"New Jersey Transportation Commissioner Jim Simpson on Wednesday suggested a pilot program that would allow some NJ Transit buses that serve Manhattan to bypass the Port Authority Bus Terminal, picking up North Jersey-bound passengers directly from the streets of New York.
Simpson pitched the idea during NJ Transit’s monthly board meeting, directing the agency’s bus division to look into working with New York transit officials on an arrangement he said may address congestion at the terminal.
“We know that we’ve got physical constraints with the Port Authority Bus Terminal. We also know that bus ridership is rising as the result of the rising cost of fuel and increased tolls. So we're looking for smarter solutions,” Simpson said.
“NJ Transit may be able to start a service that actually does not go to the bus terminal,” he said. “It might start on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, make a series of stops, get on the tunnel and go straight to New Jersey.”
Simpson said many customers start at the East Side. “Rather than have everybody go to the bus terminal, maybe have the bus go up on the East Side,” he said.
He said NJ Transit could work with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the New York City Department of Transportation. An MTA spokesman said the streets and bus stops fall under the NYCDOT’s jurisdiction.
Scott Gastel, a spokesman for the NYCDOT, said the agency has not received any request from NJ Transit to allow bus service around the city. “We would review any such request closely before making a determination,” he said in an email.
Simpson said NJ Transit will look at the issues involved, including jurisdictional or logistical issues raised from such an operation. He also noted that the New York Waterway ferry service relies on buses in the city to carry passengers back and forth to the ferry to New Jersey. Those buses do not charge an additional fare to passengers."