Port Authority bus terminal plans stall amid political pressure

Manhattan officials said the agency's design competition is flawed

Aug.August 16, 2016 08:44 AM

Elected officials in New York and New Jersey all agree that a new bus terminal that connects travelers to Manhattan’s West Side is needed. That’s about where the agreements end.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s design competition for a new $10 billion terminal has so rankled both sides that they’re effectively at a standstill, although Manhattan politicians are holding the cards, according to Politico.

Manhattan Councilman Corey Johnson, who wields veto power over the project, said he will oppose any of the concepts that come from the competition. “It’s fair to say we need to reset and restart the process,” he said. Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer also said the current proposals are “not acceptable.”

The bi-state agency has been planning for a new terminal since 2013 and had settled on five possible concepts. A winner was to be announced next month, but NYC officials have been crying foul — arguing that the competition was premature and calling on the agency to start over.

New York officials want the Port Authority to consider building a new terminal in New Jersey. Last week, a group of lawmakers from New Jersey sent a letter to city officials in which they said a new facility in New Jersey would be a “recipe for disaster.”

In response the agency has been trying to dial down the controversy.

“It’s not dead,” agency vice chairman Steve Cohen said. “Everyone concedes we need a new bus terminal. The only real issue is where will it be, what does it look like, what is the acceptable disruption and who shares the burden.” [Politico] E.B. Solomont

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