Toward the mostly-empty Ninth Avenue side of the Port Authority Bus Terminal are three tired, rumpled workers waiting by a departure door for a bus to bring them back to the Jersey suburbs.
“The Commuters,” by sculptor George Segal, have been standing patiently in line here since 1982.
This triptych is an homage to the hordes who pass through the Port Authority’s grimy, fluorescent-lit interior each morning and again in the evening, year after year.
“These are long-suffering people,” Segal said in a 1982 People article. “I have a high regard for them.”
Cast in bronze and white patina, they resemble some of Segal’s other work, such as the male and female couples in Christopher Park, the little triangle at Sheridan Square.
Segal viewed aimed to depict commuters as heroic. No wonder these three have struck a chord over the years.