Press Release Article


PORT AUTHORITY ANNOUNCES PLANS TO OPEN FRESH MARKET IN MIDTOWN BUS TERMINAL

Date: Feb 14, 2019
Press Release Number: 23-2019

Agency issues Request for Expressions of Interest today seeking respondents to develop a fresh market

Initiative is latest venture in agency’s “Quality of Commute” program to enhance the customer experience in the midtown bus terminal until a new facility is built

Additional measures also planned to enhance retail, upgrade the terminal building, improve bus trip reliability and enhance customer communications


The Port Authority announced that it is issuing a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) today for private sector operators interested in developing and operating a Fresh Market at the Port Authority Bus Terminal. The initiative is the latest in the agency’s $110 million “Quality of Commute” program to enhance the customer experience for the 260,000 daily bus terminal commuters.

During today’s Board of Commissioner’s meeting, board members were briefed on the Fresh Market RFEI, as well as additional actions planned for this year to upgrade the bus terminal structure and to add customer amenities such as additional retail establishments, enhanced signage and an increase in customer service ambassadors.

Inspired by successes such as the Grand Central Terminal Market, the Fresh Market will be located in the bus terminal’s South Wing, first floor level, and will offer fresh fruit, produce, cheese, fish and meat from various vendors. Responses to the RFEI are due on April 15, with the goal to have the market in operation in 2020.

“Our 260,000 daily bus terminal customers deserve and expect better service and amenities, and our goal is to accommodate them until the new facility is built,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole. “This year, we will take important incremental measures to ensure that bus commuters’ daily trips through the facility are as enjoyable as possible.”

“The Port Authority is committed to offering enhanced customer service initiatives for bus travelers, whose commute is especially challenging due to the age and obsolete nature of the 68-year-old Port Authority Bus Terminal,’’ said Port Authority Vice Chairman Jeffrey Lynford. “We believe the Fresh Market and other improvements will make the commute through the PABT a bit easier and more enjoyable.”

“We are focused on building a new bus terminal. But while that project is under way, we must upgrade the existing building,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. “During the past four years, the bus terminal has sought multiple ways to improve the daily experience for hundreds of thousands of bus terminal commuters, but it’s clear that commuters deserve more. The additional improvements we will make, including the opening of a Fresh Market, digital gate signage, continued lighting improvements and ceiling replacement and a new family restroom, will continue our ongoing efforts to give the traveling public a facility that meets their needs.”

In addition to the Fresh Market, additional retail establishments are being added to the facility, including Upstairs Wine and Spirits, which opened on December 18, 2018. Brooklyn Deli, which will offer classic delicatessen sandwiches, is scheduled to open in the 4th quarter of 2019. The Port Authority also renovated two spaces, which will accommodate a variety of pop-up vendors while the Port Authority actively seeks tenants.

In addition to retail, the facility is currently undertaking the following new initiatives in 2019:

  • The installation of five monitors at shared use bus gates to quickly inform customers about gate changes and other pertinent information.
  • The restoration of two gates for bus operations that previously were assigned for alternate uses.
  • The installation of new lighting and ceiling on the South Wing, second-floor level, to complement similar work that already was done on the South Wing’s lower level and first floor.
  • Improved full elevator service from the subway level to the parking levels in the terminal’s South Wing.
  • The installation of a new staircase from the South Wing main level to the subway level to enhance passenger flow.
  • The installation of a family restroom on the second floor between the North Wing and South Wing.
  • The installation of Help Point call boxes in eight locations in the terminal that will provide travelers with immediate contact with customer service representatives and PAPD.
  • The addition of customer service ambassadors for the terminal.

The improvements planned for 2019 continue to build on the Port Authority’s Quality of Commute program, which was launched in 2014 as a way to improve conditions in the 68-year-old facility until a new bus terminal can be built.

Since the program’s inception, approximately 30 specific actions have been taken to upgrade the bus terminal facilities, to enhance customer communication and to improve the reliability of buses entering and leaving the facility. They include:

  • The activation of Wi-Fi service throughout the facility’s public and gate areas.
  • The renovation of all public restrooms throughout the terminal.
  • The installation of supplementary air conditioning units in all 3rd and 4th floor pull through platforms.
  • Enhanced customer information kiosks.
  • The implementation of operational changes to improve “just in time” delivery of buses.
  • Priority leak repairs
  • Instituted quarterly Commuter Chats
  • The establishment of an evening rush hour management team to collaboratively work with the bus carriers to identify and correct real time operational issues that impact on time performance.

Contact:
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
212-435-7777

Founded in 1921, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey builds, operates, and maintains many of the most important transportation and trade infrastructure assets in the country. The agency’s network of aviation, ground, rail, and seaport facilities is among the busiest in the country, supports more than 550,000 regional jobs, and generates more than $23 billion in annual wages and $80 billion in annual economic activity. The Port Authority also owns and manages the 16-acre World Trade Center site, where the 1,776-foot-tall One World Trade Center is now the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere. The Port Authority receives no tax revenue from either the State of New York or New Jersey or from the City of New York. The agency raises the necessary funds for the improvement, construction or acquisition of its facilities primarily on its own credit. For more information, please visit http://www.panynj.gov.


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