Groups Call for Bus Capital Improvements in PANYNJ’s 2014-2023 Capital Plan

TSTC Executive Director Veronica Vanterpool addressed the media today in front of the Port Authority Bus Terminal at a rally for increased funding for bus infrastructure in the PANYNJ capital plan. | Photo: Madeline Marvar

TSTC Executive Director Veronica Vanterpool spoke today outside the Port Authority Bus Terminal at a rally for increased bus infrastructure funding in the PANYNJ capital plan. | Photo: Madeline Marvar

In advance of today’s Port Authority Board Meeting, advocates from community, business, transit, real estate and environmental groups gathered in front of Manhattan’s Port Authority Bus Terminal to call for more spending on bus infrastructure in the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey’s recently approved 2014-2023 Capital Plan.

Nearly 2.6 million buses, which carry over 90 million passengers, travel to the Port Authority Bus Terminal and the George Washington Bridge Bus Station every year, but the Port Authority hasn’t allocated any capital funds in its $27.6 billion capital program for badly-needed improvements at these two facilities.

One such improvement, a new West Side Bus Garage, was postponed from the previous capital program. The garage would provide indoor parking for hundreds of NJ Transit and other buses, “sparing dozens of communities on Manhattan’s West Side from the dominating presence of buses on their residential streets.” The lack of a bus garage and an expanded bus terminal puts a strain on local communities contending with idling, parked, and moving buses through their neighborhoods.

According to Christine Berthet, Chair of Manhattan Community Board 4 and also a founder of the Clinton Hell’s Kitchen Coalition for Pedestrian Safety (CHEKPEDS), the Midtown West area has long suffered, not just from congestion caused by buses queuing and parking on local streets, but also from bus exhaust. “The asthma rate for our children is the third highest in Manhattan,” Berthet said in a press release.

While the 2014-2023 capital program was approved by the Port Authority board in February 2014, there is an opportunity to modify the agency’s budget and capital program each year as the agency reviews its revenue and costs prior to releasing its annual budget.

2 Comments on "Groups Call for Bus Capital Improvements in PANYNJ’s 2014-2023 Capital Plan"

  1. Clark Morris | April 23, 2014 at 8:00 pm |

    Maybe the time has come for dedicating 2 lanes of traffic to buses, 1 in each direction. If an eastbound lane were available in the evening rush and the hours leading up to it, the need for a contentious West Side Bus terminal might be eliminated. In addition this would be a large help to reverse commuting and all day access.

  2. I also endorse improved services for bus riders. West Side Port Authority bus traffic congestion would be best addressed by extension of the No. 7 subway line to Weehawken and Secaucus.

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