Commuters who have had the misfortune of passing through the GWB Bus Terminal in Washington Heights depart with some lingering questions: Was that bus terminal actually open? Was anyone taking care of it? Was that whole experience even real?
If the Port Authority Bus Station in midtown sets high marks for dilapidation and degradation, its brother station in uptown Manhattan has long set the bar for desolation. Abandoned without much in the way of stores or assistance, the bus station sits atop a busy highway, surrounded on all sides by exhaust and sticks out like a forgotten appendage of the cityscape. While commuters shuffle in from points in northern New York and New Jersey, the bus terminal remains a stark reminder of the beleaguered state of New York City's transit infrastructure.
Finally, and after years of promises, the Port Authority has begun to revamp the bus terminal, closing it for a year while it undergoes a major renovation.
Beginning today, the bus terminal will be closed and replaced with a temporary trailer. Buses will continue to arrive and leave at designated stops outside the terminal as the Port Authority looks to add a fully enclosed passenger pavilion and remodeled bus concourse, and also quadruple the retail space inside of the terminal as part of the $183 million project. The Port Authority is also touting a direct view of the George Washington Bridge from inside the terminal, which will certainly open up the dreary interior of a fifty-year-old terminal that could best be described as a brutal assault on the senses.