NYC - Port Authority Bus Terminal : safe?

Due to the crappy Greyhound bus schedules, it looks like I will be arriving at the Port Authority Bus Terminal at about 1 AM. We are planning to take a taxi straight to our hotel. Is the terminal safe (especially at that hour)? I’ve never been to NYC, so I have no idea what to expect from the bus terminal. I am assuming there will be taxis lined up there. Let me know what to expect, and if I should carry mace :slight_smile: (I know that New York in general is much safer than in the past, but I have this image of bus terminals being seedy no matter what city they are in.)

Not lovely, but fairly safe (safer than it was when I moved here in '81!). When you get off the bus, ask for the 8th (not 9th) Avenue and 42nd Street exit—there will indeed by taxis there. Maybe not a lot of them at 1:00 A.M., but you’ll get one pretty quick,

You know not to let anyone “get you a cab,” and to hang onto your luggage like glue, right?

Thanks, Eve. I think I am fairly “street smart”. Well, maybe just suspicious and paranoid, but it should serve the same purpose! I’m sure we’ll be fine, but I wanted to get an idea of what to expect.

Ahh, Port Authority. It’s pretty safe these days, and, as Eve points out, you’ll find a taxi on the 8th Avenue side pretty easily. But. . .back in the day, in the late 70s and early 80s, there was nothing quite like arriving at Port Authority late on a Saturday night and stepping onto 8th Avenue. Across 8th Avenue was the lovely Terminal Bar, a pimp hangout. Porn palaces abounded. Just east on 42nd Street was Peepland, the scuzziest of all. Hustlers of every stripe abounded. Hookers cruised 8th Avenue pretty much 24/7. They and their pimps lived in the Westerly (now the Milford Plaza, I believe), and one could spot genuine pimpmobiles cruising the Strip.

The Deuce. There never was anything like it, and there never will be.

Ah, you’re forgetting Show World—made Peepland look like La Scala.

You’ll increase your chances of having a positive port authority experience if you don’t use the bathroom.

Ah, The Port Authority Bus Terminal. Right in line after the new Penn Station for Ugliest Public Space in the Entire State of New York.

But it’s not dangerous.

You know the drill, follow the crowds, that sort of thing. Second the motion on not using the toilet there. Bear in mind that the PA is a huge place - it’s possible that you’ll be somewhere way in the back, and you could have a fair bit of walking to get to the main floor and the taxi stand.

Note that 8th Avenue, where the taxi stand is, is one way southbound. If you need to go north, the cab will have to go around the block - don’t worry about it. Eighth Avenue is so much safer than 9th avenue (which runs northbound) that it’s worth the extra 50 cents in fare.

An etiquette point for the taxi stand: if there’s a line at the stand at that hour, don’t try to get around it by trying to hail a cab a half block north. That’s very Not Cool and can get the cabbie in trouble - they’re supposed to work with cab stands, since it keeps traffic moving and is safer. Just wait your turn at the stand, it won’t take long.


May we interest you in some stereo-opticon views of the Goddess of Liberty Statue, as long as you’re here? Only five dollars for the packet of fifteen.

Coward. What’s the Port Authority Experience without asking a homeless lady if you can use the only non-clogged toilet, please, and yes, you’ll watch her dog while you’re in there omigod that’s not a dog!!!

Umm, 8th Ave is runs Uptown one-way. I always thought that ‘up’ was north. (basically)

Thanks for the info, everybody. It astonishes me the amount of quality information and advice available on these boards. I am constantly amazed at this community’s willingness to help each other out. You guys are great!

Okay, that was a pretty poorly constructed sentence - let’s try again : The amount of quality information and advice available on these boards astonishes me.

[Marge Simpson]
“Now, Homer, Port Authority is just one of the sights we wanted to see in New York.”
[/Marge Simpson]

:smack: Oh god that’s embarrassing. I got my synapses crossed with Penn Station, which I use a lot more. Oops.