........"

".......more than 22,000 people and 8,000 buses use the terminal each weekday. the growth of bus transportation between the terminal and the suburban areas of northern new Jersey and Rockland County have strained the existing capacity of the terminal....."

".......the Port Authority is now planning and designing an extension to the present bus terminal will increase its capacity by nearly 50 per cent....."

Recall, also, that, back then, PSNJ was the largest operator of buses in New Jersey at that time, and, also, that there were still many now-defunct independent companies that disappeared into NJT, including:

ORANGE & BLACK

INTER-CITY

RED & TAN

MANHATTAN LINES

SUBURBAN TRANSIT

SOMERSET

WESTWOOD

(DE CAMP and LAKELAND are still independent companies today)

"NYO"


Last edited by NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 on Mon Dec 16, 2019 12:19 am; edited 2 times in total
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2019 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also (from 1969 PA report):

"........demands for terminal accommodations continue to be heavy, especially for peak period service to to medium and longer distance locations......."

".....middle-distance bus carriers, which provide commuter service to the rapidly-developing homesite areas in outlying New Jersey, and also serve the more-distant resort areas, have been growing steadily over recent years....."

"........gains in long-haul bus traffic also contributed the demands on bus terminal capacity......"
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traildriver




Joined: 26 Mar 2011
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Location: South Florida

PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2019 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If they finally implement congestion pricing for vehicles in Midtown, that may provide a drop in traffic...they can keep raising the price until it does.

Even if there was a bridge or tunnel from every single street in Manhattan across to New Jersey...the biggest problem still remains...where do you park all these vehicles once they get into Manhattan.

Besides congestion pricing, one way to alleviate traffic would be to provide a better express route across Manhattan for thru New Jersey/Long Island car and truck traffic, and remove them from the mix.

The "NIMBY's" put the kabosh to that a long time ago, but perhaps the time has come to rethink it. Maybe with new construction technology, build a deep tunnel that would run completely below all the existing subway and utility infrastructure.

Some kind of solution will eventually have to come about, or the city will strangle itself, and drive business elsewhere...
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2019 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

traildriver:

Agreed 100%.

I used to think that at least part of the problem of gridlock at the tunnels could be alleviated by modern, high-capacity vehicular ferries.

Then again, WHERE would ALL those autos park, after debarking the boats on the Manhattan side?

(too, with the waterfront now mostly residential and mixed use, WHERE would new ferry docks/slips be located?)

Right now, it would seem there is NO easy solution to this perpetual problem of both the PABT being overtaxed, and the tunnels being strangulated beyond capacity.

Even IF a NEW PABT was built, WHERE would it be located?

Would a new tunnel have to be built simply to serve the buses using this facility?

As I said, there is NO easy solution here, and, I'm quite sure that this will continue to ma a major problem well beyond our time.....

"NYO"
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W.B. Fishbowl



Age: 53
Joined: 02 Oct 2014
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 wrote:
Even IF a NEW PABT was built, WHERE would it be located?

Would a new tunnel have to be built simply to serve the buses using this facility?

Obviously, there's no way that a PABT could be built to connect to the Holland Tunnel in lower Manhattan . . . Wink
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2019 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

W.B.:

You've got that right! Wink

Until the first tube of the Lincoln Tunnel opened in 1937, the Holland Tunnel was the main corridor for New Jersey (and long-haul) buses entering Manhattan.

Buses began crossing the new GWB in 1932, and, prior to the opening of new present GWB Bus Terminal in the early 1960's, outdoor terminals were used, somewhat along the lines of Journal Square, pre-PATH Transportation Center.

DE CAMP became one of the first New Jersey companies to use the Holland Tunnel in 1927.

Getting back to the current situation, there is no easy solution to not only the tremendous overcrowding of the present PABT, nor do I see any sort of glimmer at the far end of the tunnel, concerning the gridlocked snarl that the Lincoln Tunnel has become, especially during rush hours.

Political climate, funding, and so many other complicated issues have indeed added their own complex "gridlock" to an already heady, overflowing pot......

"NYO"
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N4 Jamaica




Joined: 16 Apr 2007
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Location: Long Island

PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2019 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sometime I ought get a blank map of the counties of New Jersey and try to learn which areas have high numbers of daily commuters to Manhattan. There might be some surprises in this information because jobs do exist in Hudson and Bergen Counties. Having done that, it might be interesting to see how many make the trip by rail or by bus.
---
Among my claims or theories would be that a one-seat ride is favored. I don't know whether hiking through Secaucus Transfer and awaiting a second train shifts the options towards a single-seat ride on a bus in Lincoln Tunnel traffic.
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