New York Senator Charles Schumer proposed a series of reforms aimed at returning the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to its transportation mandate Monday in a speech at Viacom’s headquarters in Times Square.
The overhaul, which Schumer outlined as a seven point plan, first targets what he referred to as the Port Authority’s fractured management style. Schumer suggested the consolidation of leadership under the agency’s executive director, rather than joint control split among that person, the chairman of Port Authority’s board and the deputy executive director. Schumer also took issue with the agency’s habit of funding non-revenue generating projects, citing New Jersey’s Pulaski Skyway as a state road system that is neither owned nor operated by the Port Authority – but which still received a $1 billion investment from the agency. Schumer says those funds should be spent on bolstering transport moving people and goods, such as the work on the Port Authority Bus Terminal or the construction of Moynihan Station.
Schumer’s seven point plan comes less than a week after the agency delayed a vote on whether or not to pledge a further $1 billion for Silverstein Properties’ 3 World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan. New York Times columnist Joe Nocera also wrote last week that the Port Authority should stay out of the business or real estate and focus on improving transportation infrastructure. [Crain’s] – Kerry Barger