Bus Riders’ Plight Terrible: Opinion

Bus riders on NJ Transit get the short end of the stick, according to Alfred P. Doblin, editorial page editor of The Record newspaper.  After 3 years of riding NJT buses to his job, Doblin should know.  In the evenings at the Port Authority Bus Terminal, he writes, horrendous lines snake through the terminal as NJT riders queue up for buses.  A main problem, Doblin says, is that buses have no place to park in Manhattan while waiting for their next trip; there is no garage.  And no garage is in sight; according to Doblin, the answer is simple: transit officials just do not care about their customers.  “When was the last time you saw a group of highly paid attorneys riding a bus?” he writes.  And, says Doblin, the appointment of Veronique Hakim to head NJ Transit is symptomatic: “What concerns more is that there will be another lawyer running an agency that has nothing to do with making law.”

Doblin says that bus commuting is much more difficult than commuting by rail: “the schedules are confusing; the amenities are non-existent,” he writes.  He points to the “dysfunctional” Port Authority and the relationships of its chairman, David Samson, as a likely reason that no bus garage has been built, or is scheduled.

Earlier this month, The Record met with Port Authority executive director Pat Foye and discussed the Authority’s capital plans.  Foye confirmed that a previous plan for a bus garage fell through, and said that a solution would have to wait for a developer to come up with redevelopment plans for the bus terminal area—a bus garage might then be feasible.  Foye, appointed by New York Governor Cuomo and thus part of the “New York side” of the agency, seemed more interested in limiting noise in the New York neighborhoods around the terminal, Doblin wrote.

Doblin’s opinion piece was formerly available at http://www.northjersey.com/news/opinions/246821551_Doblin__NJ_Transit_bus_riders_left_at_the_curb.html