The Port Authority Bus Terminal is the largest bus station in the Western Hemisphere. It is made up of two multilevel terminal wings. And, seeing as it offers travelers connecting bus services to almost any location you can think of within the United States, it should come as no surprise to learn that this bus terminal is the busiest in the world: It caters to more than 225,000 individuals daily, offering them more than 8,000 buses to the destination of their choosing.
In the heart of the city that never sleeps, the Port Authority Bus Terminal (PABT) is a lifeline of transit for both New Yorkers and tourists alike. As the central hub for intercity bus travel in NYC, managing your luggage while navigating the hustle and bustle can often pose a challenge. This article provides an in-depth look into the diverse range of luggage storage options available within and around the Port Authority in New York City.
Storing luggage at the Port Authority itself
After the terrorist attacks of 9/11, almost all major stations and terminals, including the Port Authority, had all on-site luggage storage options cut. This was done as a security measure. So, if you are at the Port Authority, not only will you be unable to find any storage lockers to use, but you will also be unable to find any storage facilities of any kind.
The Port Authority Bus Terminal, located between Eighth and Ninth Avenues and 40th and 42nd streets, offers on-site luggage storage options. The terminal has a branch of Vertoe, a leading short-term storage service provider. They provide secure and insured services, operating every day from early morning until late night. It’s a practical choice for those seeking storage for a few hours or a full day, with pricing starting as low as $5.95/day. However, due to high demand, pre-booking is strongly advised.
Hotel Bell Desks
Some nearby hotels, like the Row NYC and Hotel Edison, may offer luggage storage services to non-guests for a fee. Rates can vary, and storage availability is often subject to the hotel’s capacity and discretion, so it’s always wise to call ahead and confirm.
Luggage Storage At Port Authority Online
Given the lack of storage facilities in most stations and terminals, several companies have tried to fill this gap in the market. Some companies, like Stasher, LuggageHero, and BagBnB, rely on the sharing economy, which is the same business model used by Airbnb.
What Stasher does is that notifies you of nearby locations where you can store your luggage safely. This location can be anything from a convenience or grocery store to a gift shop or hotel. Additionally, if you go with their service, they will insure your bag against theft or damage, reimbursing you in the event of either for up to $1000.
Also, compared to other services, Stasher offerings are cheap. They will enable you to store your luggage for a whole day for the small price of $6. On the other hand, some companies, like LuggageHero, will charge you by the hour, making you pay for the time you use only.
Several luggage storage startups have made their mark in NYC, providing affordable and flexible options for storing luggage near the PABT.
- Stasher: An award-winning storage network, Stasher connects you with local businesses and hotels that have spare space to store your luggage. They’re partnered with trusted brands like Premier Inn and Accor Hotels, ensuring your belongings are kept safe.
- Bounce: Offering over 100 locations across New York, Bounce provides convenient and cost-effective storage solutions. They charge a flat fee per bag, and their service locations are just a short walk away from the PABT.
- NannyBag: With its wide range of partners including hotels and retail stores, NannyBag offers a secure, insured, and affordable luggage storage solution.
Luggage Pickup And Delivery
Despite the fact that Vertoe is cheap, it is not the most convenient option for many people. After all, you have to go drop off your bags, and when you need the, you will have to go and pick them up. For some, this can be tedious, especially if their bags are heavy or they are just juggling way too many bags.
Fortunately, if you are looking for a more convenient option and are indifferent about the price, you might want to check out My Bag Check. If Vertoe was the Airbnb of luggage storage, then My Bag Check would be the Uber.
My Bag Check works in a very simple way: A driver will arrive at any location you set. They will pick up your bags and store them for you. And, when you want your bags back, the driver will drop them off anywhere you want.
You are probably aware that My Bag Check is pricier than a service like Vertoe; what you may not know is just how pricier. You see, in addition to charging you for storage, My Bag Check charges you for transportation as well, and depending on where you set the pick-up and drop-off points, the transportation charges can range from $30 all the way to $100 or even $120. What’s more, this still doesn’t take into account the storage fees, which can be around $15 per day. So, all in all, My Bag Check can be extremely convenient but a little more expensive than other available options.
The Schwartz Luggage & Storage NYC located on West 37th Street provides traditional locker rentals, although they tend to be a slightly pricier option. They also offer luggage shipping, making them a good option for travelers looking to send their bags home or onto their next destination.
Museums and Attractions
Several popular attractions near the PABT, like Times Square, the New York Public Library, and Bryant Park, have self-service lockers or staffed cloakrooms. While not typically advertised as luggage storage, these facilities can provide an emergency solution. Keep in mind, though, that you’ll need to purchase an admission ticket to access these services.
The Port Authority Bus Terminal and its surrounding vicinity in New York City offer a wide range of luggage storage options to meet every traveler’s needs and budget. From on-site storage services and locker rentals to luggage storage startups and luggage delivery services, finding the right solution largely depends on factors such as your budget, storage duration, convenience, and security requirements. Before choosing a service, always check their operation hours, terms of service, and ensure they provide insurance for the stored luggage.
As the city continues to evolve, so too does its services. Therefore, it is advisable to check the websites or customer service of these companies for the most accurate, up-to-date information. With a little planning and research, you can enjoy the vibrant NYC scene baggage-free!
Born and raised amidst the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple, I’ve witnessed the city’s many exciting phases. When I’m not exploring the city or penning down my thoughts, you can find me sipping on a cup of coffee at my favorite local café, playing chess or planning my next trip. For the last twelve years, I’ve been living in South Williamsburg with my partner Berenike.