The Regional Planning Association has pitched two major transit projects aimed at coping with an influx of commuters and the city’s aging infrastructure.
The think tank recommended creating another bus facility in the basement of the Jacob K. Javits Center, which is currently undergoing a $1.5 billion expansion. Creating another facility, the RPA posits, would increase capacity and allow the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to Renovate Its Existing Bus Terminal On West 42nd Street, Crain’s reported.
The basement bus terminal would also include an underground pedestrian connection to the new No. 7 subway station in Hudson Yards. The idea for the new facility was first suggested last year during a competition to redesign the bus terminal. RPA estimates that the project would cost $3 billion.
The RPA also suggested adding two new tunnels to the two already planned under the Hudson River as part of the $25 billion Gateway project. The additional tunnels — called Gateway East — would run under the East River and lead from Penn Station to Sunnyside Yards in Queens. This would allow Penn Station to actually function as a through station, rather than a terminus for trains. RPA estimates the cost of this project to fall in the realm of $7 billion.
The ideas come as commuters slog their way through the “summer of hell,” the phrase coined by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to describe a series of repairs and service shutdowns at Penn Station this summer. It also comes as the Port Authority welcomes a new executive director, Rick Cotton. It’s not clear what route the bi-state agency will take on the bus terminal.
“With the change of regime at the Port and the pushback over a bigger bus terminal, there is also a sense that there has been a reset on the bus terminal that could welcome new ideas like this,” RXR Realty’s Scott Rechler, chairman of the RPA and the former vice-chairman of the Port Authority, told Crain’s. [Crain’s] — Kathryn Brenzel