Welcome to Albany

I’m not squeamish or fussy, but Albany’s bus station is a complete shitshow. Let me explain.

There’s only one thing worse than that desperate urge to pee; it’s worse
when you’ve felt it all through your drive to work — and now you have
a lonnng walk to the office.

Fortunately, I park right near the bus station in Albany, and I
recently ducked in there to relieve myself.

In the old days, busses were part of my routine, and I’ve done my time in bus stations from Plattsburgh to Long Island. The worst one ever? The Port Authority Bus terminal, which in the early 1980s was in equal parts filthy, colorful and genuinely dangerous.

But let me tell you this: You will seldom see a a place as seedy as Albany’s bus station, and indeed, it’s the worst public space I’ve seen in the entire city.

Whether it’s a “public space” is debatable. The station is owned by Greyhound and run by a private operator — but this is all the more the reason they should be able to run a tight ship, and by that I mean keep out the people who are pissing and shitting on the floors, breaking things and hassling the customers.

It’s quite the first impression. Step off the bus into something that looks like a Bruegel painting and stinks like the sewer. Get out of there quickly, is my advice — and then take in the grand sight of the city’s trash-strewn parking lot district. Welcome to Albany.

4 responses to “Welcome to Albany

  1. My wife and I drove past that bus station the other day and though I haven’t been inside of it in many years I could tell it hasn’t gotten better. My friends used to laugh when I would take the Chinatown bus down to the city but I loved not having to deal with the Albany Bus Terminal and Port Authority. Mega Bus is probably the best bet nowadays

  2. This does beg the question about which is the nicest bus station you’ve ever visited. In my experience, all bus stations are disgusting and are located in some of the grittiest parts of town.

  3. Des Moines, Iowa, has a nice, centrally located bus station at the heart of the city, within walking distance of all the good stuff downtown. I’ve even gone there for ice cream, voluntarily, when I wasn’t riding a bus!

    https://www.ridedart.com/about/dart-central-station

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