Sweeney, Kean, Weinberg, Gordon, Sarlo & Kyrillos Join With Port Authority Official, Transportation Advocates & Commuters in NYC on Plan to Build New Terminal
Senate President Steve Sweeney, Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, Senator Paul Sarlo, Senator Bob Gordon and Senator Joe Kyrillos joined with transportation advocates and commuters to continue to promote the need for a new bus terminal and to praise the bi-state leadership of the Port Authority, especially Chairman John Degnan, for their support for the historic plan recently approved by the Port Authority to construct the new facility in Manhattan.
“We worked together across the aisle to stand up for New Jersey’s commuters, and the final decision to build the replacement terminal in Manhattan represents a real victory for our state,” said Senator Kean. “The agreement is recognition that our commuters demand and deserve mass transportation that is both fast and convenient. A bus terminal in New Jersey, as some had proposed, would have been neither.”
“This is an historic achievement that will serve the critical transportation needs of the entire region for generations to come,” said Senator Sweeney, referring to the Port Authority’s vote to include the construction of a new bus terminal in its capital plan. “My colleagues in the New Jersey Senate and I have been fighting for this for years as a top priority so we are all grateful for the support of both governors and the Port Authority’s leadership. They helped to make this happen.”
We worked together for NJ commuters, PA's decision to build new bus terminal in Manhattan is victory for our state https://t.co/11A22Hxhwj
— Senator Tom Kean (@tomkean) March 31, 2016
For Monmouth County residents, new PA bus terminal in Manhattan will make commutes faster & preserve a one-seat ride https://t.co/l6uBBIST05
— Senator Joe Kyrillos (@joekyrillos) March 31, 2016
The existing bus terminal was built in 1950 and, in addition to falling into disrepair, the terminal’s capacity for commuters and bus traffic has not kept pace with current needs. The terminal is plagued by overcrowding, dilapidated condition and structural problems, the Senate leaders said. While 115,000 bus riders from New Jersey commute through the Port Authority Bus Terminal each workday, the number of bus commuters is expected to grow to 165,000 by 2040. The new terminal will be capable of handling the anticipated increase.
“The agreement negotiated with the Port Authority board and Governors Cuomo and Christie will ensure that the replacement terminal will be located on the West Side of Manhattan,” said Senator Weinberg, who has led the effort to get the Port Authority to replace the aging and outdated terminal. “This is critical. We needed to make sure that New Jersey’s commuters continue to have a one-seat trip to and from New York City.”
Port Authority Commissioner Pat Schuber also participated.
“An effective and efficient transportation system is not only important to commuters and motorists, it is critical for our regional economy,” said Senator Sarlo. “The economies of Northern New Jersey and Manhattan are inextricably linked. This is critical for the region’s future growth.”
The Port Authority also approved a plan for preliminary work on the Gateway rail tunnel project, which will not only ensure the continuation of trans-Hudson rail service when the existing Sandy-damaged rail tunnels are closed down for repairs, but also double rail commuter capacity and provide one-seat rides on all NJ Transit rail lines to New York’s Penn Station.
“The Port Authority was created to promote trans-Hudson transportation, and the construction of a new bus terminal and the rail tunnel are the two most important projects the agency will undertake over the next 20 years,” said Senator Gordon, The Senate Legislative Oversight Committee, which Senator Gordon chairs, has scheduled an April 25 hearing in Hackensack on the new bus terminal and on the Port Authority’s trans-Hudson commuter demand study.
In recent months, Senators Sweeney, Kean, Weinberg, Gordon, Kyrillos and Sarlo have stepped up their bipartisan advocacy with visits, briefings, planning reviews and consultations with transportation experts.
“With trans-Hudson rail lines at capacity and demand for seats on commuter buses growing rapidly, the construction of the Gateway Tunnel and new Port Authority Bus Terminal are critically important to New Jersey’s future,” said Senator Kyrillos. “For Monmouth County residents, this will make commutes faster and preserve a one-seat ride into Manhattan.”