The new port authority bus terminal to cope with the scrutiny of neighbors



MIDTOWN MANHATTAN, NY – New Yorkers will have one of their first chances to consider the Port Authority’s proposed bus terminal replacement in a series of public hearings this week.

Plans unveiled in January by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey call for an expansive, glassy new terminal to replace the existing 70-year-old bus station, widely criticized for its cramped facilities and dreary interiors.

The four hearings will take place on Zoom on Wednesday and Thursday, from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. and again from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

If built, the 160-door terminal would reshape the surrounding area, expanding passenger space by 40% and paving the way for the construction of four new high-rise towers to help finance the construction, estimated at 10 billion dollars.

It would also pave the way for new open public spaces atop a new platform between Ninth and 10th Avenue between West 37th and 39th Streets.

A map of the proposed replacement of the port authority bus terminal, including the green space built on top of a new platform. (Port Authority of New York and New Jersey)

Construction would take place in two phases: a temporary terminal on the west side of Ninth Avenue would be open from 2024 to 2027 to keep buses away from the construction site, while the demolition of the existing station and construction of the new one would take place from 2028 to 2028. 2031.

More than 30 proposals to replace the terminal have been put forward since 2013. A 2016 proposal, which would have involved the seizure and demolition of several blocks of Hell’s Kitchen, has collapsed amid stiff community opposition.

Community Board 4 was more open to the project this time around. Council leaders wrote in a March letter to the port authority that they were “happy” that the community’s contribution was factored into the design of the project.

Yet they exposed dozens of neighborhood issues, including effects on air quality, effects on traffic, and the height of proposed towers.

In this file photo from March 19, 2015, large ceiling panels are missing at the Port Authority bus terminal in New York City. New York’s main bus terminal, long ridiculed for its leaky ceilings, dirty bathrooms and frequent delays, could undergo a major overhaul. (AP Photo / Seth Wenig)

The existing bus terminal is the busiest in the world, serving around 260,000 passengers every day of the week before the pandemic. The 186-door building, however, “was not designed and cannot handle today’s modern volumes and buses,” executive director Rick Cotton said in January.

During the public presentation unveiling the new terminal, Cotton showed a series of headlines describing the complex as a “monstrosity”, “literally hell on Earth” and “the worst place on planet Earth”.

News of the Port Authority’s renaissance earlier this year followed Governor Andrew Cuomo’s pledge to transform Midtown West by expanding Penn Station and the Javits Convention Center, extending the High Line and building new housing. affordable.

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