TRENTON – Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, and Senate and Assembly Transportation Committee Chairs Patrick Diegnan and Dan Benson today backed the decision to move forward with plans to build a new, enlarged Port Authority Bus Terminal on the current site adjacent to major subway lines.
“I am pleased to see the Port Authority moving forward on construction of an expanded Port Authority Bus Terminal at the current site, where New Jersey commuters will continue to have easy access to the many subway and bus lines that run down Eighth Avenue,” said Senator Weinberg (D-Bergen). “New Jersey spoke with a united, bipartisan voice, and we had to fight hard to get the new Port Authority Bus Terminal into the current 10-year Capital Plan.
“I would like to thank Port Authority Chair Kevin O’Toole and Executive Director Rick Cotton for working together as a team to move this project forward, and former Chair John Degnan for standing up with Senators Steve Sweeney, Bob Gordon, Tom Kean and me to fight for New Jersey’s interests when others wouldn’t. And I would like to thank Steve Plate, the Port Authority’s master builder, and Diannae Ehler, who oversees the bus terminal and its Lincoln Tunnel access, for their years of cooperation and brainstorming on this project,” she said.
Senator Weinberg co-chaired the Bi-State Port Authority Bus Terminal Workgroup with Congressman Jerold Nadler of New York for the past four years. Senators Kean and Diegnan and Assemblyman Benson were among the New Jersey members of the group that met to review and evaluate plans for the bus terminal redevelopment.
“I’m glad our bipartisan efforts on both sides of the Hudson have resulted in this plan to ‘build in place’ the new Port Authority Bus Terminal,” said Senator Kean (R-Union). “This has long been our preferred option as it maintains a one-seat ride for New Jersey commuters while preserving convenient access to local subway and bus lines. The new facility will ensure that the Port Authority has the extra capacity it needs to meet growing demand while vastly improving the customer experience.”
The Port Authority released its scoping document for the new bus terminal today, choosing the current site over two competing proposals to relocate the bus terminal under the Javits Center, which New Jersey legislators unanimously opposed.
“With today’s announcement, the new Port Authority Bus Terminal project moves to the Federal Transit Administration for hearings and review,” said Senator Diegnan (D-Middlesex). “Like New Jersey’s tens of thousands of bus commuters to Manhattan, I am pleased that the Port Authority chose to build on the site of the current bus terminal, rather than underneath the Javits Center, which lacked the subway access our commuters have a right to expect.”
Assemblyman Benson agreed. “Every commuter deserves convenient and accessible transportation options. The Port Authority Bus Terminal’s current home on the West Side of Manhattan is an optimal location for New Jersey commuters traveling to the city by bus each day,” said Assemblyman Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “I applaud the Port Authority for recognizing the needs of commuters in choosing to expand the terminal at its current location rather than building a new structure elsewhere.
“This much-needed expansion will help us keep up with the robust growth of public transportation since the terminal’s last update in 1981, an uptick driven by the growing demand for New Jersey’s talented workforce. This expansion will allow the region to continue its positive economic growth while reducing the impact of cars on our constrained infrastructure,” he concluded.