Date: Jun 27, 2013
Press Release Number: 64-2013
With the Port Authority Bus Terminal at capacity during peak periods and interstate bus travel continuing to grow, the Port Authority Board of Commissioners has authorized a comprehensive study to explore ways to accommodate future growth in bus commuting heading to and from midtown Manhattan.
The Board authorized a contract with Kohn Pedersen Fox and Parsons Brinckerhoff to create a comprehensive, long-term plan that will improve the quality of interstate public transit services and reduce the impacts of interstate buses on surrounding communities. The plan will explore options for terminal enhancements and possible terminal replacement, a state-of-good-repair investment program, and new bus staging and storage facilities on the west side of Manhattan to improve bus operations and limit the amount of buses idling on city streets.
The bus terminal – the world’s busiest bus facility – serves more than 65 million people a year. It is already at capacity during peak periods and in need of significant improvements to meet the growing demands of commuters. When the region’s transportation network was severely disrupted in the weeks following Superstorm Sandy, the bus terminal accommodated thousands of additional customers diverted from other modes of transport. The facility was critical in getting the region moving again during the recovery from the storm, but the increased usage magnified the terminal’s current limitations and the need to explore options to handle future passenger growth.
By addressing its infrastructure needs through a comprehensive plan, the Port Authority will ensure the terminal remains a vital part of the interstate transportation network as the region continues to grow over the next 50 years.
“The development of a Master Plan underscores the Port Authority’s commitment to make the Bus Terminal a world-class facility and bus transit the most reliable mode of access to midtown Manhattan,” said Port Authority Chairman David Samson. “While the Port Authority has already begun the work of revitalizing the Bus Terminal, including the recent acquisition of top-shelf tenants like Starbucks and Cake Boss Café and the installation of WIFI in the South Wing concourse, this comprehensive approach is the best way to ensure the Bus Terminal keeps pace with future passenger growth over the next fifty years.”
“The Midtown Bus Master Plan underscores the Port Authority’s commitment to its customers,” said Port Authority Vice Chairman Scott Rechler. “By investing in improvements to the Bus Terminal, we will both address current concerns in the surrounding community and plan for future transportation needs and demands for the region.”
The Midtown Bus Master Plan also will be a major step towards integrating the bus terminal into the rapid development on the west side of Manhattan. Modernizing the bus terminal will keep it apace with other public investments in the area and enable it to accommodate increases in customers and commerce.
Around 8,000 buses and 225,000 travelers pass through the bus terminal every day. To continue its commitment to quality customer service, an essential part of the Master Plan will include options for phasing construction at the facility to maintain operations and meet customer demands.
The Master Plan will also include the design of a sustainable funding strategy that incorporates participation by the private sector and more equitable funding from carriers operating at the Terminal. This strategy will include the development of air rights above both wings of the Port Authority Bus Terminal to generate revenues to offset implementation costs.
The plan will supplement other ongoing Port Authority initiatives to support improvements to the terminal and the interstate bus network. These efforts include aggressive marketing to acquire new tenants, a demand forecast, and a structural slab assessment.
CONTACT: Port Authority of New York and New Jersey 212-435-7777
Founded in 1921, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey builds, operates, and maintains many of the most important transportation and trade infrastructure assets in the country. The agency’s network of aviation, ground, rail, and seaport facilities is among the busiest in the country, supports more than 550,000 regional jobs, and generates more than $23 billion in annual wages and $80 billion in annual economic activity. The Port Authority also owns and manages the 16-acre World Trade Center site, where construction crews are building the iconic One World Trade Center, which is now the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere. The Port Authority receives no tax revenue from either the State of New York or New Jersey or from the City of New York. The agency raises the necessary funds for the improvement, construction or acquisition of its facilities primarily on its own credit. For more information, please visit http://www.panynj.gov.