Port Authority unveils new bus terminal plan

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The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has unveiled a
new plan for the world’s busiest bus terminal.

The Midtown Bus Terminal project will completely reimagine
the 42nd Street terminal and its connection to the Lincoln Tunnel and increase
ridership by 40 percent.

It will be designed to serve 100 percent electric bus fleets
and feature cutting-edge technology to manage bus movements using autonomous
vehicle technology and AI-aided traffic management.

The release of the Port Authority’s final scoping document
sets the stage for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to begin the
federal environmental review process.

“This important step is a turning point in the
transformation of the Port Authority Bus Terminal and Manhattan Midtown West
into a world-class transportation hub worthy of New York,” said Governor Andrew
Cuomo.

“By completely redeveloping the terminal, adding space for commercial development, improving the commuting experience and removing bus traffic and pollution from the surrounding community, we will show New Yorkers and the world that New York is back, and the future is once again bright.” The existing bus terminal was built in 1950 and expanded in 1981. By 2013, the Port Authority had sought out proposals to replace the facility and a list of alternatives was assembled.

In 2019, the Port Authority released a Planning Level Draft
Scoping Document which analyzed all prior alternatives  and, following a public comment period,
eliminated two of the old ideas.

The new Midtown Bus Terminal plan includes the complete
rebuild of the main terminal at its current location; a storage and staging
facility that moves commuter buses out of street level storage lots and
accommodates intercity buses that previously picked up and dropped off on city
streets and; increased public green space.

Approximately three and a half additional acres of new green
space between 9th and 10th Avenues would be created by decking over sections of
the Dyer Avenue entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel. Those areas will serve as
temporary staging locations during early phases of construction and will be
transformed for public green space at the completion of the construction
project;

With $3 billion in its capital plan to pay for the project,
the PA aims to raise more cash by selling the development rights of up to four
new high-rise towers as well as PILOT deals.

The towers would include one on 8th Avenue between 41st Street and 42nd Street; one on 9th Avenue between 40th Street and 41st Street; one on 11th Avenue between 39th Street and 40th Street; and one on 10th Avenue between 39th Street and 40th Street.

The construction plan for the new bus terminal will be
developed with the construction industry and with the local community.
Tentative plans call for a phased construction approach including the staging
and bus storage facility to occur first, so that it can serve as a temporary
terminal while the existing terminal is being demolished and rebuilt. The
decking over of sections of Dyer Avenue would occur early in the phased
construction also providing temporary bus staging locations while the main bus
terminal is completely rebuilt. Once completed, the decked over areas of Dyer
Avenue will become important public green space that reknits the local
community.

The Port Authority also intends to seek financial assistance
from existing FTA programs or from a new federal infrastructure program enacted
under the new Biden Administration.

This multi-source financing model proved successful in the
financing of the just-opened Moynihan Train Hall.

Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton said, “The Port Authority is committed to dramatically transforming one of the region’s most notorious and out of date transit facilities.”

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