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Transportation

The Bus Terminal Is Dead. Long Live the Bus Terminal

Intercity bus travel is booming in the U.S. Is there a case for bringing back some decent infrastructure dedicated to it?
Boarding an intercity bus today doesn't often resemble what riders experienced before the late 20th century decline of Greyhound.
Boarding an intercity bus today doesn't often resemble what riders experienced before the late 20th century decline of Greyhound. MCAD Library, Jeramey Jannene/Flickr

If you're unfortunate enough to be one of the 65 million annual bus riders who arrive in New York City via the Port Authority Bus Terminal, you will not be greeted by the grandeur that Frank Sinatra promised.

The light in the cavernous bus station is a strained, pee-stained yellow, free of natural inflections. Its halls are labyrinthine and too hot, its signage confusing, and its smells (I’ll spare you the adjectives) are very, very bad. Given such "ambiance," it's perhaps not surprising that the local NBC affiliate produced an investigative piece last summer on whether or not the terminal is a safe place to be.