NEW YORK (AP) – Prolonged ridicule for New York City’s main bus terminal, leaky roofs, dirty bathrooms and frequent delays could lead to a major overhaul.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on Thursday unveiled a proposal to rebuild and expand the proposed Midtown Manhattan bus terminal.
“Everyone knows the bus terminal. “Very few people feel anything good about it,” said Rick Cotton, executive director of the Port Authority. “This is like the previous time that this building be replaced.”
The new station will be built on top of the existing bus, adding sleek, glass-walled entrances and infrastructure to accommodate more buses. Ramps spanning several blocks will be moved, and a storage building will be built to keep empty buses off the roads.
The Port Authority said construction could begin in 2024, finish by 2031 and cost $ 10 billion. Selling the rights to build four commercial buildings in the area above the terminal would bring in about $ 3 billion. It will also require local and federal funds.
The Port Authority Bus Terminal opened in 1950 near Times Square at Eighth Avenue between 40th and 42nd streets.
A statue of fictional bus driver Ralph Cramden from “The Honeymooners”, stands outside its main gate. It provided a fitting backdrop for the 1969 film “Midnight Cowboy”, which illuminated New York’s splendid underworld.
Prior to the coronovirus epidemic, the terminal made more than 250,000 passenger trips on Sunday, many coming from New Jersey. A Port Authority-commissioned study estimated the number to exceed 330,000 by 2040.
Tom Wright, president of the Regional Planning Association, an urban planning think tank, called the new plan a “creative approach to a complex problem”.
“Fixing the Port Authority Bus Terminal for the 260,000 people who rely on it every week is one of the highest basic facilities for our region,” he said. “The prosperity of our tri-state region will depend on our ability to provide access across the region and connect people to jobs.”
Authorities have debated changing or overhauling the country’s busiest bus terminal for years. But political clashes between lawmakers from both states and Port Authority officials halted the project, while other major infrastructure projects were advanced, including a new World Trade Center transit hub and multibillion-dollars at Laburdia, JFK and Newark Liberty airports Makeovers are included.
The bus authority was not included in the Port Authority’s 10-year capital plan in 2014, raising the number of passengers and New Jersey lawmakers.
Associated Press writer Michael R. Sisak contributed to this report.