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Port Authority Wants Megabus Gone From Bus Terminal

By Mathew Katz | May 4, 2012 1:16pm | Updated on May 4, 2012 5:40pm
Passengers load onto a bus at the new Megabus hub at Port Authority Bus Terminal on Feb 16, 2012.
Passengers load onto a bus at the new Megabus hub at Port Authority Bus Terminal on Feb 16, 2012.
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DNAinfo/Mathew Katz

HELL'S KITCHEN — The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has finally weighed in on Megabus' stop outside of their bus terminal — it wants the discount carrier out.

Megabus has been operating an outdoor hub on West 41st Street between Eighth and Ninth avenues — in the shadow of the terminal — since February.

In a letter sent today to the Department of Transportation, the Port Authority asked the DOT not to renew the discount operator's permit allowing them to operate there free of charge, citing numerous safety concerns.

The permit is set to expire on Monday.

“Running a major long-haul bus operation on a city street outside one of the world’s busiest bus facilities is unsafe, risky and simply not smart,” said Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye in a statement.

“During the two-month pilot program, the arrangement’s impact on the safety of pedestrians and on our facility has been of concern to us and we encourage the city to seek a more appropriate and less dangerous location for Megabus to run its operations.”

According to the Port Authority, long lineups of passengers waiting to board Megabus' double-deckers frequently block the terminals lower level bus exit onto West 41st Street during peak times.

The PA also said that many luggage-dragging Megabus passengers cross in the middle of West 41st Street to get to the carrier's mid-block stop instead of making the crossings at intersections.

A spokesman for the Department of Transportation said it will take the Port Authority's input into consideration when deciding whether to renew the license. The department will also go back to Community Board 4 for feedback, he added.

The discount carrier, meanwhile, rejected the Port Authority's notion that the stop is unsafe.

"There have been no safety-related incidents at the site during the three-month trial period," said George Lence, a Megabus spokesman. "We have operated fully within the parameters set by DOT and we look forward to continuing to serve our customers from this popular and convenient stop."

In April, a New York Supreme Court judge threw out a case against the DOT on behalf on a group of bus carriers operating out of the Port Authority Bus Terminal that was seeking an injunction against the stop.

The carriers, including Greyhound, Peter Pan Bus Lines, and Adirondack Transit Lines, argued that the hub gave Megabus all the advantages of a desirable Port Authority location, without the millions of dollars in fees it takes to operate out of the terminal itself.