NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A new main bus terminal is being discussed by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
The 64-year-old Port Authority Bus Terminal has come under criticism from New Jersey lawmakers who say their constituents have to deal with long delays, substandard conditions and a lack of communication.
“This place is pretty old and beat up,” one commuter told WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell.
“It’s a little run down, uncared for,” another commuter said.
The terminal accommodates more than 200,000 passenger trips each day. This week, one of the passengers was John Degnan, who is about to take over as chairman of the Port Authority.
Degnan told reporters the conditions at the terminal are unacceptable.
The terminal, which at one point was projected to cost $800 million, wasn’t included among a list of major projects in the agency’s 10-year capital plan released earlier this year.
Degnan said at Wednesday’s monthly board meeting that any future capital planning should factor in a new bus terminal.
In the meantime, short-term improvements are planned.
“We’re going to focus on repairing leaks in the building; we’re going to focus on repairing doors; we’re going to renovate the second floor restroom; we’re going to step up our cleaning efforts at the terminal as well,” said Cedrick Fulton, who oversees the facility for the Port Authority.
The board authorized $90 million to repair the terminal to make it more comfortable for passengers.
“The functionally obsolete facility no longer meets the transportation needs of the hundreds of thousands of riders that pass through the terminal every day, and the Port Authority is committed to identifying comprehensive improvements within the context of its existing Capital Plan,” said Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye. “This initiative will make interim improvements to the terminal as the agency explores a program to deliver a redeveloped facility.”
But Scott H. Rechler, the vice chairman of the authority, said in the long-term, the agency will need a new bus terminal.
“This is sort of like putting lipstick on a pig and we’ll do the best we can do, but as the next phase of this we need to really recognize that this bus terminal is obsolete and not going to be something that is functional for our customers,” Rechler said.
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