Last week I went into ‘The City’, and wanted to take the Shortline bus from Monticello. I try to use the bus when I can, because I think its pretty ridiculous to drive a one-person car into Manhattan only to stash it for my stay in a garage for $40 a day. Politicians and planners also encourage us to switch to public transportation to save on congestion, pollution and petroleum.
Sounds good to me. But when I got to the Shortline bus station, alas, yet again, the tiny parking lot was full. All around the bus station are vacant lots, but no parking, and overnight parking is prohibited in the huge Government Center lot across the street. So my only choice was to drive on. The train from Middletown (where there’s plenty of parking) might have been an option, but there’s this 8 hour gap, from 1:30 PM to 9:30PM where there aren’t any trains from Middletown into the city.
Sullivan County has grown and continues to grow, but our transportation infrastructure in and out of NYC hasn’t grown with it. The Shortline bus schedule has pretty much remained the same for years, with few additional departures. 3 or 4 years ago, I never thought twice about finding parking in the bus station lot for an overnight trip to the city; now I always have a contingency plan to ‘drive on’ because its full more than it isn’t full.
A number of potential second home buyers I talk with from the city just don’t want the hassle of dealing with a car in Manhattan, and ask about keeping a car up here near the bus station — but it isn’t really an option.
The Holy Grail for me would be a high speed (maglev?) train up to Monticello (which would probably require a casino buildout) that could make the Monticello-NYC run in 75 minutes or less. But right now, I’d just settle for a reliable parking spot and a bus that ran a little more often.