Business

NYU Report Finds Flawed Business Model At Port Authority Of New York And New Jersey

Port Authority Bus Terminal - New York, NY - Aug 15, 2003 - Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Port Authority Bus Terminal (file/credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A new report has found the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s business model is flawed and needs significant change.

According to a report to be released this week from New York University’s Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management, the Port Authority doesn’t just need to rethink how to manage its business. It needs to rethink what that business is, according to the report’s author Mitchell Moss.

“Port Authority has allowed itself to be diverted to the pet projects of both New York and New Jersey, some of which have nothing to do with the core mission of the Port Authority, which is to operate and develop our bridges, our airports, our tunnels,” he told WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman.

The agency spent more than $800 million from 2002 to 2012 on the so-called regional projects, which offer zero return to the Port Authority, the report found.

By far the biggest bleed is the PATH train system, which costs billions of dollars, Silverman reported. The agency lost $400 million on PATH in 2012, the report found.

“It continues to grow and it’s the only mass transit system which is not funded by any state tax revenue,” Moss told Silverman.

The report also found mismanagement, political abuse and rivalries between the states at the Port Authority.

“Stop investing in things which have no benefit for the region and would serve the narrow interest of each state, which the state should pay for, not the Port Authority,” said Moss. “This is draining money from the airports and from the people who drive across the bridges and tunnels.”

Moss said a good start is to change the two-headed power structure of the agency.

Gov. Chris Christie, responding again to the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal last week, said he is interested in exploring a recommendation to consider splitting the Port Authority into two separate agencies.

The GWB spans both states and is operated by the Port Authority.

New York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo has also signaled he’s open to big changes at the agency.

The Port Authority has declined to comment until it can review the full report.

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