The Real Deal New York

Cuomo takes aim at NJ’s Port Authority chairman, bus terminal

The governor seems to be filling the agency's power vacuum
November 29, 2016 10:30AM

From left: John Degnan, Andrew Cuomo and Port Authority Bus Terminal

From left: John Degnan, Andrew Cuomo and Port Authority Bus Terminal

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has a power vacuum, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo is trying to fill it.

Since the debacle at the George Washington Bridge — known as Bridgegate — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has stepped away from the bi-state agency and deferred to his appointee, chairman John Degnan. At the same time, Cuomo has taken aim at Degnan and plans to replace the Port Authority Bus Terminal, Politico reported.

Cuomo reportedly told Degnan in a phone call that he could care less about building a new $10 billion bus terminal, referring to it as mainly a New Jersey project, sources told Politico. He said he’d approve a $2 billion allocation for the project, below the $3.5 billion that Degnan was seeking from the bi-state agency.

Sources told Politico that Cuomo’s office urged allies, including New York Congressman Jerry Nadler, earlier this month to call for Degnan’s recusal from the bus terminal project. New Jersey state Sen. Loretta Weinberg told Politico that Nadler and others were wrongfully trying to tie the recusal to the fact that Degnan’s son, Philip, was recently confirmed as New Jersey’s comptroller. Representatives for Cuomo said his office wasn’t involved but agreed with Nadler.

Cuomo and Degnan seem to be wrangling over what projects should take priority. The governor is pushing for the planned renovations at LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy airports, while Degnan is focused on the bus terminal. [Politico] — Kathryn Brenzel